If you’ve picked up a newspaper in 2018, you’ll know Facebook have had a tough year…
…and unfortunately for us, they’ve passed a lot of their pain onto businesses. It’s trickier now than ever to be found on Facebook, to have posts organically viewed and to gain those all-important page likes.
Their new algorithm favours posts from friends, pushing business page content (like yours) out of sight.
It hurts! The social network has been such a powerful ally of businesses for so long, that this change has had a huge impact, especially on those who’ve recently come to the party, or didn’t take full advantage of the network before we were all penalised.
But that’s ok, because today, I’m going to give you a ton of tactics that we use every day to increase our reach and gain 1000’s of Facebook page likes.
Why Should You Trust Us?
It’d be easy for anyone to go around different blogs, round-up the top tips to increase Facebook page likes, and regurgitate them in an article like this…
…but here’s the thing, we’re Facebook specialists. As an agency we boast some top talent in the world of Facebook marketing (just ask any of our clients!).
Our blog is the ultimate proof, we only started sharing our valuable marketing insights with the world in January 2018, and planned to prime Facebook as a key tool to distribute this information. In the first six months of running this blog, we’ve gone from 0 page likes to more than 30,000.
So, if there’s somebody worth trusting, it’s probably us.
The following tactics I’m about to share, are tips we use every-day. This is not another post from a ‘marketing ninja’ who has never run a Facebook business page or campaign.
If you’re struggling for business page likes, favourite this page. You’ll want to return, trust me.
Before We Start
This blog is entitled, ‘How to Get More Facebook Business Page Likes Without Spending a Penny’ but, before I get into all the super-cool free strategies, I want to get something off my chest:
Facebook ads WILL do seriously cool things for your numbers.
This is not a pitch for business, or a weak attempt at trying to persuade you to outsource your marketing, (we’ve already got a full portfolio of clients) it’s a stone-cold fact.
When I talk to businesses who do not run ads on the world’s biggest social network, they always come back with one of these excuses:
#1: I don’t know how to do it
#2: I don’t have the time to manage them
#3: I don’t have the budget
To which, I always respond, do you care about your business?
In answer to the first and second excuse, they don’t take long to learn, especially with all the awesome free content that’s out there (I’ll attach some links at the bottom of this post). If your business is in a specific niche, they’re even easier to get the hang of, and…
…setting up ads only takes 5-10 minutes!
And, as for those people who come back with ‘the budget’ excuse, just look at it like this, is investing £5 per day really going to cripple you?
I mean, how much do you spend on your morning coffee? On a pint of beer or a glass of wine in the evening? How much do you spend on gym membership? Phone apps? Digital tools that you barely use?
If you’re willing to invest in yourself on these non-essential items, why aren’t you prepared to invest on an essential item for your business?
Anyway, that’s the ads rant out the way. Just remember, £5 a day will supercharge your results.
Free Facebook Page Likes Tactics
Yes, we run Facebook ads, but we don’t rely (purely) on them for results. Our stats would not be nearly as sweet if we didn’t implement the following free tactics.
So strap yourself in, because you’re just about to discover a whole new bunch of strategies, that were right in front of your eyes:
You can’t build a house without solid foundations. Facebook business pages are the exact same.
Please make sure that you’ve completed the following, before moving on. DO NOT DISREGARD ANY OF THESE STEPS.
Complete the Profile!
This step is often overlooked or viewed as a non-essential. Don’t fall into this trap! The more open, honest and transparent you are, the more likes you’re likely to get.
Many people will go straight to the ‘About’ section, this is a great place to share contact information, your mission and your ‘category’. Please, make sure that these are filled out. Your ‘About’ description is a great way to capture new likes, make sure it’s primed.
Compelling and Representative Cover and Profile Photos
For starters, I’m sick of seeing Facebook Business Page photos which do not fit the required dimensions and are pixelated or stretched.
Facebook’s cover photo dimensions are 851×315 pixels for desktop, and 640×360 for mobile. If your photos are smaller than these dimensions, they will be stretched. Don’t let this happen. It looks amateur and will make page visitors bounce before they’ve even got to your content.
