The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

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I’ve written about growing your Facebook Likes many times before. I wrote about it here and here and here and here and here and here.

That’s a lot!

So I considered not writing this post and adding to the noise. But I had to do it because what I am going to provide you today is unique and valuable. And — hey — everyone wants to know how to get more Facebook Likes!

The posts I’ve written before about getting Facebook Likes are certainly helpful. Those posts provide a list of ads and strategies you can use. But never before have I offered a process.

It’s taken some time, but I have adopted a process that I now use for myself and for clients to quickly and efficiently build a highly relevant Fan base without breaking the bank.

No, this is not about cheap Likes in strange countries. It’s not about shady services. It’s about implementing a process to strategically target people who will flock to your Facebook Page.

It’s a seven step process. Let’s go…

1. Use Graph Search to Isolate Precise Interests

I’ve spoken before about how to use Graph Search to learn more about your Facebook Fans. But I’ve been amazed by how well this works.

First, run a Graph Search like this:

Pages liked by people who like Jon Loomer Digital and Mari Smith.

facebook graph search pages liked by people who like The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes
I picked the biggest name I could think of to pair my Page with. I want to know the overlap.

I write down all of the Pages that appear on the first page of results. And then I run the process over and over again.

Then I run a Graph Search like this:

Favorite Interests of people who like Jon Loomer Digital and Mari Smith.

facebook graph search favorite interests The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

I again run this process repeatedly. This time, though, I make sure to filter out anything that is too broad and clearly not relevant (like Traveling).

2. Create a Saved Audience in Power Editor

Then I go into Power Editor and create a Saved Audience. I add the Pages and interests that made the cut.

facebook power editor precise interests saved audience The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

Notice that I did not include any hashtag interests to make it broader. I don’t want to target people who like something related to these Pages and interests (which is what happens when you use the hashtag), I want these Pages and interests only.

I keep country, gender and age targeting very broad…

  • Age: 20 and Over
  • Gender: Men and Women
  • Country: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Portugal and Brazil

The countries I chose are reflective of what I see in my Facebook Insights. Focus on where your Fans are from, whom you reach and who engages with your content.

You could target only English speaking people at this point, too. I’ve chosen not to.

This Saved Audience is created. Hang onto it, we’ll use it later.

3. Create a Lookalike Audience

Normally I would list creating a Custom Audience first — I love Custom Audiences — but I’m going backwards here because I want to focus first on a completely different audience.

I fact, I’m not going to include Custom Audiences in this list at all because my intention is to find completely new people who were not previously exposed to your brand.

You’ve hopefully already created a Custom Audience. This involves uploading your email list (or other customer list) into Power Editor so that you can target ads at these people, regardless of whether they are Fans (powerful stuff!).

But I’d neglected Lookalike Audiences until recently. I wasn’t seeing great results. And I recently realized why.

Previously when I created Lookalike Audiences, I was adding targeting to make it far too fine. I wasn’t trusting Facebook’s algorithm that already determined that these users were similar to my customers. As a result, the audience was small and ineffective.

I learned from that, and you’ll learn from my mistakes.

To create a Lookalike Audience, highlight your Custom Audience in Power Editor and click the “Create Similar Audience” button.

facebook similar audiences The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

Then have Facebook create a Lookalike Audience based on similarity (the top 1% of users similar to your Custom Audience).

facebook create similar audience The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

Do this for every country that fits your broader audience. Again, I used my top six countries.

Once again, put this aside.

4. Create Page Like Sponsored Stories

Create two different campaigns in Power Editor:

  1. Page Like Sponsored Story – Similar Pages and Interests
  2. Page Like Sponsored Story – Lookalike Audiences

You need to keep these Sponsored Stories separate because Facebook may otherwise decide too soon to go with one over the other.

Create one ad within each with very broad settings. Here’s what I did…

  • Placement: All Facebook
  • Country: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Portugal, Brazil
  • Age: 20+
  • Gender: All
  • Connections: Users who are not already connected to Jon Loomer Digital

For everything else, I went with defaults. For the Lookalike Audience ad, I included all six audiences that I created (one for each country).

Now run these Sponsored Stories at a budget high enough or a period long enough to learn from the results. We’ll get to that later.

5. Create a Like Gated Offer

Now create a standard Facebook ad that attracts the same audiences as in the previous step. This time, you’ll use something of value as bait.

This is the excruciatingly simple ad that I created:

ebook facebook ad The Secret Process to Increasing Facebook Likes

If they click on the ad instead of immediately liking, they are directed to my Facebook tab where they are instructed to like my Page to get free access to the eBook.

Feel free to do something similar. Think of something you can create of value that you can give away in exchange for liking your Page.

By the way, I use ShortStack (aff.) to create these like gated tabs.

Reminder: Create separate campaigns, one for your Lookalike Audiences and one for the similar Pages and Interests. And don’t forget to keep the targeting broad!

6. Use Facebook Ad Reports to Optimize

Now it’s time to optimize!

If you haven’t yet started using the new Facebook advertising reports, you need to start now. It’s an absolutely amazing tool that can make your advertising a whole lot easier (and save you money in the process!).

Now you should create three reports that help you quickly see what is working. All three reports should filter out the campaigns that you just created. The difference is what you select in the Data Breakdowns setting.

Since you can only select one of these options for each report, you’ll need to create three:

  • Age & Gender
  • Country
  • Placement

Then edit the following columns:

  • Data Aggregation: Campaign and Ad
  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency and Spend
  • Clicks: Nothing
  • Actions: Page Likes
  • Cost per Action: Cost per Page Like

Through this process, I recently discovered I was getting 14 cents per Like on my Similar Pages & Interests Sponsored Story among people in the United Kingdom. That same group was getting me 22 cents per like on my eBook giveaway.

