10 Easy Ways to Increase Facebook Likes
Among the social networks where you could build a presence for your business today, Facebook is king. With over a billion active users, Facebook can help you reach any audience you might want to target, anywhere in the world.
While the social network has some of the most sophisticated ad targeting tools in existence, today’s post will be focused not on creating Facebook ads, but on free, quick, and easy ways to grow your page’s likes.
1. Use Engagement to Your Advantage
Engagement basically amounts to the level of interaction your posts inspire amongst the people that see them, and it is the yardstick for success on Facebook. The social network carefully tracks every view, click, like, comment, and share your updates receive, and rewards engaging updates by helping you reach more people organically – that is, without having to pay for it.
Engagement on Facebook works like this:
- Every update is shown to a small, random slice of your fans – about 3% of them on average.
- Unengaging posts – that is, the vast majority of updates – are shown to just those initial people and no one else.
- Engaging posts – a very, very small minority of the posts by pages on Facebook – receive likes, comments, and shares, and these actions all tell Facebook that this update is something people want to see. Facebook will then show your update to more and more fans, as long as it continues to engage them.
At its most basic level, Facebook just wants to make its users happy by showing them the updates and content that they are most likely to enjoy.
By the way, one surefire way to really screw up your engagement is to buy fake Facebook likes. Buying likes makes one number look more impressive – your total number of likes – at the expense of every other number on your page (the individual likes, comments, and shares on each post). Buying fake fans is one of the worst mistakes you can make for your engagement, so just don’t do it!
2. Put Your Best Foot Forward
If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you know that Facebook is always changing things.
Most recently, Facebook has been migrating pages to a clean, three column format where the profile picture no longer overlaps the cover photo.
The new page format hasn’t rolled out for everybody yet, but one of my favorite features of the new design is that the cover photo is no longer partially covered – giving you more room to work with. Starbucks has opted to use the new space to showcase their iced drink lineup. In the old design, the leftmost drinks would be partially obscured by the profile photo.
You can put your best foot forward on your page by making sure its design is high-quality and attractive. Use a clear profile image – a square format logo is a popular choice – that looks great even at small sizes. And take advantage of the cover photo to attract likes and interest; you can use it to spotlight sales, introduce customer success stories, or grow interest in new products.
3. Stay Concise, But Remember to Customize
Facebook gives you a ton of room to tell your story; the maximum length of a status update is 63,206 characters, or about 10,000 words. Still, don’t let the temptation get to you: the ideal length for a status is a mere 40 characters.
How can you possibly get across anything meaningful in 40 characters? Don’t worry, this isn’t quite Twitter we’re dealing with. According to Chelsea Hunersen of HubSpot in the article referenced above, the meta title and description pulled in when you paste the link to your article might actually be more important than whatever you write in the actual update. She says, “Often, people look at the image of the article and then directly down at the meta title and meta description for context clues.”
So while you will want to be concise in your introduction to the link you are sharing, don’t forget to customize your link’s title and description. You can even swap in an entirely new photo if you don’t like the one being pulled in automatically.
To edit the title or description, simply click them before you publish your post and you can type in something new. To swap out the image, upload a new one with the + button near the bottom and deselect the original image.
4. Post Consistently
I know, check any list like this one, for any social network, and it’s sure to extoll the values of sharing consistently. But I’ll emphasize it here, too, because it is true. Regularly publishing on your Facebook page keeps you at the forefront of your users’ minds, and if they tend to engage with your posts and learn to recognize them, they may be more likely to engage again in the future.
But it is all too easy for other tasks to get in the way of consistently sharing on Facebook. Posting on your Facebook page isn’t quite as easy as dashing off a tweet – you need to come up with a short but witty comment, sure, but then you have to make sure your image(s) look compelling and your title and description are optimized. All of this comes together to make posting on Facebook a procrastination target.
Evade this behavior by getting the bulk of your updates out there in bulk. (See what I did there?) Create a content calendar each month, or even a regular sharing rotation, where your best content comes back in different ways every so often. Then, schedule ahead these updates using the Facebook scheduling tool.
You can schedule up to six months ahead, but I prefer to stick to one or two.
5. Post a Variety of Updates
Facebook allows you to post more than just links. You can post regular text updates, links, images, image galleries, videos… and each type of update posts a little bit differently.
