Today’s guest post comes from Allison Najman (@mbagrrl) You can visit her site to stalk her learn more about her. When she’s not being snarky for this blog, Allison is defying online marketer and social media guru stereotypes.
Do you like me? Do you really like me?
Do you bribe your friends to hang out with you? I didn’t think so.
That’s what brands are doing with a Facebook tactic known as like-gating (only being able to see content on a page if you “like” it).
As marketer, I completely understand the temptation to like-gate, it forces people to like you (even if they really don’t), it makes brands’ fan numbers look good and justifies social media budgets to the big wigs. I can hear the executive oohs and ahhs: “We have 157% more fans than we did last year without improving our content or investing more money!?! That’s fantastic.” But all the smart social media people out there reading this know that social media success is not just about how many followers or fans you have, right? RIGHT? (If you don’t believe this, then you have bigger problems than like-gating.)
Now, I am not completely a hippy-dippy communist and believe everything should be free and include puppies and rainbows. I do think like-gating has its place. I understand you want more from me to be BFFs rather than casual acquaintances. But convince me you are worthy of my valuable stream real estate between Farmville updates and what my high school best friend’s cat had for lunch before I add you to my life. Give me a preview of what our relationship could be and make me want more rather than pretending to be under a shroud of mystery.
As with any relationship, don’t you want people to like you for who you are and not because they are forced to? Be yourself and put out good and engaging content and your true fans, those who genuinely like you for you are, will come.
I think there are different types of like-gating that will garner different types of fans. For example, a company that like gates by promising a chance for cash prize, may get a lot of “junk” fans that don’t really care or want to know about the company, because EVERYONE likes cash! However, if you promise something that is specific to your company, that ONLY interested fans would care about, you may get more loyal fans. A quick example would be a camera shop doing micro-lens giveaway.
@Amy I will have to say contests are a little different. When entering any kind of contest, I expect I will have to give up information and liking would be a part of that for chance to win something. I referring to more specifically just content from a company that is completely cut off if you don’t “like” them and more the idea of how should I know if I like them if I can’t see anything about them and more importantly, it’s just running of the score for them.
Nice post- How do you suggest giving a preview of what the relationship should be?
I’ve encountered this mostly in music. For example, “Check out our new video here!” and they you have to “like” the page in order to see the video. It feels like bribery to me which leaves a bad feeling.
@aburtch That’s exactly my point.
@Timmy It depends on what your offering. First, if you aren’t offering anything than a plain wall, why are you gating it in the first place? However, if you have videos, maybe a game or some other content that might be of interest to me, then give me some sort of sample. Play the first 15 seconds of the video or something like that. I don’t have any good examples off-hand, but maybe another commenter does.
I’ve never used like-gating, I don’t advocate it and I don’t really like it. Like you said, it’s like bribery.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll like a page because of a few reasons:
1. I liked a blog post that I stumbled upon, which made me like their entire website.
2. I stumbled upon a comment they left on a blog, went to their site, enjoyed it and decided to like their page.
3. A friend introduced me to their website, I enjoyed it and liked their FB page.
The theme here? I found and enjoyed their website way before I found their FB page. If I already like their website, then why in the hell do I have to be bribed into liking their FB page? I enjoy connecting with people on FB and Twitter if I found something to like about you prior to seeing your social media platforms, not the other way around.
Though I guess I’m speaking for only a few people. Bribing on FB is no different than bribing people to sign up for a newsletter with a free eBook.
Personally, they should lay it all out on the table, that way, they get excited about what they’re seeing and like the page in anticipation for future posts.
Thanks for the post!
Who needs like gates when you can just have mindless slaves?