Promoting your site on Facebook looks easy at first.
Really, how hard can it be to get a few likes and get people sharing and commenting on your posts?
Then you try it. You add more posts. You post funny pictures. You begin following people with more likes than you in the hopes of them following you back and sharing your posts.
Little by little you see your number of likes growing, and some comments now and then. You even throw some money into ads, and find out in the process that likes can be expensive.
Getting likes and increasing engagement can be a daunting task. Luckily there are plenty of ways to automate these tasks, so you can focus on being creative instead of managing your Facebook account.
Most Facebook promotions focus either on generating likes or increasing overall engagement. (Engagement includes likes, comments and shares, and it is one of the most important parameters for Facebook to determine if your posts are “worthy” enough to be put in a fan’s timeline.)
To get more likes, you can throw a bunch of money on Facebook ads, but there are more organic ways to do this. I will show you three tools which will help you in generating likes.
When it comes to increasing engagement, contests are a great tool. Facebook has lightened up a bit on their guidelines, and it has become easier to promote your site on Facebook by using contests. In this article you will find two tools to run contests on Facebook.
Most of these tools can also be used to increase followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. For this article I will focus on Facebook.
Let’s start with a simple tool for content locking. You have probably come across a few of these tools, as it requires to put in a like (or tweet, pin etc.) to unlock specific content on a website.
Some visitors may find this annoying, but if you have something valuable to share it’s a surefire way of generating likes.
Social Locker is a free WordPress plugin. It allows you to set up your sharing URL, and it comes with a WYSIWYG editor.
To lock content, you simply place a shortcode in the post. You can lock out a specific part of your page, or the full page. After that it simply works.
Social Locker even comes with basic statistics.
I generated a few likes within minutes. It’s very effective tool, but use it with caution since it can really turn visitors off, and keep an eye on your bounce rate. Don’t use it site wide; instead, select a few posts that you know people will be willing to give you a like for.
Woobox has a number of free tools you can use to increase likes, all of which make use of Facebook tabs.
One option it gives you is using a gate locker, which locks content on Facebook itself and requires a visitor to like your page in order to continue. For example, you could offer content, coupons or the chance to enter a sweepstakes. To unlock any of this, the visitor needs to like your page. Woobox then releases the content, sends them the coupon or enters them in the sweepstakes.
It also comes with a convenient set of statistics.
Woobox has another nice feature which allows for massive amounts of sharing, if done right. You can set it up in such a way that a minimum of likes of your friends is required before you can access the page. This way you can really turn friends into ambassadors.
Woobox is free for the features described here.
Justuno allows you to present coupon codes to your visitors in return for a like or share. To use it, you’ll need to have an e-commerce store that supports coupons.
The idea of Justuno is that visitors always love coupons, but that it’s hard to get more likes to your Facebook page. By combining this in a handy offer shown in a pop-up, you increase your likes and might entice the visitor to come back to use the coupon.
You can set up various moments to display to pop-up with you coupon and call to action. These also included “Intend to Leave”, a relative new phenomenon that shows a pop-up when it looks like you’re leaving.
If you want to see it in action, just head over to Justuno.com, wait a few seconds and then try to close the page.
Justuno is free for 30 likes a month.
While some of the tools mentioned above offer contest functionality, Gleam is a tool built just for that. It works by running competitions, or offering rewards like coupons.
Running a competition with Gleam means setting up different ways to collect entries. A like can be one entry (or more if you want to provide some extra incentive), or you can ask visitors to share your page in order to enter.
You can also specify questions for entrants to answer, or even require them to like multiple pages. Allowing vistors to enter multiple times means a greater chance for them to win the competition–and more exposure for your page.
You can easily connect Gleam with Facebook, where you can put the competition in a tab. Gleam monitors all the activity across all of your account.
Best of all, Gleam is free for the features mentioned above.
It’s a very professional tool to quickly set up Facebook contests in an instant without having to worry about constantly monitoring them.
ShortStack is another great tool to run contests. What makes it different from Gleam is the way you set up campaigns. You have full control of the landing page you build for each campaign.
This can be more time consuming than with Gleam, but it allows for a more customized experience if you put in the effort. To speed things up you can make use of a whole range of templates.
The customization is rather extensive. Besides having full control over the layout, you can also add a whole number of widgets to allow for shares, likes or questionnaires.
Setting up a good campaign with ShortStack might cost you a few hours–and several cups of coffee for your designer–but it’s a great tool if you’re into details. And all of these widgets have their own stats too.
There are numerous way to increase likes and engagement on Facebook. Some require more effort than others, but they all show Facebook is an excellent platform to work with. Its API allows for all these type of tools, and you are only limited by your imagination (yes, I know that sounds cliche but it’s true).
Most of these tools can do much more than I’ve covered here, but all of them are free or offer a free trial.
Let me know in the comments which of these tools you like. Did I miss your favorite? And if you’ve used one of these tools yourself, I’d love to hear about your results.
Note: This article was written with the current guidelines in place. Always keep an eye on the Facebook guidelines page before starting a contest.