Next, make sure your images represent who you are and WHY your business exists. Give visitors a reason to care. DO NOT use the images to show what you do, show them WHY you do it! Images immediately catch the eye, this is the perfect place to start telling your brand story. Even a photo of you (or your staff) enjoying their work, tells a thousand stories.
It sounds simple, but loads of people don’t do it! You must believe in your business, that means having the cojones to ask friends, family and other contacts to like your page. Invite them to support you!
If you have a marketing list, send out an email asking for support. Offer them value in return, what kind of content will you share? How will they benefit? What do they stand to gain?
If you have a physical storefront or even meet clients face-to-face, make sure there is some mention of your Facebook business page. A simple prompt can make a big difference in the long-run. And make sure your Facebook URL is on all your business cards.
Target Audience Research
Whatever you take-away from this article, make sure research makes it in there.
The best way to grow an engaged and loyal audience is to provide them with quality, targeted content. Before doing this, you must research. For your Facebook audience, I recommend a two pronged approach-
#1: Create a customer avatar, putting one person at the centre of everything you do. Creating an avatar like this, will give you the ammunition to satisfy their wants, fill their information gaps and solve their pain points. And when you do that, your page will grow exponentially.
#2: Competitor research. When you kick off your Facebook page, make sure you’ve researched businesses in the same industry as you. It doesn’t matter if their audience is 5,000,000 and yours is just 5. The information you can learn is invaluable. I suggest skimming over their content to find the posts with the most likes. Analyse why these posts are so successful, are they regular? Do they all cover a certain topic? Do they create conversation? Figure out the recipe, mix it in with your customer avatar, and you’ll be geared up to engage properly with your audience.
Anybody with a website must add Social Media Plugins to their pages. Traffic doesn’t have to be driven from Facebook to landing pages, it can be driven the other way too.
Facebook Business Page Likes: The Tactics
Before we get into all the tips and tricks of tactical Facebook growth, I really need to hammer something home: it is absolutely crucial that everything you post has value.
Just because you’ve got a cute cat, that doesn’t mean you should post photos of it. Creating posts like this will attract users, but they’re the wrong kind, basically acting as dead numbers.
Use your research to create a bank of ideas, or completed content to share with your audience. Try to make it entertaining, informative and engaging.
You also need to hit the variety factor. That means written, image and video posts. Everyone has their favourite medium, don’t miss out on your audience! (I’ll explain how to hit big numbers using this tactic a little later)
And before you skip down to the next section, every time you’re about to hit the ‘share now’ button on new posts, double check that what you’re publishing actually holds value.
Interaction (and Supercharged Interaction)
If your target audience don’t know who you are or where to find you, it’s time you went out into the big wide Facebook world and found them.
That means going to ‘congregation spots’. These are places that your target audience hang out in big numbers. Quite often, these are big competitors or pages/groups that share similar interests to your customer avatar.
When you’ve found a few, take some time to write valuable and insightful comments on their posts UNDER YOUR BUSINESS PAGE’S PROFILE. This means, that everywhere that post goes, your comment will go too!
You can do that by clicking on this button:
Comments that are valuable, interesting and share the beliefs of your target audience guarantee to be clicked on.
But wait, I’ve got more!
Facebook have recently created an open door policy on all business pages. This means that anybody can see the ads that companies are running.
The door is found on any business page, here:
Use this information to go to your competitor’s and market leader’s pages, discover what they’re running ads on, and COMMENT on it! These posts will reach large, targeted audiences.
Using this supercharged interaction tactic is like stringing up your bicycle to the back of a bus. You’ll get to your desired destination faster and for FREE.
This is a commonly used tactic guaranteed to increase page likes, provided it’s a prerequisite of the contest.
By offering free products, or special discounts in a contest, you are effectively segmenting an audience who have an active interest in your products. In other words, the people who enter your competition ARE your target audience.
Just make sure you tell them that they have to like your Facebook business page in order to win!
And never create a contest that has no winner. Live up to your word! You’ll lose followers if you act dishonestly.
