By Neil Patel
Establishing a strong social media presence is crucial for brand survival in this day and age.
No matter what type of business you have, you need to focus on your Facebook advertising strategy.
Don’t get me wrong. Other social platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, are all important as well. But a solid social media foundation starts with Facebook.
It’s tough to ignore the fact that Facebook has 2.2 billion active monthly users. Just based on this alone, it’s inevitable that your target market is active on this platform.
But setting up a Facebook business page and posting content isn’t enough to be successful. If people don’t like your page, nobody will see your promotions and what you’re offering.
There is a common misconception that getting people to follow you on Facebook is a costly investment.
Just because some brands are spending money on Facebook ads doesn’t mean you need to. In reality, you don’t need to spend anything to get consumers to like your Facebook page.
Don’t believe me? Well, keep reading to find out how. I’ll give you the top tips and best practices to get more likes on Facebook without spending money.
Create shareable content
Unless you are a brand new company that just created a Facebook page, I’m assuming you’re not starting from zero likes. One of the first things you should do is take advantage of the people who already like your page.
Get these people to expose your posts to their own friends. The easiest way to do this is by posting content that’s highly shareable.
According to Buzzsumo, these are the top ten most shared posts of 2017:
As you can see, four of the top ten posts were videos. More specifically, three of these four were music videos.
I realize it wouldn’t be reasonable for most of you to create music videos. And posting a music video may not be relevant to your brand image. But that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Quizzes and news articles also had high share rates on this list.
Sometimes you don’t even need to get creative. Simply asking users to share your content may be enough.
Otherwise, you’ll need to put your best foot forward to produce high quality content that’s unique and intriguing to your audience.
Did you just come up with new groundbreaking research? Can you produce a video that will easily go viral? These types of things can make your content stand out.
Anything shocking, controversial, or newsworthy can spark a discussion and cause people to share your posts.
Once your content is shared, these posts will be seen by the friends of those who shared it.
But now, there is an increased chance that more people will like your page so they can see this type of content on a regular basis moving forward.
Timing is everything
Think about how often you post on Facebook.
Is it once per day? Once a week? Only once a month?
You also need to analyze the time of day you’re posting on Facebook. All of this matters when it comes to increasing engagement and getting more likes.
Research shows that these are the best days and times to post content on Facebook:
Based on this data, you’ll get higher engagements later in the week and on the weekends. If you think about it, this makes sense.
People have jobs and are usually busier during the week. But as the weekend nears, they may be getting a little bit antsy and slack off if they are ahead of schedule.
So they can spend more time on Facebook. People are also happier on the weekends so they are more inclined to like, share, and comment on your posts.
You also need to consider who likes your Facebook page. For example, if 90% of your followers are from the United States, posting at 3 AM EST isn’t going to yield high engagement rates.
That’s when you can take advantage of my favorite time-saving social media marketing tools.
Use these automation tools to schedule your Facebook posts at the most optimal times so you won’t have to do it manually each day.
Your posting schedule also needs to remain consistent. Stick to your strategy. Don’t post regularly for a month or so and then go silent.
But you don’t want to spam your followers and post too frequently either. Research shows 46% of people will unfollow a brand on social media if it posts too often. But 18% will actually unfollow brands if it doesn’t post enough.
Find that sweet spot between these two extremes.
Keep your posts short
Nobody is going to read massive blocks of text on social media.
There is just too much for them to see from their friends and family. Reading long posts from brand pages won’t be at the top of their priority lists.
Social media platforms such as Facebook are designed for users to scroll through content quickly.
You also need to consider how many Facebook users are accessing content from their mobile devices:
Paragraphs on your computer screen will appear even longer on mobile devices. Plus, long blocks of text are difficult to read.
If you’re currently posting long content, it may be the reason why you’re not getting enough likes.
How long should your posts be? Research was conducted on five of the most popular Facebook pages to analyze the length of their content:
- Fox News
- NBC News
- Huffington Post
- BBC News
The researchers found that 33% of the posts in this study consisted of ten or fewer words. A good rule of thumb is that shorter is always better.
If people see your posts aren’t long, they will be less hesitant to like your page.
Encourage comments (and respond to them)
Getting Facebook users to comment on your posts is a great way to gain exposure for your page. The more exposure you get, the more likes it will lead to.
That’s because friends of those who comment, even if they aren’t following your page, will see these remarks. The post and the comments will appear on their timelines.
Now that other people can see your posts, you might get more likes.
Plus, if users see you respond to other people, they will want to engage with your page even more. There are a bunch of different reasons why you could respond to a comment:
- answer a user question
- thank someone for positive feedback
- acknowledge a different opinion
Not everyone will have something nice to say or agree with you all the time.
That’s perfectly OK. You can still respond to those comments. Just make sure you keep things professional at all times and stay on brand.
You don’t want to get into a back and forth argument for the entire world to see. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of a disagreement as long it’s done respectfully. So tread carefully when approaching this.
Take a look at how Hydroflask used the comments section to respond to a customer complaint:
It’s important you respond to comments in a timely fashion.
We know 80% of consumers expect a brand to reply to their social media comment within 24 hours. Waiting too long to respond could have an adverse effect on your social media marketing strategy.
Comment on other pages
Let’s continue talking about comments.
To help your Facebook page gain exposure, you can comment on other pages as well.
Find posts from pages within your industry. Comment on their content to spark a conversation and facilitate a discussion.
