Do Social Locker Plugins Work?

Social content lockers are annoying… they don’t work… and Google is going to destroy your rankings (Warrior Forum).

Terrible advice from forums backed by zero testing and theory is the reason why so many people don’t have success with SEO. Please take all advice you see online with a grain of salt.


No words, no theory, and no presumptuous statements can beat cold hard data and facts. I do my best to give you guys strategies that are proven to work.

Not some theory I came up with, but have never tested.

So, if you just survived that rant of mine, I’m going to show you whether or not social content lockers actually work.


Crazy right?

My Social Locker Results

The results below are over the course of about a month. Check it out:

As you can see, content lockers don’t just work, but they’re amazing for generating social shares and buzz.

Now after looking at those results, you’re probably wondering how I get such high conversion rates on my content lockers?

Simple: give overwhelming value and use basic sales persuasion in your copy (more on this in a second).

How to Make Social Content Lockers Actually Work

I see a lot of blogs using content lockers, but they aren’t using them to their full potential. The biggest problem is that the lockers aren’t creating any type of intrigue or aren’t offering anything of substantial value.

There must, and I repeat, there MUST be an incentive that entices a person to share your content.

A good incentive or an intriguing piece of content are the two most effective strategies.

Create a Simple “Must-Have” Resource

As you’ll notice in my most recent brand signals post and on my free eBook page, I have some very appealing offers underneath the social lockers. These are two of my highest converting pages because the offers are relevant, created by me, and make your life a heck of a lot easier.

Always make the “must-have” resource relevant to the topic and think about what you can create that would make your reader’s life easier. It’s that simple.

Must-Have Knowledge (Fear of Loss)

Acquiring new knowledge is something that drives a lot of people, but nothing drives someone more than the fear of loss / the fear of missing out on something. I employ this strategy on my anchor text guide by locking the content half way through the guide. The reader will benefit massively by reading the first section, but the real meaty content is beneath the locker.

Your readers are willing to share your content because they fear they’re going to miss out on valuable information that can / will help them.

Pure Intrigue

My SEO case study #3 uses the basic intrigue model. Although there is value in the results I’m hiding under those lockers, the real driver is the reader’s perpetual need to feel complete or “finished” in their minds. If they go through and read the entire article, but don’t unlock the results, they will feel incomplete and even feel like they are missing out on something (because they are).

The intrigue comes in many shapes and sizes, but it will always depend on the relevancy. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, something like “Share to Unlock the Biggest Lie in the Personal Injury Industry,” would work well.

Simple Sales Persuasion

I know people get scared when they hear the word “sales”, but the truth is you’re always selling. Whether it’s to sell your product or service, sell someone to share your content, or even selling to make a girl like you. You’re constantly selling, so you might as well try to get better at it. You’ll notice that on almost all of my social lockers I use embedded commands.

If there’s anything you get out of this article, please understand this concept I’m about to show you.

It will help you get more conversions in ANYTHING you do online or even in life.

Read this sentence: “I wonder how quickly you are going to subscribe to my newsletter.”

Super harmless, right?

Break it down: “I wonder how quickly < you are going to subscribe to my newsletter >.”

“You are going to subscribe to my newsletter” is an embedded command.

To see an example of how I used this sales persuasion technique, look at the image below:

Start using simple embedded commands when you’re trying to get anyone to act and you’ll see a spike in your conversions.

Becoming a Fan vs. Sharing

There are two options you can implement with the social locker plugin I’m currently using. You can have the reader share the post or have them follow you on social.

Getting someone to follow you on social is important because they can be a long-term advocate of your business and a potential customer in the future. However, getting someone to share your content on their account allows your content to get more exposure and have more eyeballs looking at it.

I’ve tried both techniques, I prefer the social share option for a few reasons. A) it’s an easy way to get social exposure, B) social signals are important for SEO reasons, and C) it’s a smaller commitment for the reader. For some reason, it’s much more challenging to get someone to actually follow you on social compared to them just sharing your content.



Q: “Will social lockers hurt my rankings?”
A: Google can still crawl the content with the plugin I’m using (Not an affiliate link). As long as Google can crawl, it’s not going to hurt your rankings.

