11 Powerful Ways to Increase Relevant Facebook Likes with Ads

Everyone wants more Facebook Fans. Marketers are a bit obsessed with it. It’s a number that in and of itself doesn’t mean a whole lot.

But you absolutely should be looking to increase your number of relevant Facebook Fans. These are the people, if targeted appropriately, will help lead to more business.

The number one way of doing this quickly is with Facebook ads. Below are 11 powerful ways that you can increase your number of relevant Facebook Likes with ads!

[As always, it’s recommended that you use Power Editor. If you don’t, some of these won’t be possible!]

1. Run Page Like Sponsored Stories

This is the easiest way to increase Page Likes. A Page Like Sponsored Story is simply promoting that “Friend A Likes Brand X.” Such ads target only friends of Fans and can appear within any placement (sidebar, desktop News Feed or mobile News Feed).

Facebook Page Like Sponsored Story

This is social proof! If my friend likes something, maybe I should, too?

Such an ad includes a Like link, and does not allow for comments.

2. Use Basic and Relevant Targeting

When you set up any ad on Facebook, you need to make sure you use at least the most basic of targeting.

Here are a few of the ways you can isolate potential Fans and avoid wasting money on people who won’t care about your brand:

  • Geography (Country, state/province, city, zip code)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interested in (All, men or women)
  • Relationships (All, single, engaged, in a relationship, married or not specified)
  • Languages
  • Education (Anyone, college grad, in college, in high school)
  • Workplaces

If your brand only applies to people in the US, there’s no reason to waste money outside of the country. Same goes for language, age, gender and the other targeting basics.

3. Use Precise Interest or Broad Category Targeting

You can also pin down your basic targeting a bit more by entering in some relevant keywords, phrases and brands within Precise Interests.

Facebook Precise Interests

Think about your ideal customer and the things that interest them!

If you don’t want to enter every relevant phrase, you may instead choose to enter a couple of Broad Categories…

Facebook Broad Categories

Choose either Precise Interests or Broad Categories — not both! I prefer Precise Interests.

4. Run Marketplace Ads

This ad unit is what appears within the sidebar. Unlike a Sponsored Story, you can customize the title, copy and imagery.

Facebook Marketplace Ad

Such an ad takes more thought, but it also opens the door for split testing and optimization. Try many different variations of creative and targeting to find what works best!

5. Target Friends of Fans

Sponsored Stories will only appear to friends of Fans, but other ads will give you this option. Make sure you run options targeting this important group!

Facebook Friends of Fans

6. Run Facebook Sponsored Search Ads

Particularly if your audience is in the early growth stage, you should be using Facebook Sponsored Search Results.

You can target more popular (and relevant) Facebook Pages that users are likely to be searching. Once again, think about the types of Pages your ideal customer likes.

Facebook Sponsored Search

It looks like I’m being targeted in such an ad!

Facebook Sponsored Search Jon Loomer Digital

7. Target Your Email List

Let’s say you already have an established email list, but you’re just now focusing on growing your Facebook Page. You can leverage that list with Custom Audiences!

Facebook Custom Audiences

Target members on your list who are not currently Fans with a marketplace or search ad to remind them to Like your Page. Since they’ve already proven to like your content, conversion rate will be high if you have a quality list!

8. Target Lookalike Audiences

If your email list is high quality but small, you can expand it through Lookalike Audiences. This can help you target potential Fans who are similar to people on your email list.

Within Power Editor, click your list and then “Create Similar Audience.” From there, Facebook will find users who are either within the top 1% or 5% of similarity compared to your list.

Facebook Create Similar Audience

9. Target via Partner Categories

Within the US, marketers have the powerful ability to target users based on purchase behaviors (online and offline) away from Facebook through the use of Partner Categories.

Facebook Partner Categories Power Editor

Targeting by interests is dependent on users providing accurate and updated information within their profiles. But Partner Categories allow you to target by actual purchase history and behaviors.

This is a powerful way to target your ideal customer!

10. Give to Get

If you run a marketplace ad, consider giving something away in exchange for a Page like. Of course, make sure that whatever it is you give away is highly relevant to your product or service. Use this as the hook within your ad copy.

Examples could include an eBook, access to a program or a discount to your product or service. Ultimately, you want people interested in what you provide to like your Page. Avoid giving away iPads!

11. Run and Promote Contests

A good way to quickly increase Likes is through running a contest. Once again, make sure that the prize is relevant!

I use ShortStack to create my contests.

While you don’t necessarily need to use ads to push a contest, I strongly advise that you do. The exception would be if your main goal of a contest is to reward current Fans. But if you’re reading this post, you’re looking to attract new ones. In that case, use ads!

