On February 9, 2009 Facebook enabled the Like button and, in the years since, it has become one of the most iconic symbols of modern social media. As Mathew Honan of Wired magazine says, the Facebook Like has “become the new metric of success – literally. Liking is an economic act.”
The Like feature allows users to quickly and effortlessly express their preference for something they see on Facebook. Infinitely easier than leaving a comment, liking is one of the key responses that makes up user engagement, the holy grail of social marketing. Once a user likes a post, other followers see the response, the action is posted on the user’s timeline and the person who posted the content will get a notification. In other words, it is the ultimate ego-boosting, marketing feedback loop.
The question is, how do you make the most of this compelling feature and use it to build your brand? Because the act of liking is the final result of all the hard work you put into your social media advertising, a Google search of how to increase your likes naturally results in long lists of best practices, do’s-and-don’ts and marketing maxims. This can make you feel that the path to improvement is impossibly complex and out of reach.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s look at three simple categories that can make or break your ability to increase page likes. Sure, there are thousands of activities that can potentially increase page likes. However, if you break them down, most of them fall into these basic, actionable categories. Pursue these strategies and you will be able to increase your likes while enjoying the genuine engagement of followers who actually love what you do.
Create Likable Content - A fundamental truth of social media marketing is that nothing beats high quality content. In regard to increasing likes, this is the single most important thing to remember. If people love your content, they will like it. The web is full of amazing suggestions to help you locate and create highly likeable, sharable posts that help your followers in some way.
It seems obvious, but content that is useful and meaningful to your followers will be liked more often among the type of people you want on your page. This drives quality engagement and audience growth. You can use metrics tools like HubNami to track what type of content speaks to your followers and which of your competitor’s posts are getting the most engagement. Use this information to craft or share likable posts, targeted and relevant to your market.
Remember, all decisions about what type of content should go into your posts need to be set in the context of your unique brand voice and client base. Cute puppies may get a lot of likes on some pages, but they won’t get you very far if your audience is made up of CEO’s and accountants.
Hack The Facebook System - There are also endless, measurable ways to increase the odds that people will like your post. Some are technical, such as adding Like buttons to your web pages and blog posts. Some are actionable, such as making sure that your content includes a call-to-action, using more pictures and video, and keeping things short. Some take advantage of the inscrutable Facebook algorithms to increase your visibility - for example, commenting from your brand page on other similar pages. People are always quantifying and reporting on the latest, best ways to game the system. Stay up to date on these practices and make use of the ones that fit with your business.
Spend Some Money - Should you be spending money to increase your page likes? The answer is a definite maybe. Paid FB ads are a great way to increase your engagement. They can really improve your reach and jumpstart a page, but only if you are prepared to take them seriously. Make sure you have a reasonable ad budget, are willing to learn and use the ads interface and are prepared to sustain your campaign over time. A poorly run or underfunded campaign is generally not worth it.
If you are considering buying likes from someone like Fiver or a “like farm”, don’t. Really, just don’t. Buying likes can look like an appealing shortcut, but purchased likes are from fake FB pages or, at minimum, from people who have no interest or connection to your brand. Both of these can ultimately ruin a page because your page becomes clogged with completely disengaged followers.
So, don’t get overwhelmed by the push to increase your likes. These simple categories of action can help you shape strategies that are perfectly tailored for your business and generate the kind of engagement every Facebook user longs for – likes that mean your followers actually love you.