Facebook Like-Building Mistakes I See Businesses Make All The Time


Everyone makes mistakes. People who are successful are just the ones who learn from them.

Marketing your business on Facebook is no exception. And especially as it still quite new, and changing all of the time, it’s not always easy to know the “right way” to do certain activities.

In this article I’m going to dissect the top five mistakes I see businesses make when trying to increase their Facebook Likes – and how to fix them:

  • Asking people to Like your Page for no reason
  • Asking current Likes to invite their friends without giving them an incentive
  • Buying Facebook Likes
  • Paying too much per Like using Facebook Ads

Let’s jump in.

#1. Asking People to Like Your Page For No Reason

I’m sure you’ve seen the call-to-action on websites, flyers and even receipts: “Like us on Facebook!”

If you’re like me, your reaction is, “Why should I?”.

Just because you have a Facebook Page, doesn’t mean people will automatically Like you, or even visit it. It’s the same as if you create a website or open a brick-and-mortar store. People are only going to visit it if you’re offering them something they’re interested in.

How to Fix this Mistake

So yes, you need to offer people something in return for them Liking your Facebook Page. After all, they are giving you the ability to post content in their News Feed anytime you want, which is a very personal place. But what should you offer them? Here are the two things that I have found work best:

A Chance to Win: A contest is a very exciting and easy way to get people to Like your Page. Even a small prize offering like a $25 gift card will propel people to Like you to enter to win.

Coupons: Coupons are the most popular way to get new Likes. Just like with Facebook contests, you can run coupons in a Tab on your Facebook Page and like-gate it so that users have to Like you to access it. You can do this with just a few clicks using Wishpond’s Facebook Coupon App.

#2 Asking current Likes to invite their friends without giving them an incentive

What’s worse that asking people to Like your Page? Asking them to invite their friends to Like your Page. This is a huge ask. One that requires a big reward for a person to even contemplate.

How to Fix this Mistake

Give your Likes an incentive to invite their friends. Referral programs are a massive source of sales and customers for many businesses. So why not use it for generating Facebook Likes?

Wishpond’s Referral Promotion App for Facebook is exactly what this is made for. Basically what it allows you to do is offer users a reward, such as a coupon or gift card, in exchange for referring a certain number of people to Like your Facebook Page and sign up for your promotion. You can even track which of your Likes are referring the most friends to see who is the most influential.

#3 Buying Facebook Likes

I know this can be tantalizing – especially if you’ve spent weeks or months trying to get new Likes organically.

But please believe me when I say, DON’T DO IT.

Yes, it will give you a nice vanity metric, and you can brag to all of your friends about how many Likes you have. But if you want to derive any real business value from your Facebook marketing, you’d have as much luck driving purchases from bought Likes as you would trying to pitch an idea to your cat.

Let me break down the two major defects of bought likes:

Many are not even real people: Want to know how it’s possible to get a collection of a few thousand accounts to do something in just a few hours? Because most of them are bots that are run by one person using a software program!

None of them care about you: Even if the Likes you buy are the accounts of real people on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that they will be interested in your business. Actually quite on the contrary – they won’t be.

Let me break down a simple equation to explain: First, come up with the percentage of people in the whole world who are interested in your products/services AND speak your language. Once you have that one, multiply it by the number of your bought Likes that Liked your Page because they chose to/are interested in your content. (FYI that second number is zero).

OK, well, even if I haven’t sold you on not buying Facebook Likes, there’s another reason it’s bad: It will hurt all of your Facebook marketing. Here’s why:

Low Engagement = Low Edgerank: EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm that determines which posts go into users’ News Feeds. It’s difficult enough to get your posts into the News Feeds of your Facebook Fans as it is, but when your Facebook Page has low engagement, especially with a large group of Likes, your EdgeRank will drop and no one will see your posts – including your real Likes.

It causes you to alienate your real Likes:  Alternatively, if the unthinkable happens and your bought Likes do engage with your Page, it can create a red herring. It can cause you to post content that you’re bought Likes are interested in but, but not your real Likes. This will cause you to lose the people who are actually interested in your business, and all of your effort will be for nothing.

For example, after a lot of testing you may find that you’re getting the most engagement with posts that include funny cat photos. Unfortunately, if you sell exercise equipment, you won’t actually be posting content that is relevant to your Likes who are interested in exercise and will potentially buy from you.

Learn more about the dangers of buying Facebook Likesin my recent article “ Should I Buy Facebook Likes?”.

How to Fix this Mistake

If you’re interested in spending your money on growing your Facebook Likes, the best way to do it is with Facebook Ads. They’re cheap, if you use the science to optimize them correctly, and actually attract real people who are interested in your business.

Facebook makes it easy to see how much you’re paying for your Likes and to optimize your bids for them. When you create your Ad on Facebook.com, you can set your goal to Page Likes:


And at the end of the Ad creator, you’ll be able to set your Bidding/Payment option to “Bid for Page Likes”. This means that Facebook will automatically optimize your Ads to get more Page Likes:


In the Ad Campaign Dashboard, after you setup your Ad, you can easily see and track the Cost-Per-Like metric. Here’s how it looks for a recent Ad campaign I ran for our Facebook Page:


#4 Spending Too Much Per Like Using Facebook Ads

Now that I’ve convinced you (hopefully!) that Facebook Ads are a great way to increase your Facebook Likes, in section #3, I’ll jump into the main mistake marketers make when doing this: Paying too much per Like.

If you’re paying over $1.00 per Like (which is still pretty high), you’re paying too much. Even if your target audience is small, there is much you can do to bring down your cost-per-like.

How to Fix This Mistake

The only way to drop your cost-per-Like is to find a better-converting, lower-cost target audience. And the way to do this is test, test, test. Specifically, A/B test.

A/B testing requires you to create multiple versions of your Ad to test against each other. In each variation you make only one variable of the Ad different. So if you’re A/B testing your Headline, use a different one in each variation, but leave the image and description of the Ad the same for both variations. This way, you will know for sure that it is the Headline that is causing the difference in the Ad’s conversion rate and nothing else.

Learn more about how to A/B test your Facebook Ads.

For some of our fully-managed clients, we’ve achieved $.20 per Like in Canada and the U.S. If you’d like to learn more about how we can do this for you, sign up for a free VIP demo with one of our experts.

Written By Nick Steeves

For more on increasing your Facebook Likes, check out these free resources:



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