Your Turn

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.geagea Anna Buzevskaya Geagea

    nice post, and I ve got a question. I am running both, regular add and sponsored stories. When I check the add’s report, I can see certian number of actions in regular adds, but i never see actions in sponsored stories’ reports. does this mean this way simply not working? has anyone experienced the same?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nataliaAmatthews Natalia A Matthews

      Anna, I have that same issue and was wondering the same thing about my sponsored posts. Does anyone know why no actions show in sponsored story reports? Are we just doing it wrong?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.wood.3979 Paul Wood

    How do you get around the fact that sponsored story likes are not your target audience ? You will end up with a large number of irrelevant likes as the original user is your target not their mum and friends. I am a local food delivery business and LOCAL is the key. If they dont live in my target area they cant be customers. I test this by offering super specials but response is very poor as I get comments like ” i wish you had a shop where I live “. For me I wish I could turn sponsored stories off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/taren.king.9 Taren King

      Paul, I believe you can turn sponsored stories off via Facebook’s Power Editor in Ad Manager.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.wood.3979 Paul Wood

        thanks Taren , I never knew that – its a great help

  • http://www.social4biz.com/ Noelle Leahy

    Hi Jon, thanks for that great post. You left out ‘Promoted Page’ ads. These are different to the rest in that one is a desktop ad, another is a mobile ad and the third a sponsored story. Or maybe i’m confused?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hi, Noelle! The Promoted Page option is actually just telling Facebook to generate three ad units that include a Sponsored Story and marketplace ad. You should be controlling your placement within Power Editor to isolate any ads within mobile News Feed, desktop News Feed, etc. (things that you can’t do with the self-serve ad tool). And the Sponsored Story is on the list!

      • http://www.social4biz.com/ Noelle Leahy

        Thank you Jon. Just getting to grips with Power Editor, it’s a great resource.

  • http://www.facebook.com/taren.king.9 Taren King

    Hello Jon, I am a big fan of your website. I am wondering why you put to either choose precise interests or broad categories when targeting, and not both? I advertise online for local businesses (25 mile geo) and have found the combination of precise, broad, and partner categories to be most helpful in getting the lowest cost per like and cost per action. Perhaps this is specific to my industry, which is car dealerships.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I guess it depends on your audience size when you do this, but typically I’ve found it makes the audience too small when you use both.

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  • gnir

    Jon, do you feel that the quality of the likes are lessened when attached to a gift or offer? Wouldn’t lots of people be inclined to “like” and then “unlike” soon thereafter? This could be costly if it is done through a CPC ad. Do you have any stats on this? Thanks!

    • freefeast

      gnir, i think this is the case with every product in the market. You just market your product. Once people like it and they feel that the product is good they stick to it. There is no running away from this truth. :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    Hey! Saw my name on a few examples!! Cool to see Facebook targeting at work!

    • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

      Scott– you are popular and influential. I see your stuff all over Facebook.
      Do you see our stuff? ;)

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Excellent list. I also prefer to use Precise Interests than Broad Categories, although sometimes – especially if you don’t know too well the industry of the client – Broad Categories could give you some hints for the first days of the ad, and then adapt the campaign based on those results. Precise categories are also great to target your competitor’s audience…

    There’s one thing I struggle to understand of Precise Interests though, and it’s: why sometimes adding an extra interest increases your target audience (as if Facebook was using the “OR”condition) whilst other times it gets reduced (as if Facebook considered an “AND” condition). Any clues?

  • David

    Jon, great discussion of targeted ads–thank you. My basic question is, once I get someone to “like” my page, how does that translate into developing a relationship with them? I am a rabbi at a synagogue trying to attract new members, and one clear objective is for folks to attend my events (let’s say, a Friday barbeque). I can easily make an ad for that event, and see the value. But what’s the value in getting people to “like” my page? Is there an easy way to target the people who “liked” the page, when I am marketing my next event?

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  • Sohaib Ali Khan

    hey jon,
    I have a doubt regarding the 5th point. its clear to me that sponsored stories will target to friends of fans, but by choosing the option to target friends of fans for ‘SOCIAL ads’ wont it be the same thing and then the two of them will compete against each other?.
    do you get my question jon?

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  • http://wredlich.com/ny/ Warren Redlich

    Good suggestions. I’m mostly happy with FB ads, but there are some frustrations. I wrote an article today about them:

    Would love to hear your thoughts. -Warren

  • Kaya Jongen

    I can’t find how to do page like sponsored stories, can you explain how? thanks so much!

  • http://www.swayamdas.com/ Swayam Das

    Wow! This is cool :-) Can we run a contest just to increase likes or increase shares something like that?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Sure. The best way to increase likes with a contest is to use a third party app like ShortStack. In order to enter, they need to like the page first.

      • http://www.swayamdas.com/ Swayam Das

        So, it is like a FanGate system right?

  • Riverbound

    Shortstack doesn’t look like it supports business pages. Am I missing something?

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