Every brand on Facebook is on Facebook for one reason -- to (eventually) get more business. But getting more business from Facebook means different things to different types of businesses. Different brands will have different objectives, such as driving in-store sales, increasing online sales, launching a new product, building awareness, or promoting a mobile app.
Regardless of the objective, there are a few steps that happen before Facebook fans can turn into real business. You have to first build an audience on Facebook, then drive inbound traffic to your website, then turn that traffic into qualified leads, and then nurture those leads into customers.
This post is all about the very first step in this whole process: building an audience of fans who actually have an interest in what your company sells. If you recently set up your Facebook Page or could simply use a few pointers on how to get more Facebook Likes, this post is for you.
To learn even more about how to get more Facebook Likes, download our free guide to attracting customers with Facebook.
How to Get More Facebook Likes
1) Fill out your Facebook Page with searchable information.
To grow your number of Facebook fans, every section of your page should include content that's relevant and helpful, but also searchable. Remember: All of the content on your page will be indexed by search engines, helping you attract more Fans to your page.
By no means should you should go on a keyword-stuffing spree -- but you should spend time optimizing each section of your page with keywords appropriate for your business.
For example, once you’ve created your Facebook Page, make sure the About section of your page includes:
- An overview of what your business has to offer
- A link to your website
- Any other information that will help prospects understand your business better
2) Include Facebook Like Boxes on your website and blog.
Making your Facebook Page as discoverable as possible includes promoting your Facebook presence using the marketing channels you already have, and removing any barriers for existing contacts to like your page.
If you have a website or blog, use Facebook’s various social plugins to get people to 'Like' your page without having to go over to Facebook.com.
While Facebook's Like Button allows users to like individual pieces of content on the web and share them on Facebook, the Like Box is designed only for Facebook Pages. The Like Box is a great way to leverage social proof to amplify your page. It displays your page's number of Likes along with the faces of some of your Facebook fans. To implement it, visit this link and customize your button. Then, generate the code and embed it on your website, blog, and wherever else you'd like it to appear.
Want to see it in action? Go ahead and like HubSpot's Facebook Page by clicking the button below. ;)
3) Invite existing contacts to Like your page.
Chances are, you already have friends, family, and existing customers who would be more than willing to connect with your business on Facebook. All you need to do is ask. Whether in person, via email, or via Facebook, try asking for Likes and positive reviews. Just be cautious about over-promoting to uninterested connections.
You can also encourage existing connections to become fans by making it more likely that they'll see a suggestion on Facebook to like your page. How? You'll have to upload a list of emails to Facebook, and those from that list who are on Facebook will be made more likely to see a suggestion to like your page in places like "Recommended Pages." Your contacts who aren't on Facebook won't see this suggestion.
To upload a list of email contacts through Facebook, open the "Build Audience" menu (located at the top right of your Facebook Page) and select "Invite Email Contacts."
From there, you can upload a maximum of 7,000 contacts per day per page -- and a maximum of 5,000 contacts at a time.
4) Invite employees to Like your page.
People are more likely to Like pages that already have some sort of following, and your employees can help your business build its initial numbers. After all, they are your strongest and most effective brand advocates.
Ask them to like the official Facebook Page. Then, encourage them to share, Like, and comment on the content your team posts on Facebook, too. Employees who really want to share the love might include a link to your Facebook Page in their email signatures or on their personal social media profiles.
5) Incorporate Facebook into your offline communication channels.
Have a physical storefront? Think about ways to encourage patrons to become Facebook fans. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Place stickers in your front windows promoting your page's name.
- Include your Facebook URL on your receipts.
- Run a promotion where customers who become Facebook fans on the spot get small discounts.
Market your business offline? Include links to your Facebook Page and other social media profiles on printed ads, flyers, coupons, catalogs, business cards, and direct mail assets.
6) Cross promote on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Add a link to your Facebook Page on your business's Twitter and LinkedIn profiles (and your personal profile, for that matter). Tweet about your Facebook Page occasionally to encourage your Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections to stay in contact with you on another network.
Add your Twitter link to your Facebook Page, and occasionally tweet about your Facebook Page. Don’t stop with Twitter and Facebook; you could also cross-promote on LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Just be sure that your cross promotions are sparing and strategic -- you don't want to spam the other audiences that you've worked so hard to develop.
7) Post valuable content.
The best way to increase your following on Facebook is by treating your fans like people -- and that means consistently delivering content that is valuable to them. Delivering value really comes into play with the content you create and share with your fans, and how you interact with them. (More on that here: How to Attract Customers With Facebook).
It's all about building long-term relationships with your Facebook fans. They might not remember one individual post to Facebook, but if they notice you consistently publish high quality, helpful, and relevant posts to Facebook, they'll think of you as a valuable resource.
So, how do you know what to publish? If you’re in tune with your buyer personas, you probably have a good idea what types of content your ideal customers like. If not, or if you just need some inspiration, consider spending a week taking note of the types of content in your own News Feed that compels you click, comment, or share. What inspired you? Use your observations to inspire future posts.
8) Be active.
Getting more Facebook Likes isn't just about profile optimization and an initial push. To continue growing steadily, you need to maintain an active, ongoing presence.
Not only does this mean posting educational, insightful content on a regular basis, but it also means monitoring your presence and interacting with your fans. Ask questions, answer questions, and participate in discussions with those posting on your page. Find, follow, and build relationships with others in your industry. Create a presence worth following.
9) Use Facebook Ads to expand your reach.
Growing your Facebook Likes organically is the best way to drive engagement and, ultimately, convert fans into customers. But if you have the budget for it, incorporating some paid advertising into your Facebook strategy can help augment the hard work you're already putting in.
Facebook offers a type of ad called a "Page Like Ad," which contains a CTA suggesting that users Like your Facebook Page. These ads can appear in users' News Feeds or in the ad column on the right-hand side of their web browser when they're on Facebook. Here's what a Page Like Ad looks like on a mobile News Feed:
Image Credit: Facebook
If you’ve exhausted your existing contacts and want to reach people who don’t know about your page yet, but would be interested in hearing from you, you can use Facebook’s granular targeting capabilities to reach your ideal buyer persona(s) and grow your audience.
Want more tips?
There's plenty more to learn about cultivating a Facebook audience that can yield new business opportunities. Be sure to check out some of our other resources on Facebook-related topics:
- How to Create a Facebook Business Page That Doesn't Suck
- 25 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers
- Facebook Says These Are the 15 Best Brands on Facebook
- 10 Mistakes Brands REALLY Need to Stop Making on Facebook
- 4 Ways to Stand Out Better On Facebook's News Feed
- Facebook Cracks Down on News Feed Spam From Brand Pages
And, of course, grab your own copy of our updated guide on How to Attract Customers With Facebook to dive deeper into using Facebook for customer acquisition.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.