Thumb up hand with like text on button. Isolated on white.

Likes. Do you remember the days when the word like was simply a feeling you had about a person or thing? I remember when I was a kid, the things I liked were BigChew gum, He Man, Michael Jordan and the occasional girl.

Fade to black, fade into October 30, 2007 when FriendFeed introduced the Like button. Shows how much I know. I had to turn to my trusty stead, that I call Wikipedia for that fun fact. It wasn’t until later that Facebook integrated the feature before acquiring FriendFeed in 2009.

That single feature changed the way we used the word. One of those words that can be used as every part of a sentence. Now, it is commonly thought of as an adjective. Thanks a lot, Facebook. Well, at least they didn’t demolish the word like, there I go, valley girls did in the 80’s and 90’s. “Like, totally.”

Alright enough with the history lesson, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Likes. We all want them. Some of us will go as far as to sacrifice a live chicken or praying to the social media Gods for more likes. It’s that serious. But it really doesn’t have to be.

Don’t get me wrong…the more quality likes the better. Let me repeat that, the more QUALITY likes the better. You want people who will interact, who click on your posts, who will comment, and who will share your posts. That’s the important part of all of this. You need a community on Facebook that will participate.

How do you get more of those people?

Simple. Bribe them. Give them butt loads of cash to participate. I’m kidding, well sort. Let me explain.

Before you do anything, you need to understand that everything you do in, what we marketers like to label as community building, must be in an effort to bring value to your community members.

To grow your page. You need to give your members what they want, what they need, and what will make their lives better right now.

It’s not sit there and send out emails bribing people with gift cards or cash or a chance to win a unicorn. You need to tell them why they should Like your page. Without that you’re up shits creek without a paddle.

Their expectations will be skewed from the beginning. Ultimately, you will never get them to do what you need most, which is participate.

Assuming you have all that set. There are some really simple ways to grow your likes. Let’s take a look at 3 of the easiest ways to grow your Facebook Page.

1. Incentivize people. Yes, I know. I said not to bribe people. But what I meant is not to give people a prize for Liking your page without them knowing what they are getting into.

Here is a quick example. I get emails from a mortgage broker telling me I will enter to win a $250 Best Buy gift card if I like his page. BUT I have no idea what sort of value he is going to bring to me on Facebook. Is he just giving me info on mortgages? How much of that info can I really get and like? Not much. In the words of Rod Tidwell from Jerry Maguire, “Show me the money!” Translation: show me the value.

When you incentivize people to like your page, start with asking the people who already enjoy your page. Give your current community members a reward for telling others about your awesomesauce that is your Facebook page.

Incentivize people in your other communities like your Twitter followers or email list to like your Facebook page.

The incentive should be of value to your community. Either a free product or service of your own. Or bring in partner that will provide something really cool to your community members.

2. Facebook Ads. Yes. Facebook Ads. Now before you get scared off with the word Ad included in the bulletpoint. I ensure you that when I saw Ad, I don’t mean it comes with a $100,000 price tag or even $1,000.

All you really need is the price of a Subway Footlong meal. Actually after tax, it’s less than a Footlong meal. You just need $5. That’s a little more than a grande latte at Starbucks.

There are two ways to do this. First, you can actually purchase a Promote Page ad, which $5 will get you a full day of advertising. If you build the right target for the ad you can see anywhere between 4-15 new likes. I recently did this and saw 8 new likes in the matter of hours.

The second way to use Facebook Ads is by Boosting a Facebook post. Boosting is as simple as hitting that blue button in the bottom right of a Facebook post on your page. You have the option of starting with $5 and really that’s all you need to get some sizeable results. You also need to pick the right people to boost your post to. If done correctly, you will see your post reach a brand new group of potential community members. In return, you will likely get a few new Facebook Page Likes.

I recently did this with a post. I initially spent $6 targeting healthcare professionals around the world. The results were the following: Reached – 5,252 | Link Clicks – 59 | Page Likes – 3 | Post Likes – 164

Facebook Ad Results

That’s $6 to drive 59 new people to my website. That was the main goal. What was the icing on the cake was the 3 new likes.

3. Guest Promote. Guest promoting is by far the most creative of the three. What you do here is find a partner. Someone who compliments what you do. They have the same targeted audience as you do.

Then, you promote each other’s pages. Your partner makes a post on behalf of you, that you created, asking everyone to like your page because you provide some sort of value. You do the same for them. This could be a monthly activity. You see this done on Instagram quite a bit.

It’s not any different here. Preferably, you and your partner offer a special gift for the kind people who do decide to like each other page. Give away foot massages or back scratchers or fanny packs. Whatever works, make it happen.

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