How many Facebook Likes does your business Page have?
With more than two billion users, Facebook offers a huge potential audience for your business. But with more than 60 million active Facebook business Pages on the network, there’s also a lot of competition for those all-important Likes.
There’s no getting around it: getting more Likes is a critical part of your Facebook marketing strategy. But you can’t get so focused on Likes that you lose sight of what Facebook is all about.
Getting more Likes requires you to share content that is truly likeable—and engage in ways that make your brand likable, too. You won’t find any underhanded gimmicks in this post. It’s about getting more likes by being a good Facebook citizen and working to create content that has real value for an audience that will provide plenty of value for your brand in return.
1. Develop a smart Facebook marketing strategy
As with any marketing platform, you’ll only get out of Facebook what you put into it. A well-defined, smart Facebook strategy based on your business goals will help you craft a cohesive brand presence on Facebook that speaks to your brand personality and values.
Define your target audience
Your strategy should aim to collect Likes from the followers who have the most potential to bring value to your business through regular engagement, rather than one-off Likes from online passers-by. Defining your audience personas can be a great place to start. After all, you need to know who you’re talking to in order to use the right tools and tone, rather than trying to appeal to all two billion Facebook users.
Research the competition
Keeping an eye on what key competitors are up to will help you spot techniques that work, and that don’t, so you can model the competition’s success while avoiding their missteps. You’ll also start to get a sense of how many Facebook Likes you can aim for—both for your Page and for individual posts.
Simply aiming for “more Likes” is not really a great Facebook marketing goal—how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Instead, you should create goals based on S.M.A.R.T. principles, meaning they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
This allows you to circle back on a regular basis to see whether you’re meeting your targets, and either celebrate your success and develop new stretch goals, or consider strategic shifts to get you back on track.
2. Craft a great Page
This may sound obvious, but sometimes the most important points can be easy to overlook: If you want to collect Likes, you’ve got to have a great Page and consistently great posts. Your Facebook Page is made up of many parts, and it’s important to make sure they are all complete, professional, and on-brand. Here are some key components to consider.
Use all elements of the About section
The About section of your Facebook Page allows you to provide key business details to people who are scanning for specific information. In addition to your contact information, you can add the date your business was founded, provide a company overview, or even add a list of brand milestones.
All of this information helps build your credibility and convince potential followers that your Page is worthy of a Like. It also helps you appear in searches outside of Facebook, directing users to your Page when they’re using search engines to look for information about your product or business.
Facebook also views a Page with a complete profile as more credible, which gives you an advantage in the Facebook algorithm (more on that below) and will help ensure more people see your posts.
Choose compelling cover and profile photos
Your profile and cover photos create the first visual impression of your business on Facebook, so it’s important to choose wisely. Your logo is usually the best choice for your profile photo, but you can get quite creative with your cover photo selection.
Put some thought into how you can convey what your business is all about in one compelling image. Do you have a great-looking product you can feature? Maybe you want to showcase a photo of your friendly team. Whatever you choose, make sure it captures the essence of your brand so potential followers have reason to dive into your Page content.
Iced tea might not be the most exciting product, but Nestea does a great job of making both their Page and their product look appealing with a compelling cover image.
In terms of the technical details, your profile photo displays on your Page as 170 x 170 pixels on computers and 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones. You cover photo displays on your Page at 820 pixels x 312 pixels on computers and 640 pixels by 340 pixels on smartphones. Facebook recommends you use a cover photo that’s 851 x 315 pixels and less than 100KB.
A newer and more dynamic option for business Pages is to use a cover video instead of a cover photo. Your cover video can be up to 20 seconds long, and has the same dimensions as a cover photo.
Pin a top-performing post
If you have a post that’s garnering a particularly high number of Likes, you can pin it to maximize its lifespan. When you choose to pin a post, it remains at the top of your Page, so people see it before any of your other posts. You can change your pinned post as often as you like, so make sure to keep it fresh, always featuring your best-performing content in this high-visibility location.
3. Make your Facebook Page easy to find
This is a simple concept that deserves repeating: people can’t like your Facebook Page if they can’t find it. Here are some things you can do to increase your visibility.
