Fan Gating or Like Gating are terms recently coined to describe the practice of using a two-stage reveal welcome tab as the default landing page on your Facebook business (fan) Page. The most popular use is to offer an incentive, such as a free eBook or discount coupon, to incentivize clicks on the Like button. Depending on the offer, this technique can result in a considerable increase in the percentage of Like clicks. But, I’d like to point out another use for a reveal landing tab; simply to give someone a visual confirmation and a personal thank you.
How many times have you filled out an online form and gotten zero confirmation that it worked? You filled out the form and clicked the submit button and nothing happened. The form probably cleared but you had to assume that the information had actually been transmitted. When we fill out a form online we expect to at least see a message letting us know that the information was sent, and if the website owner is smart, they show us that message along with a link to something else they want us to see. So, why not do the same thing on your Facebook welcome page?
Even though you may not be suggesting that a visitor click on the Like button to get a free eBook, download an mp3, or get 25% off their next online order, you can still thank them for Liking your Page and then give them something else to do, increasing the value of the landing tab. Facebook welcome pages have been shown to increase Like clicks by 25% or more, but the primary goal of the page is to get someone to click the Like button and adding too many links to your other social networking places, as well as your website and blog, can end up sidetracking people who might click one of those links before they click the Like button. A better idea is to put most of those links on a second (reveal) page.
Here’s how it could work. A potential fan clicks a link to visit your Facebook Page and instead of landing on the Wall or Info tab as usual, they land on a nice welcome page with graphics, photos, and some actual information about what the purpose of the Page is and why they should Like it. Normally, when they click the Like button the button disappears but nothing else happens, they are still viewing the same page. Instead, I recommend using a reveal or two-stage page so once someone clicks the Like button the page changes to reveal a message; perhaps “Welcome to our Facebook Community. Now that you’ve Liked our Page you will begin seeing our status updates in your news feed and we hope that you’ll join in the conversation. We also hope you’ll visit our Page often to contribute on our Wall.” Then, in addition to your message you would suggest other places they can follow you like Twitter and include links to your website or blog.
You’ve added to your Facebook visitor’s experience, making it far more personal, and let them know that you appreciate them, and at the same time used your Facebook Page as a typical landing page, giving someone multiple choices of places to visit without reducing the effectiveness of the primary purpose of the welcome page, which is to get more clicks on the Like button.
If you’re familiar with using FBML code to achieve the two-stage reveal for a tab page you’ll need to use a different method now that Facebook switched to iframes, but there are several very good apps you can use that make the process quite simple. I recommend the Static HTML app by Jason Padvorak and Timothy Mensing, or TabPressby the folks at HyperArts.
If you like the idea of using a custom landing tab on your Facebook Page but don’t have the ability to design HTML pages, click here to find out what Social Identities can do for you.