Increasing page "Likes" can be very tricky for businesses.

Increasing Facebook page fans (a.k.a. Likes)  can be a tricky process for businesses. Whether it be done via paid advertising on Facebook, or the free organic approaches, Fans are often priority number-one on a Facebook business page.

There are paid and organic (free) strategies to increase Facebook fans. Next! Ad Agency provides management services for both. Organic strategies are unpredictable due to Facebook’s algorithm so let’s talk about paid advertising first.

Facebook’s algorithm, called Edgerank, is used to create a better user experience. The number of business pages that Facebook users “Like,” and the amount of friends they have, increases every day. Also, it’s easier than ever before to share content with share buttons and mobile phones. Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland, explains:    

“There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on” (2014).

Therefore, Edgerank is used to determine 300 status updates that a user will be most interested in, mostly based on how a user behaves while logged in. Then, only those status updates are pushed through users’ news feeds so they have a more enjoyable experience.

When you pay for Facebook advertising, there are estimates that Facebook can create for the ad reach based on your budget, targeting, and competitors. It can be a substantial amount more than putting out an organic status update, even with just a $20 budget.

Facebook advertising allows you to choose your target audience’s demographics and psychographics. You can also import contact lists, mobile audience information or website audience information and have Facebook generate a look-alike audience.

There are 10 different Facebook advertising objectives to choose from. These two, for example, are used to increase page “Likes.”

  1. Promoting your page: This objective would put out a status update that includes a “Like” button and Facebook would send it out to those people they think are the most likely to “Like” you. They don’t give you an estimate for the amount of followers (Likes) you may receive, but a business can to start with a small budget ($50- $100) to see if the results are satisfying. The business would then learn if that was an effective strategy for increasing “Likes” for their Facebook page and/or what budget it takes to get the desired amount of new “Likes” for their page.

  2. Boost a status update: Boosting a status update that has an offer in it (i.e. be entered to win a T.V.), or is a content or incentive, increases the number of “Likes.” For this strategy Facebook will give an estimate as to how many user’s news feeds the status update will go through. The pricing structure is usually about $0.50 – $4.00 per 1,000 news feeds. There is no way to see how many “Likes” would result from this strategy but a business could choose this option and, again, use a small budget to see how much it costs to get the desired results.

For any promotion (organic or paid), you unfortunately cannot require a user to “Like” your page or to share the status for the chance to receive an incentive or access to something like a Facebook app, etc. Facebook could shut down your whole page, but you can remind users to like your page in the status update with your incentive (i.e. “Please ‘Like’ our page and share this status”). From our experience at Next! Ad Agency, an incentive that is highly desired gets more page Likes.

Paid advertising may not be for everyone, however. These businesses may be more interested in organic (free) Facebook strategies.

There are never any estimates provided by Facebook for how many users an organic Facebook status update will reach but there are organic strategies that can grow Facebook “Likes.” These approaches include;

  1. Asking anyone and everyone to “Like” the page.

  2. Enlisting the help of friends, family and loyal clients asking them to share a status update with their friends and family with a link to the page.

  3. Having incentives/promotions in the status updates.

  4. A business could have internal promotion in the office. That would include telling employees and customers that if they “Like” the page, and share a status update on their personal page with their friends and family, they will be entered into a drawing for a free T.V. (for example). This way you can get around Facebook’s rules but there would be many other things to consider such as deciding on how to contact the winner, who is eligible, etc.

  5. Administrators of the Facebook page use the “administrative” tool that allows them to send and invite to their friends and family to like the page

To sum everything up, you can increase the number of page “Likes” with Facebook advertising, word of mouth, enlisting help from friends, family and loyal clients, organic status updates with a promotion, and/or an internal promotion.

Obviously, there is a lot to take in for modern business owners on Facebook. It can be challenging to run a business, as well as learn the ins-and-outs of Facebook’s complex business rules and regulations. Companies like NEXT! Ad Agency, fortunately, have affordable social media services that specialize in maintaining a positive standing on Facebook (and other social media platforms) for small businesses.

If you are a business owner that wants to have a successful Facebook page, but cannot afford the time to become familiar with the rules and regulations on a business page, it may be wise to look into paid social media services.

As Facebook becomes a more prominent source for local businesses searches, it certainly is in the best interest of small business owners to consider these strategies (both organic and paid). “Like” total and Facebook ratings often are seen by users as a reflection of overall popularity, as well as the online reputation of a given business, making it vital that a business page is thoughtfully tended to.

If you have any questions or comments about increasing your business page’s like total, comment below!

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