Facebook “likes” are quickly turning into currency for credibility. The more “likes” your business has, the more seriously consumers will perceive your company. Extra bonus: every time someone “likes” your page, each of your updates shows up in their news feed, thereby providing them constant reminders of your brand.
So how can you pump up your “likes” to Apple and Gap levels (2.7 million and 1.4 million, respectively)? Follow these tips, and you’ll soon be on your way.
Tag, Tag, Tag
In late January, Jill Homiak, founder of Presenza, a wrap-top designer in Alexandria, Va., posted this to her company’s Facebook wall: “Who else is excited that Sofia Vergara is the new CoverGirl?!?!” She tagged the word “CoverGirl” by putting an @ before the “C,” thereby alerting CoverGirl to the post. Her plan worked; it not only caught the attention of the cosmetics brand, but the brand ended up “liking” her comment.
“By ‘liking’ my comment, it showed up on their Facebook page, which is ‘liked’ by more than 1.7 million people,” says Homiak. “It gave us huge visibility, and we attracted more ‘likes’ in the process.”
Donate to Charity
PaySimple, a cloud-based accounts-receivable provider out of Denver, is taking a touchy-feely approach to attracting “likes.”
“We are taking part in a month-long philanthropy campaign where, for every ‘like’ we receive, we will donate $1 to Kids Are Heroes, a nonprofit that inspires volunteerism in children,” says Sarah Jordan, the company’s Director of Marketing, adding that [PaySimple] is hoping to bring in around 200 “likes” and, so far, is up 40 from last month.
If you’re inspired to try this but aren’t sure what charity will resonate with your customers, Jordan recommends the trial-and-error method to see what brings about the most interest.
Host a Giveaway/Contest
On New Year’s Day 2011, Marc Joseph’s Facebook business page had around 3,200 “likes.” Today, it has more than 42,000.
How’d he do it?
“I’ve been doing giveaways every month since January 2011 on Facebook, and it has worked beautifully,” says Joseph, CEO and President of DollarDays, a wholesale distributor out of Scottsdale, Ariz. “In addition, we really engage with our customers online and ask them what kinds of giveaways they want, which inspires even more attention and comments.”
Contests are also great “like” drivers. Just before Christmas, Brina Bujkovsky, founder of The Younique Boutique in San Marcos, Calif., offered a free hanging quilt as the prize of a contest asking followers to describe their happiest holiday memories on her business’s Facebook page. The contest worked—her “likes” went from 100 to more than 800 in just two weeks. [S]he selected the winner at random and then asked them to post photos of the quilt once they received it, attracting even more “likes.”
Create a Splash Page
A splash page is a gate to one’s Facebook wall and usually contains colorful graphics describing a company, promoting products or sales. Louis Hernandez, Jr., CEO of The Motor Bookstore, a car-manual retailer in DeBary, Fla., uses his splash page to capture “likes.”
“A splash page asks the visitor to ‘like’ your page before seeing your wall contents,” he says. “You can bypass this, but the majority of visitors will follow instructions.”
In an effort to get the word out about her harp-performance business, Merry Miller turned to Facebook in a creative way: she asked followers to do the work for her.
“I inspired my base to repost a link to my love CD by offering to play a wedding for free to the person who got the most ‘likes’ on my link,” she says. “I captured 100 ‘likes’ in the first day.”
Facebook users hate a hard sell. Endear your business to followers by posting on personal topics such a popular sports games and how you feel about the weather. Michael D. Haaren, cofounder of Rat Race Rebellion, a work-from-home job board out of Annandale, Va., posts about his obsession with Nutella and gets tons of feedback, as well as “likes.”
Bottom line: Remember to put the “social” in social media. [D]on’t talk at your consumers; [t]hey will just tune out.