There are now an estimated 40 million small businesses using Facebook to promote their brand and connect with their customers. If you’re managing marketing for one of these businesses, you already know how hard it is to attract new “likes” to your page.
But while it can be a challenge to increase your page likes, making the effort is undoubtedly worthwhile: one researcher has estimated the average value of a single Facebook fan at $174. While this number obviously varies depending on the business and industry, there’s no doubt that capturing the attention and loyalty of your target audience on Facebook is important.
Most marketers know how to increase Facebook page likes through Facebook’s paid ad platform, but there are plenty of ways to grow your likes without spending any money. This article will walk you through 30 effective and free ways to increase your Facebook page likes. Some of these strategies will focus on increasing your organic post reach – because the more your posts get liked and shared, the more your reach and visibility increase. And ultimately, this is what will lead to the organic growth of your page.
1. Use images as a regular part of your content strategy. Despite what you may have heard, captivating and relevant images can still be a great way to increase engagement and reach on your page and posts.
2. The most common reason people unlike a brand page is because their posts are uninteresting. Keep more of the fans you already have by posting engaging content that meets the needs of your audience. See “How to Write More Exciting Content for Your Industry.”
3. Use Facebook’s Page Plugin (formerly Like Box) on your website or blog. A like button next to your blog posts is great for getting your content shared, but the Page Plugin will help you boost your page likes.
4. Engage with other pages in your niche. Regularly leave thoughtful comments in response to other people’s posts. Make sure you’re commenting as your page rather than from your personal profile.
5. Promote your page on your other social media accounts. A simple ‘Like us on Facebook’ is unlikely to work. However, occasionally pointing your Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections to discussions happening on your page just might.
6. Contests are still a great way to entice people to like your page. Promote your contest on your site and to your email list, and make liking your page a contest requirement.
7. Reference your Facebook page on your blog. Draw attention to an interesting discussion happening on your Facebook page by mentioning it in a blog post.
8. Post multiple images. Some research suggests posting albums (as opposed to single images) may lead to increased reach.
9. Keep your promotional content to a minimum. Some experts suggest 80/20 – Posting non-promotional content 80% of the time and promotional content 20% of the time. This number will vary depending on your business, so see what works best with your audience.
10. In the About section of your personal profile, link to your Facebook page as your place of employment.
11. Keep your posts short and sweet. Some research seems to suggest that shorter posts (those between 100-119 characters) may result in the highest engagement. Other research suggests keeping your character count to 40 characters or less for optimal engagement.
12. Offer an exclusive discount just for your Facebook fans. This is a great incentive to like your page; in fact, 42% of people say they like a brand page for the coupons and discounts.
13. Don’t be afraid to get personal from time to time. People want to know there’s a real person behind your company, and will be more likely to engage with a person than with a faceless brand.
14. Regularly visit your Facebook Insights to find out which content is working with your audience. Find the posts that have received the most engagement and highest reach, and share these types of content more often.
15. Target Facebook ads to users by interest. One of the most effective ways to use Facebook ads is to target users who already like pages in your niche. Using Facebook’s Graph Search, find out which pages your existing fans like by typing in, “Pages liked by people who like my page”. Target your ads to users who have liked these pages, as they’re likely to be interested in your page as well.
16. Optimize your Facebook page’s SEO (search engine optimization): Use relevant keywords in your title and About section; Make sure your profile is complete and contains a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number); Link to your page from your website and other web properties.
17. Create a topical Facebook group. Facebook groups can be a great way to reach prospects who are wary of liking a brand’s page. Create an industry-related group that your target market may be looking for, and then use it to build relationships and trust. While a group may not give you the “one to all” voice a page does, the level of engagement you can achieve in a group can be much higher than on a page.
18. Tag other pages in your posts. When you tag other pages, your posts appear on their wall and may spark the interest of those pages’ owners and fans.
19. Create and share your own infographics. Infographics are one of the most shared types of images. Create your own using a tool like Infogr.am.
20. Offer true value. If you’re posting content that fills a gap or meets a need for your fans, your posts will get liked and shared; and this increased engagement will naturally lead to increased likes for your page. Pay attention to conversations happening in your industry, and offer unique insights and commentary that add something to the discussion.
22. On Facebook, videos now outperform photos in terms of reach. Now is the time to start incorporating video into your social content strategy.
23. Include a ‘Like us on Facebook’ link on the ‘thank you’ page of your site. Customers are more apt to like you when they’ve just made a purchase they’re excited about.
24. Arrange a partnership with a complimentary page in your niche. Agree to cross-promote posts to help build up each other’s audiences.
25. Join industry Facebook groups and offer thoughtful advice and insights. If people like what you have to say, there’s a good chance they’ll hover over your name to find out more about you. This is one reason why having your business name and Facebook page URL in your About section are so important!
26. Suggest your page to your email contacts. Send a brief email inviting your contacts to connect with your business on Facebook.
27. While hashtags may not work as well on Facebook as they do on Twitter, they can still be a good way to attract new fans. One of the best strategies is to use popular hashtags when posting about breaking news or other trending topics.
28. It seems like nearly everyone is taking advantage of popup boxes on their websites these days. Join the club, and set yours up so that it cycles between asking visitors to join your email list and like your Facebook page.
29. Add a link to your Facebook page in your email signature. It never hurts to let your connections know about another way they can connect with you.
30. Post regularly: Posting sporadically sends the message that you’re not serious about your page. If you want people to invest in your page, you need to establish a regular pattern of posting useful and relevant content.
Originally posted on www.forbes.com