As Jeff Bullas says, “Growing your Facebook Likes is social media’s version of building the traditional email subscribers list.”
A “Like” on your Facebook Page is not just a vanity metric. It signifies a real person showing interest in your business. That person has opened a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week communication channel with you. So yes, this is a very powerful thing in online marketing.
Facebook allows you to keep your customers warm in a friendly, non-invasive way. There are only so many times a person will shop at your store in a month or year, depending on your industry. Even promotional emails with 10% off coupons can become tired and end up in people’s spam folder over time. So, to keep a person engaged between purchases, Facebook posts are key.
This article will give you the 7 best practices to generate Facebook Likes, both on the platform and off it.
Don’t fret if you’re just starting. These methods apply to both advanced users and newcomers.
Here are the 7 Top Ways to Increase your Facebook Likes:
Method #1 to Increase Facebook Likes: Contests
Facebook contests are the easiest way to get people excited and draw new users in as Fans. The lure of a big prize (one that’s relevant to your specific target market) makes it a no-brainer for your target customers to “Like” your Page and become your Fan.
How does a contest get people to “Like” your Facebook Page and become a Fan?
Most 3rd party contest apps, like Wishpond, come equipped with a handy feature called a “Like-Gate”. This feature makes the entry page within a contest app hidden to users unless they have “Liked” your Facebook Page.
A Like-gate is a simple image with text telling users who don’t like your Facebook Page that they need to do so before they can access your awesome contest. Once a non-Fan Likes your Facebook Page, the app will automatically reload to show the default entry or voting page on which the user can enter the contest. Most 3rd party Facebook contest apps, including all of Wishpond’s, have Like-gating as a built-in feature, so you can easily enable it for any contest.
Check out an example of a Like-gate below:
I suck at PhotoShop! How can I get a professional Like-gate image for my Contest?
Most 3rd party Facebook apps, including all of Wishpond’s, have default Like-gate images that look great and are tailored to the type of contest you’re running.
Like-gated contests are great for creating high-converting Facebook Ads. As I’ll explain in Method #4, you need to provide an incentive to get clicks on your Facebook Ads.
Method #2 to Increase Facebook Likes: Like-Gated Coupons
Coupons are a great (and ever-green) promotion. Something small like a 10% off coupon gives people an incentive to buy while keeping your margins (relatively) intact. The optimal way to use coupons though is to have them require an action to access them (that does not require much work).
A good Coupon App makes it easy for you to create your own coupon directly on Facebook. Having a coupon on Facebook makes it super easy to share, as many 3rd parties (yup, like Wishpond), enable you to select the option to autopost to participant’s Walls. That is, when someone participates to get your coupon code, a post is shown on their Facebook Wall, inviting their Friends to take part in your coupon offering too.
Wishpond’s Group Offers tool allows you to only make your coupon redeemable after a certain number of people have claimed it. This pushes people to share with their friends to unlock the coupon, driving even more Facebook Likes for your Page. Check out an example Group Offer below:
One easy way to drive traffic to your Like-gated coupon is to add a call-to-action in the header of your website. This makes it easy to capture people as fans, as they are already in the mindset of buying from you. Check out an example of this below:
Like-gated coupons are also a solid promotion to advertise with Facebook Ads, as I dive into in Method #4 for generating Facebook Likes.
Method #3 to Increase Facebook Likes: Like-Gated Ebooks
Sometimes educational content is a better incentive than a discount offer or prize, depending on your industry or target market. For B2B companies especially, providing free written content such as ebooks and whitepapers can drive tons of new Fans and customers.
Many ebooks will have a download landing page housed on a website that includes a form you must fill out to access the ebook. By housing the ebook download form inside of a tab on your Facebook page, you can Like-gate it to increase your Facebook Likes.
Hosting your ebook directly on your Page helps to improve the conversion rate of your Facebook Ads. Studies have shown that Facebook Ads that link to Pages within Facebook result in a higher conversion rate than those that link to pages outside of Facebook. This is because visitors to your Page see a Facebook Like as less invasive than their personal information or email address.
Check out an example below of a typical Facebook Like-gate that we use for our ebooks on the Wishpond Facebook Page:
You can create a Like-gated ebook using the online form builder Wufoo. They have an out-of-the-box app that allows you to easily add a form inside of a tab on your Facebook Page. Check out how to create one here
Method #4 to Increase Facebook Likes: Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are the easiest way to increase your valuable Facebook Likes. Why? Because you’re guaranteed visibility of your brand to a highly targeted audience.