Q: “Don’t content lockers annoy people?”
A: People that make these types of statements are no different than people who say email opt in popups are annoying and don’t work. What’s annoying for you, isn’t necessarily annoying for everyone else. If you do everything based on what YOU think, you’ll never have any success because what we think for ourselves isn’t true for the rest of the world. Believe it or not…

Do Social Lockers Work? YES!

There are many ways to get social shares for your content, but social lockers are a great way for new websites to get more social activity. It’s challenging to get social shares when there are goose eggs on all of your share buttons. Social proof plays a big role in how we interact online and social lockers can help you get the social momentum you need.

Like I always say, go out and test it!

Do you have some questions?

Leave a comment below because I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!

– Gotch

23 thoughts on “Do Social Locker Plugins Work?”

  1. There’s not one content locker doing the rounds at the moment that does anything to avoid this very simple trick:

    Go to your blocked content and choose Twitter to share on – then cancel straight out of it without sharing.

    And there in full view is your previously blocked content!

  2. Hi Nathan,

    Firstly, a great post. Well worth the read. We have been considering using a Content Locker for some time now and you have very much convinced us nicely on the merits of using one, especially in placing the locker in the middle of content, rather than just at the beginning as often happens.

    Just for you to know though, when clicking the Tweet button, I noticed that the content unlocked even without me tweering anything and after just pressing the cancel button. As such the content did not unlock after the tweets, instead just unlocking after I pressed cancel. Hope that helps a little in terms of fixing the issue.

    Kind Regards,


  3. Hi, this was an interesting post. I came across this post in search of truth about social lockers. I got my answers but moreover the writing style was interesting and I enjoyed it. This line was gooooooood ….
    I know people get scared when they hear the word “sales”, but the truth is you’re always selling

  4. Hi Nathan, thank you for this article !

    I’m new in this domain so I have a question about social signs: I saw I will need to like, tweet, g+ but my question is what article I will like ? This article will be on facebook and will gain likes or where will count this likes, tweets, g+ ?
    For example : I have an article and I will want to make likes, g+ and tweets what link I will need to put in content to gain these social signs ? Because I went to your facebook page where you shared the content but you have 0 likes and in the social looker I see you have 19 likes or something like this 🙂 So where these likes will go ?

    I hope you will can help me to understand this, Thank you !

  5. Hi Nathan, great stuff (I mean, stuff backed up by factual data ;-))

    I’ve got a question though: why don’t you prefer using this to grow your list ?

    I mean, I’d prefer to have somebody joining my list than sharing my content on the social networks.


    • Hi Aurelien,

      Thanks for the comment and the good question! I’ve actually never tested using an optin instead of the social share to unlock the content. It’s a good idea, but the only issue I foresee is the level of commitment that each activity requires. People are much more willing to share content on social compared to giving out their email address. Also, if someone does share my content, there’s a very good chance they’ll end up subscribing to email list anyway.

      – Gotch

      • Thanks for answering Nathan.
        I’say it’s worth testing to put optin forms on your blog 😉
        (I’m pretty sure it converts well if the bribe is relevant to the article)
        BTW I wanted to tell you that I’ve been reading your blog for a year and it helped me grow one of my blogs from 300 visits a day to 1000 visits a day which is pretty cool !
        Your guides are really really good stuff (both simple and practical)
        Last thing, I really link the new design but I find the font’s color is a bit too pale. Might hurt readability. Don’t know if you ever thought about that.

  6. hello Gotch

    hope you r doing fine

    i am following your every article one-by-one and found all information very interesting. i am new to internet marketing , just recently started this business . i have one question about ranking , how long it takes to come to first page of google. is it possible to give ranking to websites without PBN network. i have few software’s as well. i have FCS networker and GSA for Tier 2 and 3.

    i took one client from Australia and i really worked hard on his site now few of my keywords on 2 page just less than 2 months. it is happened because i followed your techniques.

    i have done the following things on my client website
    i have done on-page which includes titles, description , keywords research , social profiles, internal linking, external link to authority sites
    off page :- i took my top 3 competitor and checked their backlinks history and prepared same backlinks . manually built 10-web2.o, built around 60 business citations. i also used 7 PBNs as well .

    Now my question what else i can do on my website . do i need to get social profiles like and shares , do you recommended any company who can give paid social shares.

    • Hi Amandeep,

      Thank you for the comment. You don’t need a PBN to rank a website. For social shares, you should try and to continue driving results for your client, just build more authority links (PBN, guest posts, etc).

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