Social Media 101: Like-gating

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“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we define the term “like-gating.”

Like-gating is when a company requires Facebook users to “like” its Facebook page before allowing them to access exclusive content. This is usually done by way of a welcome tab that a visitor sees upon his first visit to the Facebook page, but the like-gate can be any tab on the page and is not limited to just the welcome tab.

Nike’s like-gate. Fans who “like” Nike are allowed access to the Free Arena, where they can upload videos to be shared with the Nike Facebook community.

The term comes from the fact that the “like” button acts as a gateway to the exclusive content, hence a like-gate. However, this “like” button barrier is sometimes also referred to as a “fangate” because clicking the “like” button makes you a “fan” of the Facebook page.

Companies initiate a like-gate in order to increase the number of fans of their Facebook pages. The exclusive content behind the gate acts as an enticement for Facebook visitors to “like” the page. Once a person “likes” the page, that person receives all the Facebook updates made by the company. This expands the digital marketing potential for the company, making like-gating an inexpensive and effective audience-building method.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at like-gating and the pros and cons of using a like-gate on your company’s Facebook page.

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