eCommerce Insiders

Struggle with Getting Facebook Likes for Business No More

“Nothing is bigger in life than a Like” – Author Unknown

OK, I may have cheated a little. The above is actually not a quote. At least as far as I know.

But it might have been (you can reference me if you use it). Why? Because it’s true.

For many businesses a Facebook like is everything. And no, I am not trying to start a joke about those companies so obsessed with social media that they don’t even see their other customers.

I am actually quite serious.

In fact, my business is one of them (no, not the obsessed bunch, the other one). I run a newly-launched subscription based ecommerce business and for me, social media is one of the key marketing tactics I can employ to spread the word on my company, gain new customers and generally, promote the site.

So, to me a Facebook Like is everything. The more fans I get, the greater chances I have on to gain another subscriber and also, to spread the word on my business.

So a large part of my marketing focus is now on Facebook.

But, gaining Likes isn’t as easy as it may seem. 3 weeks after launching my business and I am still below 50 fans. Now, it’s not that I am not worried of not reaching that number before the end of the week. I am. The progress is slow.

During the last few weeks leading to the launch of my business and the days since I have been researching various ways on how I can increase the number of my Facebook fans. I know it’s not going to go fast, I am prepared to wait but I also want some steady progress, of course.

Below is a list of the methods I identified so far. I am naturally using only a selection of them so far and will be gradually introducing others to my marketing mix. I will list them for you nonetheless and offer my insights where I already can.

  1. Facebook Advertising – It may be quite a logical move to start with this one. With so many targeting options it might be a good idea to drive traffic to a Facebook page through it’s own advertising platform. Having said that, I have had bad experiences with Facebook ads in the past and I am quite reluctant to use this mathod for now.
  2. Pop up on the website – I can see many websites utilizing this method. Up until now I was a bit unsure about covering my pages with an overlay containing a Facebook Like button. However, only today I activated this option. If you go to my site now, you should see the popup. I am also coupling it with a nice offer of a discount to try to inspire more people to Like the page.
  3. Make the Facebook Like button prominent on the site – this one I will be implementing pretty soon (or depending how long after the publication of this post you read these words, it might already be there).
  4. Asking friends and family to spread the news about the page – The power of recommendation is undoubtedly incredible. Recommendations from friends and family is a method that brought me the majority of my current fans. Even though I don’t know many of them, I know that many are friends or relatives of my friends whom I sent an information about the page and the business. And many of them are genuinely interested in my business (or at least that’s what I can conclude from their inquiries) which is great.
  5. Press Releases And Website Combined – At the start, no one knows about your site. It’s a sad reality but at the very beginning, your analytics software doesn’t have that much to do. What I always do is, instead of staying all the time on my live chat software in hope that someone might come in and perhaps ask me a question, use this time as an opportunity to promote the site through more official channels. However, perhaps instead of only talking about your business in the press release, mention your Facebook page as well and a competition you are running on it (see the next point). I have missed my first set of press releases but will try this method on the next round in few weeks.
  6. Competitions – Facebook competitions are a great way to promote your page and gain links. You can even make liking the page a mandatory step to enter the competition. How cool.
  7. Sweepstakes – similarly to competitions, sweepstakes can help with promoting not only your brand but also Facebook page. How? Most sweepstakes software includes an option to include social buttons in the sweepstakes. A big win if you ask me. I am going to be launching a sweepstakes soon to promote my page.
  8. Offer something in return for a like – this one is a no-brainer. Give people something that will make them like your page. I am still pondering whether this strategy is better suitable for B2C companies rather than B2C eCommerce stores. Most materials you get seem to refer to B2B situations (free PDF guides etc. ) however, this strategy might be useful for B2C companies as well. And if you ever used it that way, let me know.
  9. Post useful content regularly – A more passive method but potentially quite useful. Post useful but also entertaining content that’s relevant to your audience and they will share it with their friends etc. That means nothing short of a great exposure for your brand and Facebook page.
  10. Give exclusive special offers to your Facebook fans only – make Liking your page feel almost like joining an exclusive club.
  11. Add to your email signature, and pretty much everywhere else you can so that people you are in touch with would know about your page.
  12. Packaging slips – I guess this is a highly overlooked method. Your packaging slip or promotional material that you include in every parcel to customers serves, well, promotional role. Therefore why not include a call to action asking customers to like your page on it? I have it on mine.
  13. Other promotional materials – Lastly, whatever other promotional materials you use, be it flyers, business cards or whatever else, make sure that you include a call to action to Like your page.

Conclusion

In today’s tough marketing times, developing a strong fan base on sites like Facebook should be the key concern for online businesses. Many old school techniques like SEO no longer work as a growth engine and it seems that only by building a community around your business are you able to create a solid promotional machine.

However, that’s only simple in theory. In reality, gaining Facebook Likes isn’t that easy and you need to try many different methods to yield results and constantly experiment with different approaches.

Your Turn

How do you gain new Facebook fans? What methods for increasing the number of Likes on your Facebook page have worked best for you?

Pawel Grabowski is a SaaS writer, working with B2B SaaS companies primarily.

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