As social media expert 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.
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.
1. Facebook 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 an easy ask for your target customers to also “Like” your Page and become your Fan.
How does a contest get people to “Like” your Facebook Page and become a Fan?
Many people think that without the Like-gating feature (deprecated in 2015), contests are no longer useful in generating Likes, but that’s not true. A contest still engages users, educates them on your brand, and makes them want to gain access to win more valuable prizes down the road.
The fact that a user is on your Page shows they are interested in your brand. If they are willing to go through the effort of filling out a form, they’re someone you’re going to want to build a relationship with.
A “like” popup is our solution to the recent extinction of like-gating. It involves a simple popup appearing on page when a user arrives at the contest tab of your Facebook Page. The popup politely asks users to “like” your page so that they can stay connected in the future. It’s no longer a requirement of entering the contest, but if users are genuinely interested in your brand it will be an easy decision to say yes.
The popup is just one more way to grab those who are already interested in you at the right moment. A perfect example of a “Like” popup can be seen below from Adventure Canada.
Check out an example of a “Like” Popup below from Adventure Canada:
Coupons are a great (and ever-green) promotion that are sure to increase Facebook likes. 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).
Wishpond’s Coupon App makes it easy to create a Facebook Coupon with built-in coupon codes and a “like” popup.
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.
Just like with the Facebook Contest App mentioned in the previous section, you can add a “Like” popup to your coupon, as seen in the example below.
One easy way to drive traffic to your coupon with your “like” popup is to add a call-to-action in the header of your website. Promoting your coupon on your website is a great idea as website visitors are obviously interested in purchasing from you, so a free coupon will be very enticing to them. And as they’re already showing interest in your business, they are perfect people to have Like your Page and engage with. Check out an example of this below:
3. Ebook “like” popups
Sometimes educational content is a better incentive for a like 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 inside of a tab on your Facebook page, you can also increase your Facebook Likes with a “like” popup. If they’re interested in downloading your ebook, chances are they’re interested in your business and industry posts in the future.
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 Popup that we use for our ebooks on the Wishpond Facebook Page:
4. 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.
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.
Want to learn more about Facebook Ads? Check out the Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Ads.
5. 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 Facebook Page Plugin or a Like Button. Making it a single step versus a two-step process will dramatically increase your conversion rate on this simple action.
And the Page plugin can be easily edited to fit the styles of your blog – here is how the box looks on socialmediaexaminer.com:
6. 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:
7. Video like popups
Behind-the-scenes, interviews and live event videos are a great incentive to get new Facebook Likes. Just like ebooks, coupons and contests, you can place a “like” popup straight over top of these videos to capture new Fans.
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. By engaging potential Fans with something new and exciting they’re much more likely to say yes as they’ll want to see more in the future.
The Miami Heat have created 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:
8. Fill out your about page
Your Facebook profile can often be the first thing people see about your business – it ranks highly through SEO and can often be a better source of information than your own website.
Make it easy for readers who visit your Facebook page (and increase Facebook likes) to learn about your business by filling out your about page. Include your opening hours, location and contact information, and a short blurb of information about your business.
Showing people that your Facebook profile is a reliable source of information about your business is a short and simple way to increase Facebook likes.
9. Optimize post times
Facebook’s new algorithm has made it hard enough for businesses to find success on Facebook. Find the times (based on your target market) that people are most likely to see and engage with your Facebook posts to maximize your reach and increase Facebook likes. Just make sure that all the images you use are of the highest possible quality. Use photo editing apps if you want to give your images a special touch or make them picture perfect.
Studies have found that it’s best to post on Facebook around 9 a.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m. You know the feeling – you check Facebook when you first get to work, and again when the day starts to drag on in the afternoon. That being said, weekend posts also do quite well.
It’s hard to find the exact best times for your business, but understanding your target market to optimize your Facebook post timing can be key to Facebook success.
Here’s an awesome infographic from CoSchedule:
10. Post “how-to”s
People appreciate high-value content – and a great example of that is content that helps them learn something. One way to increase Facebook likes is to post a “how-to” video, showing people how to use your products in new or creative ways.
For example, a clothing brand may post something like “how to style this jacket”, or a local grocery might highlight a tasty recipe for a new marinade. Here’s an example from Walmart, showing their followers how to make the perfect bed:
11. Use Facebook Live
Using Facebook Live to host a Q&A or preview a new product is video with a kick. It’s especially engaging because people can react and interact in real-time with your business. Answer viewer questions live “on-air”, and make sure you give your fans a heads up (on Facebook and other social platforms) so your attendance is as high as possible.
Hosting interesting and engaging Live sessions is an awesome way to show fans the personality behind your business (and increase Facebook likes), while providing them with content that they’ll want more of. To make sure they don’t miss your next Live event, they’ll like your page.
