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What tactics are you using to grow your Facebook Page?

Is like-gating a key part of your Facebook marketing?

Facebook announced they’ll ban like-gating in November. An end to like-gating doesn’t have to be the end of the world–or your Facebook marketing.

In this article I’ll share four tactics marketers can use in place of like-gating to sustain audience growth and engagement on Facebook.

4 like gate alternatives

Find 4 ways to market on Facebook without like-gating.

#1: Breach the News Feed With Paid Advertising

It’s a fact that the experience your customers have on Facebook isn’t tied to them visiting your Facebook page. The majority of most users’ time is spent in the news feed.

The organic reach of your Facebook page is still an excellent way to help reach your existing fan base, but it shouldn’t be the sole driver of your Facebook marketing strategy.

Thankfully it’s easier than ever to reach your customers—not necessarily just your fans—on Facebook wherever they’re active, as long as you’re willing to pay for the exposure and engagement.

athos facebook post

An example of a Facebook ad promoting Athos’ website and Facebook page concurrently to non-fans and potential customers.

Facebook ads are an affordable way for businesses of all sizes to achieve a variety of goals.

Ads can increase downloads of your mobile app, suggest your content to new customers, retarget members of your email list and serve personalized social posts to a segment of your audience.

They can also help you collect email addresses for current customers and new leads.

udemy facebook post

Facebook ads allow your business to target new users who are similar to your existing fans and customers to help build your database of paying customers.

Shift your focus from growing Facebook page likes to collecting email addresses or subscriptions. Use ads to deliver engaging messages, offers and content to your current and prospective customer base to prompt email signups.

If the content users exchange for their email address is valuable, people will like your page on their own.

#2: Run Contests and Promotions

Just because you won’t be able use page likes as entries for contests and promotions doesn’t mean you can’t continue to run them from your Facebook page. Instead of likes, switch to other forms of entry that are more valuable to your business than a like on your page ever was.

like gated promotion

This is an example of a past contest requiring a like for entry into the promotion. As of November 5, Facebook wonsn allow this or any other form of like-gating.

For instance, you can base entry on creating content centered around a specific theme. When users submit their content in the form of text, video or photos, it’s likely their own network will see the entry. That means more exposure for your brand.

bonobos promotion with email entry

The apparel brand Bonobos highlighted a contest on their Facebook page where contestants could enter by supplying their email address.

If you require an email address, your business has the ability to reach that customer or lead again in the future.

Both of these alternate forms of entry are of more value to your business than a like. So continue to run Facebook promotions to spur engagement with your audience and collect data that your business can use in future marketing.

#3: Form-Gate Premium Content

As an alternative to like-gating, you can require Facebook users to fill out a form before they access a resource, enter a contest, listen to a free audio track or watch a video on your Facebook page.

Form-gating acts very similarly to like-gating, except your business is able to capture data from Facebook users. You can use that data to create an in-depth profile of your leads for your social CRM campaign.

Providers like TabSite, ShortStack, Pagemodo, Wishpond and many others make it easy for businesses to add form-gating to their Facebook pages.

plated email collection

Add your email signup form to your Facebook page to encourage more subscribers and use the form to capture data from users accessing your content and entering your contests.

If your form is simple and quick to fill out, Facebook users will be more willing to give up their information to access your resource, but there’s a sweet spot on the number of form fields to use.

Too many fields may discourage users from filling out the form. On the other hand, too few fields may make it difficult to qualify the leads you collect information from.

bombbomb embedded facebook form

Provide a sample of your company’s offerings in exchange for a Facebook user filling out their contact information to access it.

To best way design a form to get quality leads on Facebook is to include two to three fields for a user to fill out. Ideally, this can help ensure your form will generate more of the right leads for your business.

#4: Optimize Your Facebook Feed for Mobile

According to the Verge, 30% of Facebook users only use Facebook on their phone, which highlights how important is to enable your customers to easily interact with your business across all devices.

Many Facebook tabs, especially those that use like-gating, aren’t mobile-friendly. This presents a big problem if you’re trying to engage Facebook users on mobile devices.

Ensure the experience your customers are having on Facebook through to your website is mobile-friendly or you risk losing a potential sale or other profitable action from Facebook users.

When you share links to website landing pages, custom Facebook tabs and apps, or third-party content on Facebook, verify those resources are mobile-friendly for all devices. It’s the best way to make sure your business is providing the best experience possible for Facebook users.

facebook mobile ad specs

Facebook makes it easy to experiment with advertising to both mobile and desktop audiences to see which types of ads perform best to drive results with your customer base.