Choose an easy-to-discover Page name
People looking for your brand on Facebook will be searching for your brand name. Keep things simple and make it easy for them to find you by using your brand name as your Page name. Don’t add unnecessary keywords—these will just make your Page look spammy rather than like a legitimate business presence for your brand.
Select a memorable and consistent username
Your username—sometimes called a vanity URL—appears in your brand’s Facebook Page web address. A username that’s consistent with your handle on other social channels will make it easier for people who already follow you elsewhere to track you down on Facebook. Like your Page name, your username should be closely related to the name of your business.
Add Facebook follow and Like buttons to your website or blog
Someone who has just discovered a valuable tip or strategy on your website or blog is primed to want to hear more from you. Make it easy for them to connect with you on Facebook by adding Facebook follow and Like buttons to your site.
Embed a Facebook Post on your website or blog
This option provides even more visibility for your Facebook Page on your website or blog. Rather than a simple button, you can embed an entire post by copy and pasting some simple code. Just navigate to the post you want to embed, click the three dots in the top right corner, and click Embed. Then copy and paste the code into your HTML. Here’s an example from the Hootsuite Facebook Page:
Any visitors who click on your embedded post to learn more will be taken to the post as it appears on your Facebook Page, creating an opportunity for a new Page Like. And viewers can like the post itself directly from the embedded post, without leaving your website or blog.
Include a link to your Facebook Page in your newsletter or email signature
The people you already communicate with through channels like email or an opt-in newsletter are a great potential audience for your Facebook Page. Make sure it’s easy for them to find and connect with you by including links to your Facebook Page in all of your electronic communications.
Aim for shares
Shared Facebook posts increase your organic reach, giving you a better chance of getting more facebook Likes. A share also indicates that someone felt strongly enough about your content that they were motivated to share it with their personal network, giving you additional credibility with an audience that may not already be familiar with your brand.
Invite existing contacts and employees to like your Facebook page
Facebook makes it easy to invite personal Facebook connections to like your business Page, but be careful about how you use this feature. Simply sending out mass invites is more likely to get you unfriended than to bring in Facebook Likes for your Business Page.
Instead, create a message explaining what value you think your contacts might gain from liking your Page. Make it about them, not about you.
You should also encourage employees to like your Facebook Page—both so that they can stay up-to-date with what you’re promoting as a brand, and as part of a larger employee advocacy strategy.
Promote your Facebook Page in real life
Don’t limit your promotion of your Facebook Page to the online world. Include your Page address on your business cards and corporate stationery. Designer Ana Bermejo uses the same handle across social networks and includes the icons on her business cards so contacts know where to find and Like her on social, including Facebook.
4. Post relevant, high-quality content
Facebook recommends you share “short, fun-to-read copy and eye-catching images to get attention.” What does that look like in practice? Incorporate these strategies to develop posts that are inherently likeable.
Include compelling visuals
A study published in the journal Management Science found that posts with photos receive significantly more Facebook Likes than text-only posts. If you don’t have a photo library of your own, there are plenty of free stock photo sites you can use.
Write great headlines
A compelling headline is key to getting attention for your post. Facebook offers these tips for crafting a great headline:
- Make your headlines informative
- Use your headline to set appropriate expectations about what the post contains
- Be clear and accurate
Don’t be too promotional
Sure, you’re trying to promote your brand on Facebook—but people want their feeds to be entertaining and informative, not pushy and packed with sales pitches. In particular, Facebook found in a survey that followers do not like posts that:
- Direct people to purchase a product or download an app (without offering any other valuable content or information)
- Direct people to enter a contest without providing any context about why it’s relevant to the Page or followers’ interests
- Reuse content from ads
That means these posts are less likely to generate Facebook Likes from the followers who see them. But they are also less likely to be seen in the first place, since Facebook specifically limits organic reach for Pages that are too promotional.