But I also realized that I was spending too much for certain groups and in certain placements. These are things that are now very easy to determine within the new ad reports.

So, what do you do with this information? You stop the original ads and create new, optimized ads that focus on the areas that are working.

That’s It!

That’s the process I’m using that I’m finding incredibly effective. Anything else you’d add?

Let me know in the comments below!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • Lee

    This is gold! Thanks Jon

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Lee!

  • Becca

    Awesome! I have looked for information of this topic for the last several hours. Your site is greatly prized.

  • pontocomteudo

    Nice to see Brazil in your target! :)

    • Jon Loomer

      And you’re a big reason for that, Camila!

      • pontocomteudo

        Your work is the reason for that :)

  • Eric Leszkowicz

    You articles continue to be the definitive book for Facebook marketing.

    I especially like the mention of the favorite interests of the fans of the page….I didn’t know that was a variable…off to run some ads.

    • Jon Loomer

      You’re too kind, Eric!

      And those are some awesome interests! Hahaha…

  • Eric Leszkowicz

    On the lookalike audience, is there a way to trim down that audience to a geography smaller than the entire United States?

    • Jon Loomer

      No, but you can certainly trim it down when you run your ad.

  • Jaan

    I’m a Facebook marketer and have 1900+ friends, but Facebook isn’t giving me graph search. What am i doing wrong? :D

  • Federico Munoa

    Awesome post John, I use this technique also to know my audience interests in Facebook to target them also at the Google Display Network. It amazes me the topics and interest that may come up in Facebook that are not the ones we would usually target on Google.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Federico! Pretty powerful stuff.

  • Carol

    Hi Jon, great post as always :) I used the graph search and chose the interests and pages, but when I go to create the audience some of them don’t show up on the “Precise interest” box. Could you help me figure this out?


    • Jon Loomer

      Just how it is, Carol. Can’t explain why since some of the Pages I ran into are quite large (always possible it has something to do with the Page’s account settings and allowing advertising).

  • Brankica

    I am still working on step 3 :) I just can’t get any of the pages I need to target to show up, the only thing that shows up is the hashtag topic (same name as page). I am guessing there is no workaround but has anyone figured out how to target more specific pages if they are on the smaller side?

    • Jimmy

      They show up below the hashtags.

      • Brankica

        some do, but most ‘small’ pages I want to target don’t. Even some with several thousands of fans don’t :(

    • Ritan Dhar

      try the above link to register your self and keep getting likes… :)

  • Steve Kozy

    HI Jon,
    Good Advice! One thing; when I click on your link (my facebook tab) under Step #5 – it takes me to a page not found error. I found the tab by going directly to your page. Very nice layout.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Steve! I updated the link.

  • Malhar Barai

    Amazing Jon!

    I really liked the way you leveraged Graph Search to build your target audience. Spellbound!

  • Facebook Likes

    very informative. btw, i’ve downloaded your ebook but havent read it yet, but i really like how its designed. very professional. thanks

  • Michael_N

    Jon, This is very interesting. I have a few questions, please. What do you mean by you run the process over and over again (re: Likes and Interests)? How do you change it each time you’re running it again? Also, when you upload a mailing list to create a Lookalike audience, does it matter what size your mailing list is? I feel like I read somewhere it has to be a certain size. Thanks so much!

    • Jon Loomer

      You’re creating a list, Michael. So, I run this search…

      Pages liked by people who like Jon Loomer Digital and Mari Smith

      Then I run it for the page that comes up first on that list:

      Pages liked by people who like Jon Loomer Digital and Social Media Examiner

      I write down all of the first page results that come in each time I run the search.

  • AllenCheyette

    some pages i wish to add to precise interests just won’t show?! why?

  • John M

    Very good indeed, but this is complicated to do. Here is what I do… I simply buy fans/likes and then “natural” fans just keep coming by themselves. Its the most hassle free way to get likes. I Usually use


  • tuyen2tech

    increase facebook likes, facebook auto like

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  • mr majo

    I agree that it is hard to grow your social media following, but I have had much success using in the past”

  • Rick

    Any idea, when this will be available in the Nederlands?

    • Rick

      I mean the graph search…

  • Chris

    Late comer to this one. Ad campaigns have been on pending for like a day. Is there anything I need to do to initiate it after its all set?

  • Chris Copeland

    My campaign in power editor is stuck on pending for over 24 hours. Everything else is done. Whats the next step?

    • Jon Loomer

      You uploaded? Otherwise, Facebook can definitely be slower starting Friday afternoons. It shouldn’t have anything to do otherwise with whether you created the campaign in Power Editor or the self-serve ad tool.

  • Ravi

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  • Abiodun Akintola Lawrence

    I will surely try out all you highlighted here. Thanks for sharing

  • jim

    I found this article that was quite helpful as well.

  • Harmeet

    Jon, I am not having graph search although I have applied around three months. Can u suggest another way to isolate the precise interests. I must say this is again a very comprehensive and simple post from your end.

    • Stacy-Ann Hayles | Social Medi

      Hi Harmeet, just a quick trick which worked for me some time ago. Log out of Facebook everywhere you’re logged in (pc, tablet, phone), then clear browser history on one device and log in there. You should see graph search.

  • Helena Zwarts

    Hi Jon

    Excellent article! I set my campaign up but am now wondering how big the target market should be…

    Can possibly give a general guideline of the size of the target audience?

    Many Thanks

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