This social media brain buster usually gets thrown my way at least once every two weeks so I figured it would be worth addressing more generally. Something along the lines of, ‘I would really like to get more Facebook likes, but I don’t want to spend anything.”

Facebook likes don’t necessarily always come with a cost, but when it is clear pockets are dry for a social media budget they get a bit more challenging.

Getting Facebook likes requires community engagement

Before I get into the content portion of facebook likes and marketing, it is imperative that the brand remembers to interact with its audience, but I’m not just talking about your already racked up facebook likes. I’m talking about all the other people out there that haven’t heard of you yet.

Go after the Facebook Community

Log in as your page and start finding the conversations you want to be in. Do you have a luxury shoe brand or are you looking for parent bloggers? Use the search feature and find out where they are. If you need certain permissions, log back out and explore using your personal profile. You’ve decided facebook likes aren’t worth your money for advertising so you’re going to have to do the diligence of finding them yourself.

Once you do its time to talk to them as the brand. Don’t sell down their throats immediately, but take part in what relates you to them. Try not to forget the ‘social’ of social media. It can be diluted with all the digital marketing jazz laid on top, but in the end it really is just connecting the brand to the individual.

Become Involved in Multiple Social Communities

If you keep shouting at the same 200 people over and over again they won’t multiply into 400. They will still be 200 with the same message grilled into the back of their brains. They might actually become 199 or 198 if they’ve had enough of your terrible marketing.

Go after Twitter to find people more likely to subscribe to your content on Facebook. Twitter search for facebook likes isn’t really a popular concept, but you’ll be able to find people that are already actively talking about your brand or keywords related to it. Join the conversation and introduce the content portal you’ve created via Facebook.

Start Searching For New Likes

Start Searching For New Likes

Don’t become a spam bot or someone who would rather scream at the wall than listen to the people around them. It’ll take time to become engaging on Twitter, but consider this a social media exercise that kills two birds with one stone. You should already be dominant on Twitter. Now you’re correlating the two.

Optimize Your Content Strategy

Have you been paying attention to the Facebook insights? Clearly you care about Facebook likes, but if you aren’t evaluating what you’re putting out there for your audience than you’re not going to know what works and what doesn’t.

Get into Facebook insights and pay attention to the engaged users metric. You can arrange the data to display which content has the most. When creating your editorial calendar be sure to note these findings and focus on content that is sharable, easily digestible, and friendly to Facebook. Other content could thrive on other social media networks.

The only way you’ll know is if you give it a shot.

Get Visual with Timeline, Milestones, and Events

Take advantage of timeline and be sure to have a vivid, explicit campaign that captivates your users regardless of your product. Check out Paige Denim‘s timeline and its use of visual content. Even if your brand isn’t visual you can tap into trending items and relate them back to your core demographic. Brands have been encouraging Facebook likes with promotions for years, but did you ever think mentioning something current like the Olympics could work?

Fans will share engaging, interesting content. Just because a Southern Hospitality restaurant is sharing content about Michael Phelps doesn’t mean its customers won’t enjoy it. Remember this strategy if your content dries up and you need to expand.

There are some great, proven (at least on my end) ways of racking up Facebook likes without paying Facebook. I would always say to encourage a client to run Facebook Ads with someone who knows how to optimize, A/B test, and run campaigns off-Facebook and on-Facebook, but if money is tight prove your worth with these methods.

Try them out and let me know if they work out for you. Maybe you know something I don’t? Feel free to share your secrets.