To the horror of many, Facebook recently announced it will ban the practice of likegating this November. In the weeks since this announcement, marketers have rapidly searched for effective alternatives to like-gating. As one of the most widely used tricks on the platform, its absence is sure to be felt by countless marketers, but there’s no reason to worry. Below you learn everything you need to know about the three best alternatives to like-gating on Facebook.
News Feed Advertising
Most of the time people spend on Facebook is spent looking over the news feed, not browsing specific pages. That means that the reach of your page is inexorably tied to your ability to enter and maintain a presence in the news feed, and one of the easiest ways to do that is with paid advertising. Advertising on Facebook is an excellent way to achieve a variety of your goals. For example, a Facebook ad is ideal for increasing the number of downloads or clicks for something you are offering, for suggesting content to potential customers, targeting members of your email list, or even just getting the attention of your existing audience. Ads are also great at helping you collect email addresses from current customers and new leads alike. Rather than focusing on the number of likes you receive on your Facebook page, consider emphasizing your campaign on collecting email addresses or newsletter subscriptions. Once you have those, you can use ads to deliver engaging messages, content, and offers in order to prompts new sign-ups. If the content that you offer in exchange for the user’s email address is of value, people will go on to like your page anyway.
Contests and Promotions
The fact that you won’t be able to use likes as a means for building your Facebook page with promotions doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to run those promotions on Facebook. Rather than like-gating your content, you can switch to another form of entry, a form that is even more valuable for your business than collecting likes ever was. For example, you could base entry around user-created content. When someone submits their own content, whether it is photos, videos, or text, it’s very likely that every Facebook friend of the entrant will see their entry. That means considerably more exposure for your page. If you take this one step further and require an email address for entry, you gain the ability to reach that lead again later down the road. Either alternative has more value for your business than a like, and both are great alternatives to like-gating.
Another popular alternative to like-gating is form-gating, which is when users must fill out a form in order to gain access to a resource. That resource could be entering a contest, getting premium content like an audio track, or being able to watch a video. Form-gating works very similarly to like-gating, except you’re able to get your hands on consumer data from those who use your form. You can then go on to use that data to create a more powerful social CRM campaign. There are many free and cheap providers of form-gates for you to use, including ShortStack, Pagemodo, Tabsite, and Wishpond.
It’s important to remember that you should keep your forms quick and simple to fill out. If you ask for too much information, you will decrease the number of participants who are willing to go through your form. The sweet spot is generally two or three required fields, and then one or two optional ones. Required fields should ask for the information you absolutely need for your marketing campaigns, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
Like-gating may have been one of the most powerful ways to rapidly build a thriving Facebook page, but its demise means little. It may take some time to get adjusted to marketing on Facebook without like-gating, but with any of these alternatives in play, you should have everything you need to succeed.