Experiment with a variety of types of updates to see which your audience responds best to. Don’t just post links to your website 100% of the time – branch out with another type of visual update from time to time.
In particular, make sure you test out videos, whether you are sharing others’ videos or posting your own. These auto-play on the Facebook feed and are particularly eye-catching to users.
6. Post with Sharing in Mind
Of all the ways a user might engage with your updates – liking, commenting, or sharing – shares are the most likely to get your content in front of new users who might go on to like your page.
Maybe they’ll share your post with their friends. Maybe they’ll share your post with a group they engage in, getting it in front of a few hundred new sets of eyes. Maybe they’ll share it to a page they manage and push it out in front of several thousand people.
That’s why it’s so important to create content for Facebook with a sharing mindset. Images and videos work great for this. They are self-contained, bite-size pieces of content that can be consumed right there on Facebook. Another reason why it’s such a good idea to post a variety of types of updates, not just links!
7. Comment on Trends
Facebook has moved in recent years from a viral content model fueled by shares and engagement – where sites like Upworthy and Viral Nova reigned supreme – to a more Facebook-controlled, on-site version of spotlighting trends. You can always see what is trending by looking at the sidebar.
Sometimes you’ll notice with a start that your hometown is keeping it classy in the national news…
But generally it will consist of the usual suspects; lately, Pokemon Go and Donald Trump.
If you have a way to tastefully comment on something that is trending, do it! Users are already browsing these trends and many have something to say about it, so a trending story is a great way to capture some engagement. Note the emphasis on tastefully, however; there are so many examples of brands that tried to use newsjacking in their marketing and just ended up offending people.
8. Tag Other Pages in Your Posts
You can tag your friends in your updates to your personal profile, but did you know that you can tag other pages when you post on your Facebook page?
This lesser-known Facebook feature is a great way to connect with other pages’ audiences. Definitely use this whenever you work with another brand on something, like a shared promotional effort. The other page will receive a notification, and will probably like your post. They may even share it to their page!
You can use this alongside trends, too. For example, if you are posting something that connects your industry with Pokemon Go, you can tag its Facebook page in your update. While the chances of Pokemon Go sharing your update on their official page are slim to none, you still can catch attention with the tag.
This even works with smaller pages. If you share a piece from a smaller to mid-sized blog, tag their Facebook page in your post about it to alert them to the fact that you shared it. They might share your posting to their own page, introducing your page to their audience and expanding your reach.
9. Emphasize Likes on Your Website
Doesn’t it just make sense that you want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to like and share your posts with their friends? With a few quick tweaks to your website, you can bring down those barriers and make it so easy, it’s almost automatic.
It’s obvious, but make sure you’ve got an easy way to share to Facebook right on your site. Users might not always want to go through the effort of copying a URL, going to Facebook, and pasting it in their status update. There are many options out there for adding social sharing functionality to your website.
One of my favorite ways to push Facebook on my blog is to use Facebook comments. There are a number of ways to add this feature, but I use the official Facebook plugin on my WordPress site. There is an option for users to share their comment to Facebook when they post. Facebook will also alert them if somebody engages with or responds to their comment on your site.
Finally, I’ve said it before, but don’t forget to set open graph tags so that images (as well as meta titles and meta descriptions) pull automatically from your website to Facebook. If you are running WordPress, you can do this with the Yoast SEO plugin.
10. Improve your posts with Facebook Insights
Whatever you do on Facebook, make sure you take the time now and then to study your Facebook Insights and learn from them about what types of posts resonate best with your audience.
Experiment with the timing, content, and appearance of your updates then track the ones that give you a bump in likes or engagement – or a downward spike. Replicate the successes, and learn from the failures to improve your Facebook marketing.
There you have it – ten quick and easy tips for growing your following on Facebook!
Here’s a quick checklist of the tips above:
- Use engagement to your advantage.
- Put your best foot forward.
- Stay concise, but remember to customize.
- Post consistently.
- Post a variety of update types.
- Post with sharing in mind.
- Comment on trends.
- Tag other pages.
- Emphasize likes on your website.
- Improve your posts with Facebook Insights.
Have another quick and easy tip for growing your Facebook likes? I’d love to hear it! Share your wisdom in the comments below.