How to build Facebook ‘likes’

feature-diamond-200Australian businesses are offering increasingly elaborate incentives in exchange for a click on that all important ‘like’ button on social media site Facebook.

Household names like Telstra are among those working hard to build ‘likes’.

Danielle Clarke is the head of online and social media at Telstra and admits that a ‘like’ on Facebook is a virtual pat on the back for a brand.

Gaining likes is intrinsically linked to understanding your audience and being relevant to that audience, Clarke says.

“Telstra has guidelines around the creation of content across our social media channels to appeal to our audience. Content needs to be valuable, unique and relevant to the audience.

“When we do this, we typically see an increase in people giving us a virtual ‘pat on the back’.”

Clarke says building likes is best done by rewarding online communities with remarkable experiences, like promotions and giveaways, which incentivise people to follow a brand.

“Promotions can contribute to the overall appeal of a brand’s Facebook page. However, a brand shouldn’t run promotions to achieve ‘likes’. Once your fans come through the door, you need to keep them entertained.”

To do this, businesses should share five pieces of content that is not about them, but of interest to their target audience, for every one piece of marketing material, recommends Kate vanderVoort, founder and CEO of digital agency Social Mediology.

“We recommend that your offer be something that encourages consumers to purchase and then they get something significant as part of that purchase, rather than straight discounts.”

While a growing fan base can look impressive on Facebook, make sure you’re aiming to build quality ‘likes’ from people that will ultimately buy from your business, Michael Simonetti, founder and managing director of digital agency AndMine says.

“Companies should attract people who like their page for an absolutely good reason – that they strongly associate with their products or services. This will translate positively to their bottom line as well as increase the social reach, virality and user sentiment,” Simonetti says.

“To do this, offer incentives, he says. “Offers, membership, discounts, vouchers and prizes are all great incentives.

“Small cash prizes are realistic – up to $1,000 works amazingly. For just a few clicks or text, people are not risking a lot for a potentially great bonus. There are also many good examples of frequent small offers, like small weekly discounts building considerable likes.

“Of course, it goes without saying, keep the giveaways on brand: don’t give away scented candles if your business sells pizzas – give away pizzas!

“And where possible, buy Facebook-sponsored stories, not Facebook ads. Sponsored stories have outperformed ads for our clients for more than a year. Expect $1 to $3 per like for your page, depending on the quality of your content.”

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