Fan-gating is a great way to gather more "likes."

To quickly drive new Facebook Likes, many businesses build custom applications and use fan-gating as way to limit the visibility of an application’s content until a user becomes a fan. Fan-gating is a great tool for increasing Page Likes, but its effectiveness is only as good as the incentive promised.

Service-based companies frequently feel at a disadvantage to product-based companies when it comes to what they can offer as an incentive to users. This is a common misperception. Although promotion codes and online printable coupons are not always as effective for service businesses as they are for retail companies, there are other incentives service businesses can provide that are often even more enticing to users.

Businesses, especially those in niche markets, have the opportunity to use their industry knowledge to create extremely valuable content that they can pass along to their fans. This branded content is a powerful instrument and should be used to engage and entice new users to Like your Page.

Keeping branded content in mind, here are the top 5 incentives service-based businesses should use for fan-gating their application:

1. Industry Tips & Success Advice

There is no better way to flex your expert muscle than to spread your industry knowledge with fans. For example, using a fan-gate to disclose weekly industry advice and tips are two surefire ways to catch the attention of users that already have an interest in your industry.

2. Infographics

Everyone loves a good infographic. And with good reason. They’re informative and most important, very visual. To use an infographic as a fan-gate incentive, the best approach is to write a brief description of what the infographic is about and what users will learn from it. Another approach is simply add a blur effect over the infographic. Once a user becomes a fan, the infographic becomes visible.

3. Exclusive media

Creating exclusive media content for your Facebook Page, whether in the form of videos or podcasts, is a great fan-gate incentive. First, develop topics for your media content and share teaser clips with users — both fans and non-fans. Second, create a fan-gate for your application making the fully produced media content exclusive to fans of your Facebook page only.

4. eBook

Promoting an exclusive eBook via a fan-gated application is not only a great way to earn more Page Likes, but also a way to position your company as an expert in your field. The key is to smartly communicate on your fan-gate that your eBook is a valuable resource worth Liking your Page for. Give users a really good reason to Like your Page and more times than not, they will.