A Facebook Ad allows you to target really specifically, ensuring that only your target demographics see it.
One key thing to remember though is that Facebook Ads are not the same as Google Ads. This is because your Google Ad appears when a person is actively searching for your keywords. They are more likely to want to know about your specific offering at that specific time - eliciting a click on what is most relevant for their search (the ad).
This isn’t the case for Facebook Ads though.
A Facebook Ad appears while a person is just browsing around on their News Feed, so they most likely won’t have the intent to purchase your products at that time. This means you need to provide an incentive to drive clicks on your Facebook Ads. You can provide a good incentive by using the three methods discussed above: contests, coupons and ebooks.
Use Facebook’s objective-based “Get More Page Likes” right-column ad for this. These ads allow you to target only people who do not already Like your page, can link to a Page Tab and include a Like Button on the ad itself. In the Facebook Ad below we use a formula for the description that is optimized purely for getting more Facebook Likes.
The basic formula is ‘“Like” us to _________’. This formula can be used to drive Likes based on any kind of incentive. Here are a few you can try:
“Like” us to get an Exclusive 15% Off coupon
“Like” us to get the Free Guide to Facebook Engagement
“Like” us to win a $100 spa treatment
These ads are great because they can link directly to a Facebook Page Tab. So even if a person clicks through instead of clicking the “Like” button, you can still capture them as a new fan with a Like-gated ebook, coupon or contest.
I’ve found the most success using images of people. Studies have shown that an image of a person (particularly a smiling woman) is more eye-catching and converts better than anything else. It’s more subtle than a big red arrow, and gets a higher click-through rate.
Method #5 to Increase Facebook Likes: Add a “Like” button or box to your blog
A great strategy for capturing visitors on your blog in a fairly non-invasive way is to get them to Like your Facebook Page. Many people are averse to signing up for emails due to spam, so a Like can be an easy alternative.
To help with conversions, make Liking easy for them. Don’t make visitors go to your Facebook Page first to Like you by only providing a link to your Page. Allow them to Like your Page right there from your blog using one of Facebook’s social plugins, such as the Like Box or Like Button. Making it a single step versus a two-step process will dramatically increase your conversion rate on this simple action.
We have used the Like Box plugin on our blog. As you can see below, it fits very nicely into a blog sidebar and gives some social proof by showing pictures of your friends who already Like your Facebook Page:
And the Like Box plugin can be easily edited to fit the styles of your blog - here is how the same box looks on socialmediaexaminer.com:
Download the Like Box plugin for yourself! Facebook makes it super-easy by giving you a simple piece of code to copy and paste into the HTML of your blog.
Method #6 to Increase Facebook Likes: Add a “Like” button to your Website’s Header
Having a Like Button in the top-right or left corner of your website is an easy way to drive new Likes over time. For a number of our clients, this has been a constant driver of new Likes every day. It won’t get you a ton of Likes all at once, but having it there doesn’t hurt anything, and over time those Facebook Likes add up.
I recommend adding a Like Button to your header in an easy-to-see position with a simple call-to-action, such as “Like us to hear about Facebook-exclusive contests and deals.” This allows you to keep it up in perpetuity and not have to worry about updating it every week or two. It will also keep from conflicting with any contests or coupons you promote on your website.
Check out an example below:
Method #7 to Increase Facebook Likes: Exclusive Like-Gated Videos
Exclusive behind-the-scenes, interviews and live event videos are a great incentive to get new Facebook Likes. Just like ebooks, coupons and contests, they can be Like-gated and displayed in a Tab on your Facebook Page.
But these can’t just be any videos. These need to be first-time, behind-the-scenes exclusives that you can’t find anywhere else. Here are a few examples that make for great exclusives:
Videos from backstage at events
Exclusive video webinars with high-profile influencers
Exclusive how-to guides for your product or service
Why does the content need to be so special?
People can watch videos anywhere, so these need to be particularly interesting in order to earn the Facebook Like you’re asking for. Even though it is a very small action, it is still a barrier for some people.
The Miami Heat have create an entire Fan Zone in the Tab on their Facebook Page. It includes videos, photos and more of interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at Heat players. Check it out below:
There are tons of stories of brands getting thousands of new Facebook Likes overnight. This isn’t the norm. For the majority of businesses without a huge advertising budget or traditional distribution, increasing your Facebook Likes takes time.
By using each of the hooks above, you can make sure to have a call-to-action for every traffic touchpoint (from your Facebook Page to your website and blog) and every type of incentive (from exclusive content to free prizes).
Bonus! A cool infographic about how to get more likes.
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