Organic Reach Mistakes
This is a topic I could talk all day about (I’ll try to keep this section reasonable though).
As many of you already know, Facebook have recently reduced the organic reach of business pages, and there are a few things that LOADS of businesses are doing wrong to combat this:
#1: Posting loads!
Many businesses think that by posting more content, they’ll reach more people. That’s kind of true, but it comes at a cost.
After the first 3 posts (per day), Facebook begins to penalise your organic reach until it’s basically non-existent. This means, that some of that super-valuable, time-consuming content you’ve created is going to be seen by nobody!
My advice would be to not publish more than 3 posts per day.
When the changes first came in, we found this one out the hard way.
If you ask users to comment, share or like your post, your reach will be penalised, e.g. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST.
It might be OK for regular profiles, but it’s not OK for us, so don’t do it!
Be clever with your copy, especially when running contests.
If you share links on your page, and the Facebook users who click on them don’t enjoy the content, Facebook will reduce your reach.
It’s all well and good getting tons of clicks and traffic, but by using clickbait headlines or imagery, you will be penalised and you’ll damage your reputation.
Facebook measures the quality of a link (in the most part), by the amount of time people spend on your page and the bounce rate. If your linked content is valuable, makes a promise and keeps it, and aims at a specific target audience, you will not have to worry about these stats.
Organic Reach Growth
Facebook’s algorithm will show your post to tons of people if it’s viewed as valuable to their users. In this case, value is measured by engagement.
This means creating posts that are liked, shared and commented on. But, as we both know, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
As a rule of thumb, NEWS gains lots of shares because people always want to be the first to tell their friends. If there’s something new in your industry, create content and post it ASAP.
If you’re lucky enough to receive a comment, see it as an opportunity. Remember, the more comments your post receives, the more value Facebook gives it, and the more people they’ll show it to.
When somebody writes a comment, reply to it! Try to create a conversation out of it. This might not be easy, but even one extra comment can make all the difference. Use open ended questions to draw responses.
Some of these other channels might have grown a lot quicker than your Facebook page. So, why not use them?
I’d suggest promoting posts that you’ve placed on Facebook, via these other channels. E.g. if you’ve created a 2 minute video, post the full clip on Facebook, but only 15 seconds on all the other channels. You can do the same with written posts and images. As long as it provides value, people will come!
If you’re able to capture the attention of people who have not liked your page, by the shares, likes and comments of others, (or just if Facebook reaches new people)…
…you can invite them to like your page! And 90% of the time, they accept!
To do this, you need to click on your latest posts likes, just here:
This will bring up a list of all the people who have liked your post. On the right-hand side of this list you’ll notice a button that says either, ‘Liked’, ‘Invite’ or ‘Invited’.
Go through every post you’ve ever created and INVITE EVERYONE to like your page.
A person who has liked your content will be interested in liking your page. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Don’t Just Promote
I’ve probably used the word ‘value’ about a thousand times in this article, and now I’m going to use it again.
If all you’re doing on Facebook is promoting your business, nobody is going to care. Why would anybody do something for you, when you haven’t done anything for them? Why should they help, when you haven’t helped? Why should they spend their time on you, when you’ve spent none on them?
Building an engaged audience means value. It means solving problems, entertaining, educating, becoming a resource. If all you’re doing is blasting out promotions, you’re going to fail.
When attempting to build your page likes and follows, I’d suggest running no more than 1 or 2 promotions a week. I’ve heard a lot of talk about percentages, e.g. the 80/20 rule, 80% content, 20% promotions, but you’ll find it easier to track if you’re measuring in time, not posts.
Video is red hot at the moment and Facebook knows it.
People love to consume content via this medium, and it’s something that you cannot miss out on. To help me explain, let’s look at the Einstein Marketer Business Page.
We post content every-day, be it written content, links, video or images, and I can tell you for a FACT that Facebook shows our posts to loads more people when they’re videos.
Our page currently has just over 30k followers, and every time we post links to external blogs it averages an organic reach of 1,000. But, when we post videos it reaches loads more people! The most recent video we ran on our page reached 18,000 people organically. Yep, that’s 18x the size of our average content link post.
