You probably already heard that Facebook announced it will be removing the feature that allows Custom Apps to require a Page Like from users to unlock content. What we came to know as a “Like-Gate.”
The reason for this decision, right from the source…
“To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the decision, as I pointed out on this post for Post Planner.
Many businesses have been very successful using Like-Gates as part of a content strategy, to establish and nurture customer relationships.
But on the other hand, in the last couple of years we’ve also seen this feature being used and abused with sweepstakes and promotions based on the sole objective of increasing Likes (think iPad giveaway). I don’t have to tell you that this practice usually results in acquiring massive amounts of prospects that have no real interest in what the business does.
In that case, I can understand Facebook’s point.
Is “Lead Generation” dead on Facebook?
Not at all. Most smart marketers know that an effective marketing funnel should eventually turn “Fans” into email subscribers. That free ebook that delivers tons of value for your audience can still work in exchange of an email subscription instead of a Page Like.
But the Page Like is still very valuable…
- It represents “Permission Marketing.” People that like your page are expressing an interest in what you do. It’s an opt-in to see more of your content on the news feed
- Facebook is still the #1 social traffic referral to external sites
So, you still have to actively work to get Page Likes, targeted likes, of course.
5 ways to get Facebook Page Likes
First thing I want to say is that, these initiatives are focus on acquiring targeted Fans, not really on quantity.
Remarketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising on the Internet, and Facebook has made this easier than ever.
By simply pasting a piece of code provided by Facebook, on specific pages of your website, you can create highly targeted audiences. You know there is a clear interest in your business because the person has visited those pages.
To increase the chances of converting to a Page Like with Remarketing, create a campaign that runs immediately after the visit (next day), so that people still recognizes the brand.
2) Page Like Ads
Besides Remarketing, you have plenty of other options to target different types of audiences with a Page Like Ad (Image above).
- Custom Audience: Email subscribers
- Custom Audience: Data File (Existing customers)
- Interest based: Fans of Pages that are related to your business or direct competitors
- Lookalike Audiences: Based on similarity of your Custom Audiences
3) Email campaigns
Add a link or icon to your Facebook Page from the footer of your newsletter.
As you can see in the image below, I ask for the Like in this automated campaign when people sign up for my free course. Both the quality of the prospect and the level of interest are high in this case.
Important: One thing to consider here is that you don’t want to do something like this in a campaign that has a conversion goal. You don’t want to create distractions. In this case, the person has already signed up for my free course, the only goal here is to provide a link to lesson 1, which she is expecting.
4) Like box widget
Aah… the Facebook Like Box… so underestimated…
Most people think of the Like Box as widget for the sidebar on your blog, but it can be used in many other ways.
Here are a couple of examples:
When a person confirms the subscription to your email list. Typically this is a dead-end page, the conversion is completed, and now you just want to say thanks and welcome, perhaps provide a download link to a free ebook.
This is the perfect moment to ask for the Page Like because:
- You completed the conversion
- The person is interested in you
- You are delivering value
I also use the Like Box in other types of content platforms. For example, this is the dashboard of one of my courses, which means it is a membership site. I also display it in the sidebar of lesson pages.
Sure, the number of people that have access to this is significantly lower than the regular traffic to my site. But the quality of this people is priceless.
The beauty of the Like Box is its convenience, the user doesn’t need to go to the actual Page to Like it, and you’re not sending traffic out of your online property.
The Like Box is a simple piece of code you can get here and install wherever you want. Be creative and think of places where it makes sense to place it.
Promotions are far from being dead. The fact that you can’t incentivize the Like by making it a requirement to participate is only a small aspect of it.
Not too long ago, I wrote about a small spice shop that generated 736 Page Likes in 6 days by using a Quiz Contest, and no advertising. Sure the promotion was like-gated, but as I mentioned in the post…
340 out of the 736 new fans were generated through a Referral Bonus system, which means, your own Fans are helping you spread the message.
But most importantly, companies that run promotions that are relevant and valuable to their target market, will still be able to generate those Page Likes, even if they’re not forced.
How about you?
What other initiatives do you have in place to get Likes to your Page?