There’s no such thing as overnight success. All manner of success requires a lot of hard work and cultivation that paves the way for said success. Are you ready to put in the hard work necessary to get those Likes you so desire? If so, good!
Here are five things you should do and two things you shouldn’t do if you’re craving more Likes on Facebook. (This all applies even in light of the recent changes to Facebook Likes.)
DO… Install a Facebook WidgetIf Facebook is your main and only hub for fan activity, you can quietly move on to the next section and ignore this one. For everyone else who already has a non-Facebook presence on the web, do get yourself a Facebook widget as soon as you can.
If you have a WordPress blog, there are plugins that will install such a widget in one click. Otherwise, you can just implement the HTML that Facebook generates for you. All you have to do is go to the Badges page and select the Like Badge to get the relevant embed code.
The one and only purpose of a Facebook widget is visibility. Not only does it let your visitors know that you have a Facebook page, but gives them an opportunity to click Like without having to jump through hoops.
DO… Focus on Update VarietyIt’s not enough to just have a Facebook page. You need to pump out updates on a regular basis in order to keep your current fans coming back and to attract new fans to your page. Without interesting updates, new visitors will pass you by and old fans will Unlike you.
What kind of updates should you post? Ideally, anything that’s prone to going viralthat also demonstrates your value and mission. Sounds pretty vague, I know. Here are some concrete ideas.
Photos. In this day and age, words take too long to consume while photos can be seen and digested within seconds. A ten-paragraph text update has a much harder time going viral than a quick infographic. Found an image or meme that’s relevant to your mission? Post it to your page!
Videos. After photos, you have videos. These are harder to make viral — it can’t be boring, it can’t be too long, it can’t be too vague, it can’t be too niche — but if you hit a home run, you’ll draw a metric crapton of attention your way. It doesn’t even have to be videos that you’ve produced. Share any videos you find that are relevant to your mission.
Questions. The importance of questions is that they generate discussions, and discussions are a great way to connect with your current fans. Interesting conversations can pull in outsiders and those outsiders can end up converting into fans. Simple rule of thumb: if you’re scraping for updates to post, ask a question instead!
DO… Engage with FansIf there’s one thing you should keep in mind when pining for Facebook Likes, it’s that not all Likes are made equal. On the surface, sure, 100 Likes is 100 Likes. In terms of quality, however, it’s not so simple.
To illustrate, would you rather have a Like from someone who checks Facebook once a month or from someone who lives on Facebook and has an undying passion for your brand? In this case, the latter person’s Like is far more valuable.
In order to attract Quality Fans, you need to engage with them on a regular basis. As mentioned above, ask questions and start conversations. When they say something on your Facebook page, reply to them with meaningful dialogue. Treat them like people.
For example, when you host events or meet with fans, encourage your fans to tag themselves in photos of those events and meetings.
The best part is that the more passionate your fans are, the more likely it is that they’ll spread your brand by word of mouth. When others see how you treat your fans, they’ll want to be a fan too. Cha-ching, more Likes! In the long run, this is the best kind of growth because it’s the most stable.
DON’T… Purchase Facebook LikesWhen a person or organization first starts a Facebook page, one common thought is to purchase several hundred or several thousand Likes from a third-party service. The hope is that these Likes will jumpstart their brand’s popularity.
It doesn’t work.
What usually ends up happening is that the people who Like your page will be from foreign countries who don’t even speak your language. They’ll give you a Like and never visit your page again, nor will they ever contribute anything meaningful to your discussions.
Yeah, you might have 1,500 fans for your page… but when you post an update or release some news, none of those “fans” will care. All you’ve done is waste your money.
Have you ever visited a Facebook page that has thousands of “fans” but very little activity? Or worse, the little bit of activity they have feels like spam, spam, and more spam? I’ve seen it happen and it’s horrendous. It destroys your brand’s credibility and repels future fans from joining in.
DO… Contests and GiveawaysContests and giveaways are a great way to reach out to people who haven’t yet discovered your Facebook page. Of all the viral content types that are available in your toolbox, nothing will ever be as effective as the contest or giveaway.
After all, people do love free stuff.
We’ve written about running a successful contest before so be sure to heed some of that advice. That being said, the important thing here is that you stipulate that users must Like your page in order to enter the contest. As long as the prize is desirable enough, the contest should go viral with ease.
For best results, run the contest right on your Facebook page.
One word of warning: it’s easy to draw in a lot of “one-time Likers” using this technique, so it should be used judiciously. Try to design it in a way that will appeal to your target audience only — such as giving away a camera lens (which is only useful to current photographers) rather than a camera body (which everyone could use).
DO… Self-Promote Outside of FacebookThere will come a point when staying within the bounds of Facebook will stagnate your growth, perhaps even hindering it. When this time comes, you’ll need to start pursuing other mediums in order to point unreached people to your Facebook page.
Guests posts. Consider contacting a few blogs related to your field and offering to write a guest post for them. Do this even if you don’t maintain a blog of your own! Just make sure to leave a link back to your Facebook page in the footer of the guest post. This is a fantastic way to expand your brand’s visibility.
Conventions and seminars. In other words, networking. Get out there and start hanging out with strangers who would be fans of your page if they only knew about it. Speaking at an event will give you a lot of credibility, but even going as a simple attendee can be beneficial.
Make YouTube videos. This particular suggestion really depends on your field and endeavors, but if your area of focus involves anything that’s visual or instructive, you should think about how you can tap into YouTube’s massive audience.
And don’t forget to be creative. Something as simple as an annotation that says “Please Like us on Facebook!” and links back to your page upon clicking can drive a lot of interest your way.
DON’T… Try to Grow Too FastAt the end of the day, remember that the only Likes that matter are Likes from fans who are passionate and invested in the value that you offer as a content producer. Finding these fans will take time and the process cannot be rushed.
Resist the temptation to grow too big, too fast.
For one, quality and quantity tend to be inversely related. An overnight +500 Likes feels good in the moment, but is devastating when you realize that quickly-gained usually means quickly-lost. Organic growth, on the other hand, is the kind that fuels itself and snowballs over time.
But the real issue with growing too fast is that you won’t be prepared for it. When your community of 1,000 fans grows to 10,000 fans in a month, you miss out on your own growth — mentally, emotionally, strategically — that enables you to handle an expanding audience.
So when your Like numbers don’t grow as fast as you’d like them to, remember that it could be much worse. Slow and steady really does win the race.
What other techniques have you used to boost your Facebook Likes? Have you ever purchased Likes? If so, how’d it go? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!