Facebook do this because it keeps people on their network longer and has high levels of engagement.
Images don’t reach as many people as video, but they do reach more people than written posts and content links, as well as receiving higher levels of engagement (which means more page like invitations later). So, they’re a tactic well worth adopting.
If you’ve got a designer, make sure you’re getting the most out of them. If not, you can outsource cheap designs from Fiverr, or even pay a low monthly fee to DesignPickle, who will produce unlimited designs every month at a fraction of the cost of an in-house designer.
Use infographics to capture the attention of your audience, particularly when you’re sitting on a neat set of stats. (I use Statista whenever I want to prove a point or reach more people)
Just make sure that whatever images you use appeal to your target audience. The best way to do this is to revert back to your research! And don’t stop researching.
The first thing somebody will see when they scroll down your page is your top post. So, it goes without saying that you should pin your most engaging and valuable piece at the top of your page.
You can do that by clicking here:
But, never leave the same piece pinned for too long. Rotate your top performing pieces every few days. It keeps things fresh and shows that you’re active.
Nothing draws people to your page like a good story.
Creating a story around your brand doesn’t have be the same as writing an award winning novel. You can grab attention simply by telling people what’s going on in the business on a day-to-day basis. This can be as straight-forward as setting goals and keeping followers up-to-date with how you’re doing.
Whatever you decide to create stories about, make sure it relates to your audience and humanises your brand, this will make visitors feel a lot more connected.
I’d suggest breaking stories into small chunks and distributing them on a regular basis. This technique should keep visitors returning to your page, and hopefully, bring more people with them.
Don’t worry if your story reach begins slowly, keep doing the right things, and it’ll work eventually.
Video is probably the best format for this type of post, purely because it reaches more people, but blog posts can work too.
Facebook offer every business page a really cool little tool called Facebook Insights.
This can be found at the top of your profile:
I recommend checking this (at least) once per week. Insights gives business page admins a bunch of sweet metrics, that you MUST be measuring, analysing and learning from.
Because this post is all about business page likes, I’d recommend going straight to the ‘Likes’ option on the left-hand menu.
At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a graph entitled ‘Where Your Page Likes Happened’. This chart offers loads of pointers to areas that need attention and improvement. For instance, if your likes from ‘Your Page’ are low, you know that you’re page needs optimising.
It’s also worth keeping a close eye on the ‘Reach’ and ‘Posts’ sections of the menu.
Reach is a great measurement of success. If you’re continually reaching more people (month to month) then you’re definitely going in the right direction. If it’s not, you need to go back to basics, and sort out your research and post value.
The ‘Posts’ section of Insights, breaks down the engagement and reach of every post on your page. From here, you can analyse your success and failures and learn for future posts.
Don’t Be Downhearted
Last but not least, DON’T GIVE UP!
It’s tough to start out, but you’ll find that most of your competition will just give up because they’re downhearted.
Don’t worry if the only likes you’re getting (to start with) are from your mum, partner and dog. Everybody has to start somewhere.
You must be patient and persevere. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Just remember that all those businesses who’ve built big audiences have done it over a long period and those Likes have compounded over time. It might take you a month to get 100 page likes, but when you’ve got a solid base and more social proof (by having lots of page likes) people will like your page, just because lots of other people have. This means that those 100 likes that took one month, might come every day, or better still, every few hours.
Focus on doing the right things and keep going. It’ll pay off.
That’s not it…
…but, this post feels like it’s getting way too long!
So, for now, I’m going to leave it here.
Whatever your industry or niche, within this post, there are tons of guaranteed winners. Just don’t forget that the basics are crucial, and from there you can start to implement the tactics which will propel your Facebook business page likes to the next level.
And keep your eyes peeled, because I’ve got plenty more advice that I can’t wait to share with you guys!
Are you having problems with your Facebook Business page? Is your engagement low, or non-existent?
Leave a comment and we’ll try to help (because free advice never hurt anyone!).
If you’d like to learn more about supercharging your Facebook profile, check out one of the following guides about Facebook ads: