How can I get Facebook page likes that are actually valuable?

In our last post we explained how chasing Facebook page likes can have a negative impact on your brand,

“Likes that are attracted through promotions, incentives and competitions can negatively affect your brand’s organic reach on Facebook.“

This leaves many brands with a dilemma. They want their audience to grow (faster), they have a budget but they simply don’t know where to spend to get the most value back.

How do you attract these ‘most valuable’ fans?

The most valuable way of targeting more page likes on Facebook works on the ‘familiarity principle’ –  that seeing people you know and trust associated with a product or service will bring you closer to those products or services.

Examples of these are many, from seeing a friend of yours with a bag from a particular label, someone showing off their new phone, talking about a great new cafe they went to, photos of a friend’s children in trendy rubber boots, and many more. We are bombarded with these images every day, and importantly – we trust what we see when they are from people we know.

Ideally then, any approach to attracting page likes will take into account the familiarity principle.

Here’s an example of a paid Facebook option that increases visibility of a brand (here a Finnish newspaper) by showing that other friends of yours already like a page.

Notice that out of the friends mentioned, one of them is named. This is not random – the named person will be someone who you have interacted with recently or engage with a lot. Thus the chance of them being in a close social circle, and having more influence over you is increased.

Another paid option on Facebook include this newsfeed placement ad:

The goal here is just to attract attention to the page, brand and product. This seems like a much more traditional advert – until:

Somebody you know likes it! The personal significance of this type of ad is greatly influenced by how close the connection is between the person viewing the ad and the name or names attached to it.

A different paid approach to getting fans is to pay to place your post in the newsfeed of specific groups of people, e.g. more of your existing page fans than you would otherwise reach organically, and people who aren’t your page fans but fit your target demographic. No doubt most of you that use Facebook will have experienced these sponsored posts.

The ideal situation for a brand here is that the user will find your content interesting enough to click on and maybe go on to ‘like’ your page.

In this example, there’s actually a special offer for Moomin bedsheets on the Moomin online store. The goal here will have been primarily to attract people to click through to the store and purchase the item in question.

The secondary effect can be an increase in page likes – especially if the content is compelling, well targeted and interesting. Here you can expect a higher quality of fan – someone who has consciously decided to click like on a brand’s page because of a positive interaction with them on Facebook.

This method is especially effective when you can target or reach people who are already aware of, like or trust your brand but were unaware of your Facebook presence. They are ‘confirming they like’ you, and so opting in to possibly hearing about other things you have to say. These hidden fans are especially important to for brands to find on Facebook, as they’re already familiar with your brand.

At this point, the quality of the content you post on social media will dictate how many of your page fans develop the relationship with your brand, and how many drift away after failing to be engaged by your content.

Facebook journey of fans who 'like' a page.

In conclusion – we know that focusing on gaining page likes serves no intrinsic purpose, and in fact that
poor quality page likes can damage your Facebook reach. Therefore brands should ensure that engagement is their number one priority on Social Media. Engagement, specifically increasing the number of comments generated by your content, is a crucial factor in building a community across social media platforms. Facebook page likes as a result of increased community activity are much more likely to return value and help increase both your viral and organic reach on Facebook. It will also leverage marketing effort brands have made elsewhere, helping your overall marketing effort become more efficient.

When you want to accelerate page fans during a specific period using paid advertising – make sure you centre your efforts around increasing visibility based on the actions of current fans.

Be prepared to invest in good quality content that plays to the platform strengths. Present content on Facebook in a way that Facebook users expect to receive it.

If you want to improve your brand’s Facebook presence, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or by email. We would love to help you.

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