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How to Get More Likes on Facebook in 2012
Getting "likes" on Facebook for your business or promotional Facebook page can be almost as valuable as collecting a new subscriber's e-mail addresses. In today's world of less than 140 character attention spans, getting a person to click like on your Facebook page could mean the difference between making that person a long time customer and never hearing from them again. Once you get that single 'like" click, you have an opportunity to correspond directly with your new follower on a daily basis and have a high likelihood of that person never unsubscribing. Each and every one of your Facebook likes, or followers and fans, are potential customers to whatever product or service you are selling.
Why Do They "Like" You?
When someone clicks like at the top of your Facebook page, generally it means that you caught their attention and they want more. It's like in 5th grade when you passed that note to the cute boy or girl sitting at the other table at lunchtime that said "Do you like me? check yes or no." If they checked yes, you were in and you knew to proceed with your romantic courtship of shyly staring at them when you thought they weren't looking. If they checked no, you had to either get over your heartbreak and move on, or try harder until the next opportunity came for you to slip your temperamental crush another note. When you get someone to like your Facebook page, it means that they are at least mildly interested and for a brief minute, you caught their attention and they want to give you the opportunity to keep the relationship going.
Professional Looking Facebook Timeline Pages
Generally, the first thing that a potential like clicker sees is not your Facebook page. They either visit your website, find a link to you on a blog or outside website, or see a post of yours that one of their friends shares. No matter what, their first impression of you is NOT of your Facebook page. The fact that they visit your Facebook page means that they are already somewhat interested in either what you do, what you offer, or your subject matter. You've already done the first step in acquiring new potential customers: providing something of interest. The next step is making your potential customer take action. In this case, Facebook has set the standard for the logical next step in the relationship: clicking the "like" button.
Once you get a potential "liker" to your Facebook page, you have a very small window to motivate that person to subscribe to your Facebook page. The key to making a good impression with your Facebook page is to have a clean, professional looking Timeline page. In 2012, Facebook required all pages to use the Timeline format, so you have no choice in the layout of your page. Make sure that you create a professional looking Timeline complete with identifiable and branded graphics that readers will associate with your business. Check out some examples in the link box to the right for ideas on setting up your Timeline.
How to Get More Likes
Now that you have the basic concept of what a Facebook "like" is and means to you as a business owner, webmaster, blogger, or employee of a company with a Facebook page, how do you drive more potential "likers" to your page and motivate them to take action and click the like button on your Facebook page?
Getting Comments is Key
Every time that a person comments on one of your posts, a link is created on their Facebook page to your Facebook page. This means that you get access to each and everyone one of their Facebook friends. The average Facebook user has over 300 friends. So, if you have 10 people comment on one of your posts, you have a potential advertising (for free) to 3,000+ people. If one of the commenter's friends finds your page and likes it, you will have indirect access to their network of friends, and so on and so forth.
Post Good Content
For your Facbook page to be effective, you need to have something to say and a reason to say it every time you make a post. Make at least one post per day, but do not overdo it and have your readers feel like you are spamming their feed with dozens of posts per day. If you are posting relevant content on a daily basis, your following will continue to increase and you will see very few "unlikes" or unsubscribes.
As an example, I used to run the Facebook page for a zoo. I would post at least one post per day and I would incorporate several of the ideas listed below to keep my posts fresh. If I had no special events going on that day at the zoo, I would post a random animal fact about one of the animals that were on exhibit at the zoo. This was relevant content and something that my readers expected to see from a zoo Facebook page.
Post Pictures and Video
The phase "a picture is worth a thousand words" should be changed to "a picture is worth a 140 characters." Pictures and video are the simplest way to get more likes on Facebook. Again, you need to be posting relevant pictures and video to the theme of your Facebook page. Random YouTube videos that have nothing to do with what you are trying to sell will get you no where and will confuse your readers. If you don't have a digital camera, pick up a simple and cheap one from Amazon and go out and take some original photos to post on your Facebook page. A couple hours of taking photos could give you months worth of content for your Facebook page. One of the best ways to generate buzz around a photo is to post it to your Facebook page and then ask your readers to write their own creative caption. People LOVE to participate in these type of posts.
For videos, pick up a Flip Camera to use to shoot your own original videos. I suggest creating a YouTube account to upload and manage your videos and then link to them through your Facebook page. A Flip Camera is an easy to use, point and shoot camcorder that you can plug straight in to your computer to upload your videos. It even comes with some basic video editing software that is very simple to use. Use your Flip camera to make short videos of testimonials from your customers or guests, or if you a bit more tech savvy you can edit your own videos and create entertaining media about your organization or business.
Post at Different Times
People check their Facebook feeds at different times throughout the day. When running the zoos Facebook page, I would usually make a post between 9-10am every day because that is when many of our target audience (moms) were online checking their Facebooks. We wanted to have our logo go across their feeds so they would think about taking their kids to the zoo that day. I also tested posting at different times through the day to hit a wider range of potential customers and supporters. Make posts at lunch time, in the mid afternoon, right before 5:00pm, and in the evening. There are several tools out there that allow you to schedule your posts. One of my favorites is HootSuite. It allows you to write your post and schedule it to post at a certain time. This gives you the freedom to spend 15 minutes a day on your Facebook posts and post more than once per day without even being near a computer.
Run a Contest or Give Something Away
People love free stuff. One of the easiest ways to get more likes on Facebook is by running a contest that requires the contestants to like your page and post a comment. For example, the zoo held a wine tasting fundraising event every year. I would take a picture of two tickets to the event and post it to the zoo's Facebook with a caption "Win two free tickets to the wine tasting event by posting a comment to this picture about your favorite memory from visiting the zoo." I would get hundreds of comments, which were all positive comments about the zoo. Not only does this help me get more likes, it gives my organization good reviews from customers who would otherwise not have said a single word.
Asking questions is another way of inviting people to comment on your page without actually saying "please comment on my Facebook page." Remember, comments are key in getting more likes on Facebook. Going back to my zoo example, I would ask questions like "What is your favorite memory of the zoo?" or "What is your favorite animal at the zoo?" or "Did you attend the 5K run over the weekend at the zoo? What was your time?" People love commenting and you love it when you get comments. Any interaction that your fans have with you on your Facebook page means that they are visiting and they are indirectly saying to their friends "you should check this out, because I took the time to post something here."
The best thing that you can do is stay active with your Facebook page. All the work that you do getting more likes will go to waste if you do not continue to post and use your Facebook page for whatever purpose you created it in the first place. If you are selling something, keep advertising your product. If you are trying to raise awareness about something, keep at it. If you are trying to drive traffic to a blog or website, keep posting relevant content. Once you get a person to click that little "like" button, you open doors to thousands of potential customers. Don't miss out on the opportunity that you created for yourself.