That's correct: 'Gate' your content - no typo there. Put a content locker so that your most exclusive content can only be viewed upon sharing it on social networks of your choice. However, a number of sites with questionable reputation also use content lockers to sell stuff or gather personal information from visitors. Besides, no one likes being coerced. So, how do you get your visitors to GLADLY share your content before they view it?
Make certain your overall site design is pleasing to the eye and that you don't greet your visitors with a pop-up. Opening pop-ups became quite popular some time back, but exit pops are increasingly being considered a better option based on the statistics about the number of times people close the pop up greeting even before it has fully displayed itself.
Have great free content that inspires trust
The idea is to make your visitors feel that there is already a lot on your site for them to stay around and read. Check the bounce rate in your Google Analytics account to find out if your visitors like you already. If they do, the next step would be to introduce the gated content.
You should lead your visitors to the premium content through articles, teasers on the sidebars, or through any other eye catching method you can think of. Remember always to keep the your 'advertisement' above the fold unless it is the last line in an article.
Target your audience well
Laser focus your premium content for only those that you know will be interested in it and make it exclusive. If what you are offering turns up in a zillion Google search results, chances are, you will actually lose visitors. Also, explain what the content is about. You must sound convincing. Obviously, you don't need a full blown sales page for this, but a bit of care in showcasing your content should go a long way to securing a number of 'likes'.
Have a follow up plan
Assume that you have been successful in getting people to share your content all over Facebook. What then? You should be ready to exploit your newfound audience and turn them into customers. This is a separate strategy altogether, but you must put it in place without waiting to find out if the gating works. A flood of visitors curious about your site returning without your having made an impression on them because you were not ready is hardly a sound business strategy. Whichever way you choose to impress them, make certain you have that subscription box ready and spruced up with a valuable post-subscription download to collect as many emails as possible. That would be a good start.
If you run a Wordpress blog, there are a number of free and paid content locking / social sharing plug-ins available - just Google for them. If yours is a regular site, you may have to embed some code or script, but the task is fairly simple. If you are already happy with your site and its visitors, there is no reason to not try gating your content for social sharing. If you are just starting out, you'd do well to keep this aspect of drawing visitors in mind and make an effort to implement it as soon as you are ready.
Author Bio: Jason Smith has been in the internet marketing industry for more than 6 years. He is an expert on SEO & PPC tactics and in his free times likes to research on transcription service options.