What Are ‘Like Gates’? And How to Use Them to Increase Your Followers

Using Like Gates can help to grow your social following

When promoting our clients we ensure that we use every tool at our disposal to help them reach their goals — whether this is a higher ranking on search engines, increased traffic, or growth in social media followers. One tool in particular that always comes in handy is the like gate – but what is it?

A like gate, or “social locker”, is a device that requires someone to like or share something in order to get access to content on a page.

Let’s imagine you have some instructional content that teaches your website visitors how to do something. You can either give this away free, or you could force visitors to ‘pay’ for the content by doing something social: liking your page, following you, Retweeting or sharing. Plugins like Social Locker for WordPress hide content on your site so that it’s only revealed once the reader takes one of your desired actions.

If you’ve got a really appealing bait in your locker, you’ll find that people will readily comply. You can require them to Retweet a link to that page in order to gain access, and this will multiply your traffic as some of their followers and copy as they have done.

Examples of Like Gate Use

Like gates are used by a multitude of different industries. Within the marketing industry, I often find that useful PDFs and spreadsheets by fellow marketing bloggers are hidden behind a social locker and because I respect the quality of their work, plus the time and effort of their articles, I’m more than happy to repay them with something as simple as a Tweet.

E-commerce sites also can use ‘discount for likes’ strategies to offer savings to customers in return for Facebook likes, and there are typically two main varieties:

  1. Cumulative likes: In this first example, a particular product will have a like counter showing a target number of likes. Once the product’s likes have reached the target, a discount is ‘unlocked’ for everyone. Radykal’s Discount for Likes WordPress plugin lets you set different like targets for each product on your site and can be a good way to encourage people to share your products with friends and those likely to increase the like count. Our advice is to initially set the target low, and keep raising it every time the target is met. Being the first of 500 likes is less likely to initiate a share than if you’re the 493rd and you just need to get 7 friends to comply.
  2. Individual likes: In this scenario, shoppers are offered a discount in return for liking your page. Some plugins will appear in your shopping cart during checkout and offer you the chance to get a quick discount in return for a like, whilst Like 2 Discount by Laborator offers shoppers a discount code in return for first liking and secondly submitting their email address. This approach counters ‘no code bounce’ from shoppers that see a discount code box but, without having a code to use, wonder if they are about to pay too much and decide to leave.

Identify What You Have To Share

Like Gates and Share Lockers can also be used to gauge which of your followers and reader are more likely to follow your lead when you have a new product or sale to share with them. By trying different types of content lockers you can see which types work best for your audience. This can be for discounts, for easy spreadsheets like budget guides or packing lists, or for free PDF eBooks that you could create during the course of a quiet afternoon.

Try them all and see which one converts best for you and focus all of your efforts on it. Create more and more enticing items worth ‘liking’ for and continue to bring success to your business.

What items could you put a like gate on today?

You can find more details on how to get the best out of your social media marketing via our new book Profitable Social Media Marketing: How To Grow Your Business

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