12. Post discounts and promotions
Other than coupons, you can use Facebook as a platform to share sales promotions and discounts. Post them with an image (which is generally more engaging) and a CTA to like your page for the latest promotions.
As you can see in this post from H&M, people wanting 20% off from H&M need to show that they like the H&M page on Facebook – that’s a sure way to increase Facebook likes.
13. Promote your page to your email list
Put the list you’ve been building through lead generation tactics and promotions by sending out a newsletter asking them to Like your Facebook page. Make sure they know you’ll be sharing the latest deals, content, and promotions to increase Facebook likes.
Something else you can do is append a CTA to the end of each of your email newsletters to like your Facebook page. This doesn’t come off as overly promotional (like the previous suggestion might)
14. Add a “like” button to thank you pages
Add prompts and CTAs to like your Facebook page on the thank you pages of your landing pages and popups. People that have already converted on one of your campaigns are much more likely to like your Facebook page.
This is especially true if they’ve just entered a contest, as they’ll want to follow your social media platforms to see if they’ve won.
15. Add an exit popup to your website
Add an exit popup with a prompt to like your Facebook page to the pages on your website to direct the traffic from your website to your social platforms. Though you might think this is a similar strategy to adding a like button to your header or sidebar, adding a popup prompt helps put your page front and center.
16. Get customers to review your business
Like I mentioned previously, your Facebook profile is often the first point of contact for people who are researching your business. Getting customers to review your business helps establish credibility and convince new visitors of your business’ benefits. Having a slew of good reviews shows customers you’re the real deal, and can help increase Facebook likes in the process.
17. Offer customer support on your page
Responding to comments and messages on Facebook from customers with support questions can be a great way to increase Facebook likes. Doing this shows other Facebook visitors that you’re helpful, your page is active, and that you’re using social media as a platform to genuinely connect with your customers. Customers who have received good support, or who may need it in the future, will probably like your page.
18. Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing is a huge part of social media. Connecting with influential figures within your industry to share posts on both of your Facebook profiles can help you boost your reach to access additional portions of your target market and increase Facebook likes. This also helps create social proof – if influencers support your business, you can bet their fans will be likely to as well.
19. Capitalize on trending topics
Posting creative content to capitalize on trending news can help push immediate engagement. Posting content that’s relevant to the latest news (e.g. the latest presidential election or award show) is shareable. It’s topical – people are interested in these topics, meaning they’re more likely to share and engage with it. Just make sure your posts are at least somewhat relevant to your product.
20. Share user-generated content
Show fans and followers you care about them by sharing the content they post about your products or business. This is a great way to fill out your content calendar, and this encourages other fans to post more content related to your products. More content coming from fans will help spread the name of your business to others in your target market and increase Facebook likes.
For examples of user-generated content, check out our post What is User-Generated Content? 3 Real Life Examples to Get Started.
21. Give fans a look behind the scenes
Social media is the perfect place to show your fans a deeper and less polished look into your business. Show your followers things like your office culture or the making of a new product. This type of content might not drive sales, but it’s definitely engaging – and that means more likes for your page.
For more on posting best practices, check out our article on Facebook Contest Ideas.
22. Share infographics
I love infographics because they make otherwise boring data interesting – they’re effective at condensing information in a way that’s digestible and shareable. Posting awesome infographics with information about the latest industry trends or products means more people sharing your content. That’s guaranteed to increase Facebook likes!
23. Use Facebook Insights
Taking advantage of Facebook Insights can help you connect better with your customers. Understanding the people who like your page – and the content that best resonates with them will help you shape your content strategy in the future, meaning you can optimize engagement.
24. Schedule your Facebook posts
I know first-hand how tough it can be to maintain a consistent queue of content for your Facebook page. Thankfully, tools like Buffer make it easy to schedule content days – even weeks – advance so you don’t need to worry about it. Take some time every few days to schedule posts (at optimal times) to go out to your fans, showing them that your page is consistently active and full of great content.
25. Use video
Though text posts and photos are great, trying your best to share different forms of content – like video – can help engage current and future fans. Post creative videos, like behind-the-scenes videos or “making of” video, and you’ll be sure to drive engagement and increase Facebook likes.
26. Promote your page in-store
Sometimes, we’re so preoccupied with promoting our digital platforms on other digital platforms. One of the best ways to increase Facebook likes is to promote your page URL in your store, on a poster or on receipts – any kind of signage will work! I’d recommend giving people a discount for liking your page, too, as this helps incentivize them to act.
27. Promote your posts
Due to the current Facebook algorithm, it can be tough to reach fans organically with the content you post. Use the Facebook Ads tool to promote posts to people in your target who might be interested in it. This can increase Facebook likes more than simply promoting your page itself, as your content is likely a larger “draw” that can help draw user attention.
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 all 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).
Learn more about Wishpond’s Facebook Contests Apps to see how you can use them to increase your Facebook Likes. Try one free for 14 days.