Give followers what they want
How do you know what type of content people want from you on Facebook? By listening to them. If the majority of the comments on your Page are customer service inquiries, try creating content that focuses on helping followers use your product better. For example, try a short video featuring “hacks” or alternative uses for your product, or a series of “how-to” videos or photos. Experiment, and pay attention to what people respond to.
Invest in video
On that note, if you seriously want to increase Facebook Likes and you don’t already have a Facebook video strategy, it’s time to create one.
5. Engage consistently and at the right times
Facebook itself notes that “being consistent in the quality and types of posts you create can help people know what kinds of messages to expect from you and how they tie into your business.” Create a content calendar and schedule posts in advance to help keep your Facebook content organized and consistent.
Post at the right time
Hootsuite’s social media marketing specialists have found that doing so increases engagement, including Facebook Likes. You’ll need to do your own research to determine what works best for your audience, but we’ve found the optimal times to be 12–3 p.m. weekdays and 12–1 p.m. on weekends.
Be responsive and human
If you want more people to like your Facebook Page, you need to engage with those who already do. Unanswered comments or questions on a Facebook Page can be a huge deterrent for potential new fans. Remember, Facebook is a social network, and being sociable is a key way to make your brand—and your Page—more likeable.
6. Host a Facebook contest
In a poll by the Content Marketing Institute, 81 percent of marketers said that interactive content (like contests) is better for grabbing readers’ attention than static content.
Even better, liking a post is a popular form of contest entry—and one that’s allowed under Facebook’s contest rules (unlike “share to win” contests, which, while popular, are technically prohibited).
7. Engage with other brands and communities on Facebook
Remember that Facebook is primarily a social network—so get social and start engaging with other brands that are relevant to your niche but not your direct competitors. A simple Like or comment on another brand’s post can help draw their attention and open up opportunities to work together to cross-promote your businesses so you both gain more Facebook Likes. Tagging other brands may also expose your Page to a new audience (that other brand’s followers)—but only use tags in relevant posts.
Look for communities of potential followers to engage with, too. Facebook Groups are a great place to find people who are passionate about subjects related to your niche, and offer you the opportunity to highlight your expertise. Just make sure your participation in Facebook Groups is helpful, rather than promotional, or you might find yourself kicked out of the group.
8. Use the Facebook algorithm to your advantage
Understanding the Facebook algorithm is key to increasing your organic reach—in other words, getting your Page and your posts in front of more people who could potentially give you a Like. At its core, the Facebook algorithm prioritizes the types of content we’ve already talked about: Quality content that is not overly promotional.
This should really come as no surprise. Facebook wants people to enjoy browsing their News Feeds, which means it wants to surface the best content to the top. Invest the time to produce valuable posts, and don’t be a spammy jerk. Facebook specifically highlights authentic posts that inform and entertain as having value recognized by the algorithm.
One additional way to take advantage of the Facebook algorithm is to try live video. The algorithm prioritizes live broadcasts, bumping them higher in the News Feed. If you have an event or presentation that would work live, give it a try.
9. Run Facebook ads to expand your reach
Facebook offers very detailed ad targeting, so you can laser-focus your advertising efforts and make the most of your ad spend. Putting your brand in front of your ideal audience is a great way to pick up more Facebook Likes. There are two different types of Facebook advertising: boosted posts and ad campaigns.
Boost a post
By boosting a post, you can extend the audience beyond people who already like your Page. This can be a great option for a post that’s already proved to be compelling by bringing in a large number of Facebook Likes from people who already follow your Page.
Run a campaign
Facebook offers campaign objectives relevant to every type of business. Since this post is about how to get Facebook Likes, we’ll focus on the Engagement objective, which is designed to expose your ad to a wide audience to increase the number of post or Page Likes.
10. Learn from Facebook Insights
Analyzing Facebook Page Insights can give you a clear view of who your current fans are, which will help you better target future Facebook efforts. You’ll also be able to identify the kinds of posts that have the highest average reach and engagement, and use that information to create more of the content your audience wants from you on Facebook.
After all, learning from your mistakes, amplifying your successes, and giving your followers content you know they’ll enjoy are key ways to boost the quality of your content, and lead to—you guessed it—more Facebook Likes.