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9 Unique Methods to Give Facebook Users Incentives to Like

Kenny Novak • Updated on March 9, 2022
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Facebook is all about the likes, but not in the way you might think.  The sheer volume of likes on your page doesn’t help you.  It’s the individual people that matter.  You need people liking your page who legitimately like your business and what you do.  The purpose of the like, after all, is to follow a business and receive more messaging from them.

A large part of this means making your Facebook page worth liking.  If you never post anything worthwhile, you’re never going to bring in engaged fans.  At best, you’ll pull in fans who are ambivalent to your message and, while they may see your post, don’t care when they do.

Before digging into the advanced incentives, here are the basics you should be doing at all times to make your page worth liking.

  • Stay active.  People hate liking an inactive page.  Plus, your message will be less and less visible the longer you remain inactive.
  • Encourage liking through your website with a like widget, Facebook comments and social sharing buttons.
  • Link to your page everywhere you can; your personal profile, your website, your blog posts, your newsletter, your other social accounts and anywhere else.
  • Keep your community wholesome.  If users are stirring up trouble with flaming or trolling, moderate their comments.  The more comfortable a user feels, the more they’ll stick around.

Important note: You can no longer use like gating!  Facebook slipped a message in their terms of service.  To quote: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a page.  This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a page.”  Facebook made this change because they don’t like the concept of paying for content with a like; the like should be a genuine sentiment.  This is all well and good, of course, but the reality is you need to incentivize users to like your page one way or another.  You just can’t be overt about denying content to non-fans any more.

1. Like-Gate Contests


Wait, what?  Didn’t I just get done saying that this won’t work any more and is against Facebook’s terms?  Well, yes, but that’s only if you do it through an app.  You can make a more “organic” like gate situation.  For example, create a normal post, “Like this post for a chance to win X!”  Now use an app to randomly choose someone from the list of people who liked the post.  It’s not against Facebook’s terms, but it still requires a like for a contest entry.  Of course, this opens up problems – problems the app method fixed – but it’s still a possibility.  Oh, and don’t forget that you can still gate entries behind Twitter follows and other social metrics, just not Facebook likes.

2. Tease Content Elsewhere

You know how, when you post a new blog entry, you go to Facebook to promote it?  That’s teasing your blog content on Facebook.  Now take it another step further; tease your Facebook content on other sites.  Twitter is a great one for this, as are PPC campaigns.  Just create compelling content on Facebook itself – an app, an unpublished post or something else hard to get – and advertise it on Twitter.

3. Partner With Other Brands

One good way to increase your likes is to partner with other brands in your industry or location.  Create a compelling Facebook post that explains what your business is all about, what you’re doing and why following your Facebook page is a good idea.  Offer some incentive if you like.  Talk to other business owners and have them share the post when you make it, or post it on your behalf.

4. Follow Up Conversions

Facebook is an excellent platform for customer service, so you should use it as such.  In fact, every time someone converts, send them a message.  Put it on your confirmation page, put it in your confirmation email, get it in front of everyone who makes a purchase.  Tell them that you’re always active on Facebook and that it’s a great source of community assistance and direct customer service, if they have any issues.  Of course, you then have to live up to your promises.

5. Hold Regular Fan Features

One popular way to encourage Facebook likes is to run a contest that features fans.  Ask them to create photos or videos of some specific situation, possibly a branded situation, and submit them on your page.  Each week, or each month, pick a winner and feature that fan.

You can feature them on a basic level, by tagging them in an announcement post and rehosting the picture on your wall.  You can also take it another step further and interview them about their life and, if possible, business and website.  Link to them and you’ll bring in some of their audience.

6. Encourage Likes on Traditional Media


This method only works if you use traditional – non-online – media, but if you do, it can be great.  Print coupons with QR codes that link to your page and ask for a like.  Ask for likes when you hand out business cards.  Run an unpublished post for your print ads and ask them for a like in exchange for a coupon.  You have a wide range of possible options to link your offline and online marketing efforts.

7. Hold Facebook-Only Contests or Promotions

In this case, you’re not limiting your entrants to just Facebook metrics.  Instead, all you’re doing is limiting your advertising.  Offer a day-long coupon, but don’t post it anywhere besides Facebook.  Offer a contest or giveaway that you only advertise on Facebook.

The goal here is to make your Facebook page more valuable.  Sure, users can click through from any site linking to you and find that offer, but that’s coincidence or a delay they may not want.  On the other hand, if they follow your page with a like, they’ll be notified when you post such a contest.

8. Run Like-Focused Advertising

Facebook specifically has an option in their PPC system that allows you to pull in Facebook likes.  You should treat this just like any other Facebook campaign; optimize your images, optimize your text, split-test different ads and all the rest.  Targeting is very important, so make sure to make heavy use of Facebook’s similar audiences targeting to find people just like your fans.

9. Time Posts Properly

If you never post when users are available, your posts will get lost in the crust.  Time your posts for the right day of the week and the right time of the day to hit the most users you can.  You can measure this by checking your reach versus the time of day, and experimenting with different posts at different times.


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