The Pros and Cons of Like-gating

The world of social media marketing is full of debates, which comes as no surprise since social media is all about sharing ideas and having conversations. One of the most polarising topics within social media is the issue of whether or not to use Like-gating on Facebook pages, and both sides have compelling arguments.

The Pros and Cons of Like-gating

Like-gating is the practice of preventing people from viewing all or parts of a Facebook page before a user has liked it.  The practice has grown very popular as brands put more emphasis on increasing the number of likes they have on Facebook. The Like-gates themselves are usually well-branded pages that entice visitors by teasing them with the benefits they will receive when they like the page, and there’s no doubt that they do convince some users to relinquish their highly sought after Like.

Since the decision of whether or not to Like-gate a page is ultimately left to the brand, here are some pros and cons of Like-gating to help you decide if it is right for your business:

Pros of Like-gating:

• Encourages users to like your page who may otherwise not have done so. This will allow your Facebook updates to appear on their newsfeed, putting your brand in front of them on a regular basis.

• Rewards your fans with exclusive content, making them feel valued as customers.

• Provides a call-to-action for people coming to your Facebook Page. This is especially useful in coordination with PPC campaigns.

• Tailors content for new users, allowing you to highlight certain marketing messages that don’t need to be shown to your current fans.

Cons of Like-gating:

• Creates a false sense of community since many of your fans have been forced to like you, rather than actually wanting to follow you on Facebook.

• Doesn’t ensure retention. People who like your page because of a Like-gate can just as easily unlike it once they have gotten the content they want.

• Turns some people off and causes them to go away from your page altogether, leaving you with missed opportunities of reaching them at any level.

• Too focussed on the vanity number of likes rather than improving the relationships with fans. A small group of engaged fans is much better than a large group that doesn’t interact with your brand and Like-gating does nothing for engagement.

In our opinion Like-gates can be effective when used properly.  We wouldn’t recommend Like-gating an entire page, because you want people to be able to see your basic information and what your brand has to offer.  This is especially important for campaigns whose goal is to raise brand awareness.  Also, leaving your page open will make people feel as though you aren’t only on Facebook to market to large numbers, but because your brand is truly interested in developing relationships with your customers.

On the other hand, Like-gates can be effective if the content behind them is of high value to your visitor. So, if you have a great app or special offer on your page, people will be more likely to go through the Like-gate and remain your fans.

Striking the right balance is important when using Like-gates, so use them only when you think your page could benefit.  And, for extra measure, make sure to monitor your page’s Insights to see how the Like-gate affects your Facebook traffic and the interactions you have with your fans.

For more information on our social media services and app development services, contact us today.

Visit Cite’s Facebook Page to see if we use a Like-gate in our own social media marketing.