It’s also important to target any Facebook ads specifically to desktop or mobile users to see which perform better with each particular audience.

Once you’ve got paid advertising data to work with, optimize your campaigns to serve each ad group on the platform it performs best on.

Conclusion

Businesses should view the ban on like-gating as an opportunity to focus on other essential marketing tactics for their Facebook pages.

Use the tips above to move from collecting likes to encouraging sincere engagement, collecting valuable user information and creating a better experience for users.

What do you think? Will these tips help your business discontinue like-gating content on Facebook? What other tactics can you suggest? Leave your questions and comments below.

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  • Great post Brian! I really believe in how contests and sweepstakes can help to move your fan-base to your email list! So there is no Facebook or other platform between you and your customers.

    Thanks!

  • Hi Zsuszsa, couldn’t agree more! Continuing to use contests and promotions to move your social media audience down the funnel will always be important. Stay in touch. 🙂

  • We’ve had some issues with some cool ads (or what we think is cool, anyway!) like #2 being removed for having more than “20% text”. Is this something you’ve seen?

  • Julie

    What is like-gating? You can’t assume we noobs know everything!

  • Guillermo Astorga Soto

    Oh.. like gating is liking a gate….obviously…right?

  • Hi Julie, like gating is when you incentivize access to a resource or entry into a contest by requiring a person to like your Facebook page.

  • Elissa

    Like-Gating is when you requires someone to Like your page in order for them to participate in a contest, get a coupon etc.,

  • Great Info. All very practical and creative ways to continue to market . Thank you!

  • Welcome! Thanks for reading Regina. 🙂

  • Meredith Clark

    I just learned what like-gating was YESTERDAY and it’s already obsolete! Question: I thought you had to use a third-party app to run contests on Facebook. Is like-gating banned if you are using one of those apps?

  • To replace our organic reach with paid reach after having been “demoted” by Facebook, our FB ad spend would have to be $60,000 per month (based on current ad spend/reach) why do we want more Facebook fans if we are unable to reach them organically? What’s the point of investing in contests & sweepstakes if no one (relatively speaking) is hearing our message and any FB spend (besides ads) ROI has fallen to zero?

  • 3 questions: 1). In #3 you say: “Providers like TabSite, ShortStack, Pagemodo, Wishpond and many others make it easy for businesses to add form-gating to their Facebook pages.” I haven’t tested any of these what do you recommend most? 2). Also in #4 you say: “Many Facebook tabs, especially those that use like-gating, aren’t mobile-friendly.” Does this refer to those Tabsite, etc. you previously mentioned? 3. When you say: “verify those resources are mobile-friendly for all devices” is there any other method than just old fashioned going to the devices and checking them one at a time?

  • It can be frustrating sometimes Meredith, especially since Facebook makes changes so frequently! You are no longer required to use third party apps to run promotions on Facebook, although they are often more comprehensive and allow your business to collect valuable data that running a contest on your Fb page’s wall can not. Yes, like gating is banned in third party apps as well.

  • Hi Karen,

    1. I’d recommend ShortStack and Wishpond! They’ve both been helpful to me in the past.

    2. Both ShortStack and Wishpond are mobile friendly across their product offerings, I’m sure the others I listed are too but don’t know off the top of my head.

    3. As far as I know, the best bet is to check on your mobile phone to double check the campaign is indeed live.

    I hope that helps!

  • Brian, thanks for the quick reply and comments. Helpful! I will check out Shortstack and Wishpond.

  • Hey WindyCity,

    There is still organic reach to be had which is one reason to stay engaged with your audience with contests and regular engagement, but also incorporate a paid portion to your FB marketing. FB is a company that offers widespread distribution unlike most other channels, which is why they are charging for this service.

    I totally get where you’re coming from but this is the way it is. I’d also suggest using paid advertising to reach potential customers that aren’t fans of your page as well.

  • No problem!

  • salcoombes

    Little confused about what we can/can’t do with contests on our page. Are we allowed to ask the audience to comment on a post as the mechanism to enter? e.g. Tell us your favourite holiday escape in the comments below. Would this be allowed so long as we terms and conditions provided?

