devxlogo

Facebook Like-Gating

Definition

Facebook Like-gating is a practice where businesses or page owners require users to “like” their Facebook page before they can access exclusive content, participate in contests, or gain access to certain promotions. Essentially, it is a strategy used to boost a page’s followers and overall user engagement. However, it’s worth noting that Facebook has prohibited like-gating since 2014 in order to create a more genuine, organic relationship between pages and their audience.

Phonetic

/feyss-bʊk layk-gey-ting/

Key Takeaways

  1. Like-Gating was a popular practice that involved requiring users to like a Facebook page before they could access certain content, offers, or promotions.
  2. Facebook banned Like-Gating in 2014, stating that it undermines the true purpose of their platform and negatively impacts the user experience by incentivizing artificial page likes.
  3. Instead of Like-Gating, businesses should focus on posting high-quality, engaging content to build a genuine audience and optimize their marketing efforts on the platform.

Importance

Facebook Like-Gating, although no longer allowed, is an important term in the context of social media marketing strategies employed by businesses and marketers.

Like-Gating was a technique used to encourage users to like a Facebook page or content to gain access to exclusive information, promotions, and offers.

This strategy significantly boosted fan engagement, page likes, and brand visibility on the platform.

Although Facebook banned Like-Gating in 2014, understanding its significance helps marketers and businesses to better comprehend previous social media marketing practices and their impact on the growth of pages and brands.

It also contributes to the development of alternative methods to enhance user engagement and expand their online presence while adhering to platform guidelines.

Explanation

Facebook Like-Gating was a popular tactic employed by marketers to increase the number of ‘likes’ on a Facebook business page. The essential purpose of like-gating was to encourage user engagement with a brand, product, or service by requiring users to “like” the business page before gaining access to certain content, offers, or promotions.

When done effectively, this technique helped to expand brand awareness, boost user-generated content, and increase social proof by drawing an association between the number of likes on a page and the credibility of the business. Although like-gating was an effective way to grow a Facebook audience in the past, the platform’s policy changes in 2014 made this practice against their terms of service.

The primary reason behind this decision was to shift user interactions from being based solely on incentivized likes to a more genuine relationship between users and the businesses they engage with. This change further helps to promote authentic engagement that is based on the value and relevance of the content posted by the businesses.

Marketers are now encouraged to focus on sharing valuable information, engaging posts, and promoting interaction with their audience in order to organically grow their social presence on Facebook.

Examples of Facebook Like-Gating

Facebook Like-Gating, also referred to as “Fan-Gating,” was a promotional strategy used by businesses and marketers on Facebook. It involved providing access to exclusive content, discounts, or contests only when users liked their Facebook page. In 2014, Facebook updated its platform policies and eliminated the like-gating feature, making it no longer a viable strategy. However, the following are three real-world examples of businesses that leveraged like-gating before it was banned:

Free eBook access: Book publishers or authors, such as marketing expert Mari Smith, used to offer a free eBook PDF to users who liked their Facebook page. Once the visitor clicked the “like” button, they could download the eBook, thus increasing the author or publisher’s Facebook followers and spreading their content to a wider audience.

Exclusive sweepstakes and contests: Businesses like Macy’s or Coca-Cola used to host sweepstakes and contests, where Facebook users were required to like their page to enter. This strategy was effective because it not only increased the brand’s Facebook followers, but also promoted engagement and potentially increased sales.

Gated tutorials and webinars: Companies and influencers, particularly those in the education, fitness, and technology industries, would provide exclusive access to tutorials, webinars, and workshop registrations if users liked their Facebook page. For example, an online marketing agency could offer a free Facebook advertising tutorial to users who liked their page, thus providing valuable content while growing their follower base.

Facebook Like-Gating FAQ

What is Facebook Like-Gating?

Facebook Like-Gating, also known as fan-gating, is a technique wherein users are required to like a Facebook page before being granted access to particular content, promotions, or contests. It was popular among marketers to increase their page’s likes and fan base.

Is Facebook Like-Gating still allowed?

No, Facebook Like-Gating is no longer allowed. Facebook updated its Platform Policy in August 2014, stating that developers should not incentivize users to use any social plugins or to like a page to access content, promotions, or contests. This change was implemented to ensure the authenticity and value of the likes generated on Facebook pages.

What can I do instead of Like-Gating to promote my Facebook page?

Instead of Like-Gating, focus on providing high-quality content that engages your audience, sharing exclusive offers or news, and leveraging Facebook ads and targeting options to reach a wider audience. Create meaningful engagement through conversations, social media events, or by showcasing user-generated content. The main goal is to grow your page organically and build a genuinely interested community.

How can I improve my Facebook page’s organic reach?

To improve your Facebook page’s organic reach, consider the following tips:
1. Post regularly and be consistent.
2. Share engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
3. Use high-quality images and videos.
4. Respond to comments and engage with users.
5. Vary the content mix with posts, links, images, and videos.
6. Leverage Facebook Insights to understand your audience’s preferences and optimize your content strategy.
7. Create and participate in Facebook events, livestreams, or groups to join relevant conversations.

What are social plugins, and how can they benefit my website or blog?

Social plugins are tools that integrate your website or blog with the Facebook platform, allowing users to share content, like pages, and engage with your site in various ways. Examples of social plugins include Like Button, Share Button, Comments, and Embedded Posts. By using social plugins, you can increase user engagement, drive more traffic to your site, and improve overall user experience.

Related Technology Terms

  • Like-Gating Strategy
  • Facebook Page Engagement
  • Exclusive Content Access
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Facebook Page Promotion

Sources for More Information

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms