As Jeff Bullas says, “Growing your Facebook “likes” are 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. They’ve opened a 24/7 communication channel with you. I, for one, think this is very powerful.
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, respectively. Even promotional emails with 10% off coupons can become tired and end up people’s spam folder over time. So to keep a person warm between purchases, Facebook posts are key.
Even with Facebook’s Edgerank giving each Page Post reach to just 16% of it’s Fans, a Fan is worth a lot to your business. It gives you the ability to actively promote your business to a potential customer at any time. If you need a quick refresher, or introduction, check out the 4 Factors Facebook’s EdgeRank Uses to Determine Your Posts’ Reach
Increasing your Facebook Likes can be done using a variety of methods, both on Facebook or off it. So don’t fret if you’re just starting. These methods apply to both advanced users and noobs.
As you’ll soon see, your secret weapons for increasing your Facebook Likes will be like-gates and Facebook’s Like Button plugin. Let’s dive into the Top 7 (IMHO) Ways to Increase your Facebook Likes.
Method #1 to Increase Facebook Likes: Contests
Contests are the easiest way to get people excited and draw new users in as Facebook Fans. The lure of a big prize, that is relevant to your specific target market, make 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 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 usually a simple image with a text telling users who don’t like your Facebook Page that they need to like it to access the current 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 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.
Is it against Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines to like-gate a contest on a Facebook Page?
No! As the act of liking the Facebook Page does not enter a user into a contest, it is within Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines. On the flip side, if you run a contest that uses Facebook’s functionality as an entry or voting mechanism, then you are in violation of Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines.
Like-gated contests are great for creating high-converting Facebook Ads. As I’ll explain in Method #4 to Increase Facebook Like: Facebook Ads 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 evergreen 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).
Pagemodo’s Custom Tabs make it easy to create a like-gate coupon with built-in coupon codes. Wishpond’s Group Offers app allow 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 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 perfect for creating high-converting Facebook Ads. As I’ll discuss in detail in Method #4 to Increase Facebook Like: Facebook Ads you need to provide an incentive to get clicks on your Facebook Ads.
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. B2B companies especially are driving tons of new fans and customers by providing helpful content completely free to the public.
A normal ebook will have a download 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 Page, you can like-gate it to increase your Facebook Likes.
This also 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.
Check out an example below of a typical 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 on your Page here.
Method #4 to Increase Facebook Likes: Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are the easiest way to increase your Facebook Likes (IMHO). Why? Because you’re guaranteed visibility of your brand to a highly targeted audience.
One key thing to remember though is that Facebook Ads are not the same as Google Adwords. Adwords only require you to state what your offering in clear terms to be effective. This is because the ad appears when a person searches for that specific offering, so they will click on what is most relevant at the time.
This isn’t the case for Facebook Ads though.
A Facebook Ad though appears while a person is just browsing around, so they most likely won’t have intent to purchase your products at that time. So 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 ad below we use a formula for the description that is optimized purely for getting more 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 users like to click on them. It makes them happy and draws them in. It’s more subtle than say a big red arrow, but it gets a higher click-through rate.
Method #5 to Increase Facebook Likes: Add a “Like” button or box to your blog
A great way to capture visitors to 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 and phishing threats, so a like can be an easy alternative.
But make it 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 over time it will.
Add a Like Button to the header is 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 or live event videos are a great incentive to get new likes. Just like ebooks, coupons and contests, they can be like-gated and display in a Tab on your Facebook Page. A number of 3rd-party applications such as Pagemodo make this super easy to do.
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 movie or gaming trailers or
- Deleted footage/scenes
Why does the content need to be so special?
People can watch videos anywhere, so these need to be special to get people to like your Facebook Page in order to view them. 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 likes overnight. But 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).