  • I am using FB ads with their HIGHLY TARGETED ads bringing in CPA’s for $25 when I get Google PLAs for $11

    with all due respect – no there’s no organic reach to be had – I’ve been a full time SEO for 12 years – it took me 3 years to crack the code on Facebook reach but LAST YEAR – in ONE YEAR i grew the page organically from 60,000 to 270,000 fans In July of this year my weekly organic reach was 3,000.000 but was getting way too time consuming so I went from 4 posts a day to 3.

    My weekly organic reach went down to 1,400,000. Then early last month changing nothing with my posting practices weekly reach plummeted to 107,000 over 9 days which is where it is now. where 200,000 would see a good post it’s now seen by 5600.

    If you extrapolate the numbers you get the $60,000 montly fB ad spend figure based upon the $2500/mo I’m spending now running as many as 600 split test ads

    So after 4 years and about $50,000 spent on webinars, sweepstakes & contests I can say with confidence Facebook is a scam. How do I know if my content is any good if it’s artificially throttled back?

    I literally get more retail eCommerce revenue from LinkedIn where all i do is post smart ass comments without ever posting a link to our site.

    We get a 12-1 ROI on email and a 5 -1 ROI from Google Adwords but a 2.2 – 1 ROI from Facebook (our spends are in the thousands per month)

    so tell me again what I’m doing wrong because everyone in social media says I’m doing it wrong but NO ONE has a solution – much appreciated

  • I already have a subscription form on Facebook, but since I haven’t used any paid advertising nobody has subscribed. I know that with the right strategy, I can get people to subscribe to it organically. I just need to reduce the amount of fields to fill out. By the way I added that form for free, from MailChimp, nothing fancy but it does what it’s supposed to, which is collect email subscribers.

  • I absolutely love those graphics for the social media success summit!

  • Great tips and advice Brian. Competitions and promotions are a fantastic way to collect data in a fun way and really engage users on a personal level. Thanks for sharing.

  • Awesome! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • They did an awesome job right? SMEX knows a thing or too about how to promote their event with great content. 🙂

  • Cool, MailChimp is a great tool to use with Facebook. I’d recommend using two to three fields on a form on Facebook to increase sign-ups, but be wary of the quality of leads once if the form is to easy to sign up for.

  • Tracy Wisneski

    Thank you for the helpful suggestions! One question: Did FB reverse its ban on requiring sharing for page contests?

  • Tracy Wisneski

    Thank you for the helpful suggestions! One question: Did FB reverse its ban on requiring sharing for page contests?

  • @Brian Honigman, How can I determine the quality of leads and what tools do you recommend for me to use?

  • @Brian Honigman how can I determine the quality of leads and what tools do you recommend for me to use?

  • How can I determine the quality of leads and what tools do you recommend for me to use if any?

  • Alicia Henderson

    Time to revamp my marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Alicia Henderson

    Time to revamp my marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Alicia Henderson

    Time to revamp my marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Tom

    “Run Contests and Promotions”

    Yeah, until Facebook decides that they want to monetize that too and yanks it from us.

  • It’s funny how everytime Facebook changes some feature, it seems like the whole world is going to collapse – and many blame Facebook for the lack of success of their activities – when it reality most of the times they are opening the door to new opportunities. Your article is a fantastic summary of some of them, thank you.

  • Another good platform that is mobile ready and offers great features is…Antavo 😉

  • Thanks for reading, greatly appreciate it Antonio.

  • Welcome!

  • I’d get a CRM for your business, there are many different kinds but for a small business i’d recommend Contactually or Nimble. 🙂

  • Couldn’t agree more!

  • Tracy Wisneski

    Explanation.

  • Indeed! 😉

  • Andrea Sharpe

    Thank you so much for this information! Well organized and clear! Much appreciated!

  • Samer Ayat

    what about the user’s experience in number #3, i believe that simplicity works more better than any other approach, having a subscription form or data entry page may decrease your conversions specially when the return is listening to a free song or participating in a competition..

  • Hi Brian, thank you for the good read. I too came a little too late on knowing fan-gate was around and then banned. Was figuring out how to increase my page likes (i’m still stuck at thinking page likes are everything traffic) but after reading your article, i’m pretty sure I can carry on without having too much worry on likes on page but real engagements using of course FB and other social media.

    I am slowly dragging my wallet towards FB ads since their platform allows flexible payment options compare to Adword that requires me to deposit a sump I’m not ready to invest. Note that I’m in Malaysia and converting ad expenses to USD requires me to think thrice the monetary value. Thank you again Brian, you surely made my day.