Last week, Facebook disabled the functionality allowing Facebook pages to like-gate, a.k.a. fan-gate content. This means that you can no longer hide content from people until they like your page. The change is intended to dissuade companies from getting superficial likes, and instead focus on driving valuable relationships via Facebook. Still, if done right, this tactic was an effective way to increase page likes, so it’s a big loss for small businesses that used this functionality in a meaningful way.
However, not all is lost! There are other creative ways to get more people to like your Facebook page.
1. Host exclusive giveaways on your Facebook page
While you can no longer create a like-gate tab, you can create a custom tab with any content you want — it can even include a form. Host a giveaway exclusively on your Facebook page to drive more traffic to the page, and promote this giveaway via email, Twitter, YouTube, or any of your other marketing channels. Upon the form submit, encourage entrants to like your page in exchange for updates on the giveaway.
Great Lakes, a student loan company, hosted a $6K giveaway on their page and increased their Facebook page likes by 200%. Read the full case study here.
2. Add a Facebook like box to your website
Visitors to your website are great candidates for potentially liking your Facebook page. The Like Box is a widget you can embed on your website that lets visitors like your Facebook page without ever having to leave your site. You can place it anywhere on your site, like your blog sidebar or homepage footer. Read instructions for installing this like box here.
3. Share eye-catching images
Getting your existing fans to share your content is one of the most effective ways to grow your reach. But how can you get fans to click share?
It’s incredibly rare for people to share text-only posts with their own Facebook friends. So make sure your posts include eye-catching images. Include an image in each post that’s 552 pixels wide. You can easily create fun images for your page using free apps like Canva, so you don’t need to be a Photoshop wiz. And don’t get lazy — if you share a link that does not have a great image, you can swap out the image for your own custom image.
4. Ask your friends & family to like your page
Invite your friends and family to like your Facebook page and spread the word. If they start engaging with your page posts, their friends will start to see your page activity appear organically in their news feeds, too. At the top of your Facebook page, click Build Audience > Invite Friends.
Click the drop-down menu at the top of the layover and select Search All Friends. Then click on anyone you want to invite to your page, and click Submit. If anyone is greyed out, it means that they either already like your page, or you’ve invited them recently and they haven’t accepted your invite yet.
5. Send an email campaign
Do you regularly email your leads? If so, perhaps they’d rather get updates from you via Facebook. Send an occasional email blast to your leads encouraging them to like your page, or incorporate this email into a lead nurturing (a.k.a. drip marketing) email track. If they’ve already subscribed to your emails, they’ll be more inclined to like your Facebook page than strangers to your brand.
(Image credit: GrowSocially)
Are you feeling the loss of the like-gate functionality? Please share your new like-generation tactics in the comments below — I’d love to hear from you!