Facebook pages have only been around for well over a year at this stage and the landscape has changed dramatically during that period of time. In the early days you could suggest the page to a couple of hundred friends and they'd all become a fan just out of interest but the times have changed and getting likes is a serious challenge. I wanted to talk about some of the main ways that you can acquire likes and really build a following for your Facebook page and even though not all these options might be applicable to you some of them may just fit in with what you are doing. It's vitally important that you have have a plan for what you are going to do with all your new likes and an actual reason for acquiring them rather than just a race to the top and to beat your competitors, I can't stress that enough. Here are some tips for getting more likes...
Adding Fanbox To Your Site
So this is probably the single most effective thing that you could possibly do. You can see that we have over 8000 likes on our page and most of those have come via this blog. The chances are that your website or blog already gets a decent amount of traffic and if people are on your site and like what they see there is a very good chance that they will indeed like you on Facebook. I always see these boxes as free ads and the more prominent positioning you can give them the more likes you will get. The other beauty is that people will most likely be logged in to Facebook by default so it really is a simple one click process on your website or blog. If you don't have this in place you are missing a huge opportunity.
So you are going to have to dip your hand in to your pocket on this one and spend a little money. I'm still not 100% sold (it does work in some cases but is not a universal solution to everything) on Facebook advertising because I'd just be worried about the value of a like. At the end of the day you are pushing people from one part of Facebook to another and although there are plenty of benefits to have likes in the future you need to be very sure that the likes you are paying for are actually useful and will mean something further down the line. If you are intent on buying likes you can get them for about $1.50 depending on what type of Facebook advertising you are using as there are lots of different formats out there. I really can't stress enough the importance of having a plan in place and not just buying ads to get more likes for the sake of it or to keep up with the competitors.
There are thousands of applications on Facebook ranging from the cheap home made versions to professional off the shelf versions all the way up to big expensive custom made apps that brands build from scratch. An application (or app as you may have heard them described) can pretty much do anything you want it to do from competitions and games all the way through to e-commerce or vouchers. Think of it as a website within Facebook that allows you to use all the social features and data that Facebook make available. The correct app will help you increase likes dramatically but custom made solutions can be extremely expensive. There are some cheap or free ones around that are worth checking out like this one we use for our Youtube videos on our own page...
The first thing to remember here is that competitions that are run through the wall are not permitted on Facebook. You basically can't use any of the native functionality (tagging photos, walls, likes, comments etc) to run a competition which all though very restricting is probably a good thing in terms of spam on Facebook. You can run very simple competitions by using very basic or simple apps on tabs and competitions are of course a great way of both rewarding your current fan base and increasing the amount of likes that come to your page from other sources where you are promoting the competition.
Encouraging User Photos
You'll need some very compelling content or a great relationship with your fans to have them start submitting content to your page. If you can get people to do this then it really is invaluable because those photos will show up on all their profiles with links back to your own page and they will stay there forever meaning that even more people find your page.
These really have been the trend of the last 6 months and they do work. You can set any tab that you want as a landing tab and once people arrive on this tab I would strongly advise you to have some sort of arrow or call to action pointing to the like button. This does seem very simple and basic but rather than people hitting your wall first and leaving without liking this actually gives them a chance to like your page immediately.
Custom Landing Pages On Your Website Or Blog
This can be a little annoying for your users but if done in a subtle way it can drastically increase the amount of likes you get. The idea is that as soon as somebody visits your blog or website for the first time they are presented with a design that encourages people to like the page immediately. Used correctly this can massively increase the amount of likes you get. Here is a good example on AllFacebook
This is a simple one that we have talked about in the past in terms of getting more people to your blog and if you use Wisestamp you can create dynamic email signatures that will drive more likes to your Facebook page. This works especially well if you are a large organization as you have to remember that there could be up to 10 of you sending out 50 emails each which is a lot of emails going out with a link that people could click on and like.
So many people struggle with this. Most people think it is all about getting likes to the page first and foremost but if your content is not good on the page youw ill lose likes you have already achieved and fail to attract new people. Remember that people who see your content on Facebook are going to like it, they are going to share it and pass it on to other people within their social graph so make sure to make your content as compelling and as engaging as possible.
Suggesting To Friends
This really is the oldest trick in the book and I actually don't think it works at all any more. If you have a small business and want to spread the message to friends then by all means kick it off in this way but people are getting bombarded with suggestions to pages and it really doesn't cut through anymore at all. The worst thing you can do here is repeating this over and over and annoying your friends who just have no interest and you'll end up alienating more people than you getting liking your page which is not a good thing.
If you are running any sort of offline events or have a reason to take photos of people who could engage with your page then it is a great idea to upload those photos to your page and encourage people to tag themselves. These photos will then appear on their own profiles forever and they will like your page. This is not going to get you 1000s of likes but it will help you get some interaction with people you have met in the offline world and have them engaging with you online for the foreseeable future.
Push All Social Channels Back To Facebook
Everything you do online through social media should always be cross platform and I would always try and push as many people to Facebook as possible from either Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or other social profiles that you have. I wouldn't just be asking them to like your page either but instead provide compelling content (video, photos etc) that is only available on Facebook for example. Give people a reason to cross over to Facebook and like you.
Use The @ Symbol On Facebook
This really is one of the best way of letting others know about your page within your own stream or anywhere that you leave a comment on Facebook. As you can see form the video below it is a simple case of adding an @ symbol and and people will then be able to click the link directly to your page and like it there and then.
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