I’m not saying you need to go directly to your competitor’s Facebook page to do this, although I do recommend using tools to monitor your competition.
But in this instance, it’s better to find alternative pages to comment on. For example, let’s say your brand sells athletic equipment.
Rather than going to another sportswear company Facebook page, you can comment on pages for gyms and fitness centers. Do you see the difference?
Just make sure you’re not spamming other posts. Your comments should be genuine instead of just links to products on your ecommerce site.
Properly executing this tactic can draw attention to your page and lead to more likes.
Share authentic images and videos
While you might be clever with words, you should not post text only.
Include pictures and video content as well. Why? These types of posts generate more engagement.
Take a look at the engagement rates of videos and images compared to links on Facebook:
Adding photos and videos to your page will get more likes, comments, and shares.
As a result, more people will see these, and your page will be exposed to a wider audience. Now you have a better chance of new users liking your business page.
Create an effective profile picture and cover photo
This connects to my last point about sharing the right pictures.
The most important images on your page are the ones that people can see at all times. They are also the first things that get seen when someone navigates to your page.
That’s why it’s so important that you learn how to create an engaging cover photo.
Don’t just pick something random. Your logo may be a good idea, but go deeper than that. Find something that really speaks to your audience and reflects your marketing campaign.
Keep it simple. You don’t want to have a cover photo that’s confusing. It should be bold and have a clear point of focus.
It’s also important for you to review the Facebook cover photo guidelines. You don’t want to upload anything that’s in violation of Facebook’s policies.
Here’s something else to consider. You shouldn’t just set and forget your profile picture and cover photo.
Mix it up. Change it based on the season or a promotion you’re running.
Changing these images will show people that you are always updating your page. This gives them more of a reason to like your profile.
Offer discounts and promotions
Why do people follow brands on Facebook?
Aside from being interested in their products and services, people followed brands because they were interested in receiving promotions:
If you post exclusive promotional offers and discounts on your Facebook page, you will give people more reasons to follow you.
This also relates back to my earlier discussion about creating shareable content.
People may be willing to share these promotions with their friends and family, which is a great way to get even more likes on your page.
You’ve got to consider the quality and timing of your posts. What is it about?
Post recent content needs to be up to date. Don’t share yesterday’s news or something that happened last week. People already heard about this somewhere else.
You need to stay up to date with pop culture, especially if it’s relevant to your business.
Just make sure you are always staying on brand.
When something happens that’s newsworthy, try to find a way to spin it and make it relevant to your company.
For example, let’s say you sell clothing. If a winter storm is heading toward a certain region of the country, you can use that to promote warm gear like hats, gloves, boots, and coats.
But avoid sensitive topics like politics, religion, and things of that nature. Discussing those subjects could end up hurting your brand’s image.
Contests and promotions are a great way to create higher engagement with your Facebook audience.
Running a contest that encourages user-generated content will expose your page to a wide audience. As a result, you’ll get more likes on your page.
Caption contests are a great way for you to get more comments on each post.
But if you can get users to post pictures and videos to their own timelines and tag your brand, it will be even better for your brand exposure campaigns.
Here is a great example of a contest run by REI on its Facebook page:
It’s smart because it encourages users to share photos wearing gear purchased from the company.
Creating more brand awareness on Facebook will help the company get more likes on its page.
Take advantage of Facebook Live
Broadcasting live videos on Facebook is one of the best ways to engage with your audience.
There are endless options for you to consider with your live stream. It’s a great opportunity for you to give a product demonstration. You may also consider giving exclusive tours of your facility.
Use your live broadcast to preview new products that are in development. Ask customers for their feedback to make them feel as if they are part of the creation process.
Facebook isn’t the only social media platform with a live video option, but it’s the most popular.
You can use this channel as an alternative method to run contests and promotions, which we previously discussed.
It’s important that you stay authentic and true to yourself. Don’t try to become an actor or be someone who you aren’t.
If you’re funny, tell jokes. Be entertaining.
If you can offer entertainment to Facebook users, they’ll tell their friends about it. The more people tune into your live stream, the more likes your page will get.
Leverage your distribution channels
So far everything we’ve discussed involves how to get people to like your page directly from within the Facebook platform.
But that’s not the only way to do it.
You have other content distribution channels to take advantage of.
One of the first places you should look to is your email subscriber list. I bet the people who signed up to receive email promotions from you also have an active Facebook page. Get them to like yours.
Be direct. Include a link in your promotional emails inviting people to like your Facebook page: “like us on Facebook.”
You can have a similar button on your website. Include a link to your Facebook page in the description of your YouTube videos.
Use other social media channels to your advantage as well to drive more traffic to your Facebook page.
Before you can master your Facebook marketing campaigns, you need to make sure people like your page.
Getting more likes needs to be a consistent part of your social media branding strategy.
Start by producing content that’s highly shareable. Then, make sure you post it at the right time to maximize your reach.
Short posts have the highest engagement rates.
Encourage users to comment on your posts. Reply to these comments. You can even comment on other pages to facilitate a discussion and drive traffic to your page.
Add images and videos to your page. Focus on a strong profile picture and cover photo.
Your posts need to be short and relevant. Offer discounts and promotions to your Facebook fans. Run contests that produce user-generated content.
Broadcast live videos. Promote your Facebook page on all your distribution channels.
Follow the advice in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to tons of new Facebook likes in no time.
How is your company encouraging more users to like your Facebook page?
Source: Quick Sprout