It seems the question that everyone asks. Just how do I get more Facebook followers?
And it’s not an unfair question. Most of us would like to get more Facebook followers but the truth is, since Facebook introduced advertising to the site, things did get a little more difficult.
The good news is though that there are still ways to increase your Facebook following, and the ones I’ve listed below are techniques I’ve used and still successfully.
Get more Facebook followers for free
My most popular Facebook page has over 62,000 followers which has allowed me to have instant access to a large number of people. One thing that I haven’t done is pay for any form of advertising, or boosts. This figure has been grown organically. Another of my pages has over 20,000, and another has 10,000.
The obvious advantage to having these kinds of figures is its reach.
But two small warnings:
- Facebook should only form part of your social media toolkit. Facebook can easily block you, restrict you or ban you. It’s happened to me in the past. That’s why I’d rather get people OFF Facebook and onto my mailing list where I can more control and can contact my audience directly. (you can find out how to grow your mailing list here). Get more Facebook followers so that you can get them onto your list.
- Getting big followings can take a long time, especially these days so be prepared to work at it consistently over long periods of time.
Right. Let’s get stuck in. I’ll start with the techniques I’ve found most useful.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get more Facebook followers is the humble meme. But there has to be some thinking behind this. There is no point sharing a meme for the sake of it. It has to relate to your audience.
I’ve spent many years teaching myself how to use Photoshop and similar software that now allow me to create images. For WalesOnCraic, as it’s a humorous site, I’ll usually find a funny image from the web and add some wording that’s in keeping with the site. I apply the same technique as I do for web content – I rely heavily on the shared experience I keep banging on about, and I use the same dialect and language as my target audience. Keep in mind your target audience. I’ll give you an example.
Here in Wales, one of the more famous gateways to our country from England is the Severn Bridge. As you head into Wales, there’s a sign that reads ‘Croeso y Gymru’, which means ‘Welcome to Wales’. I’ve passed it hundreds of times, and judging by the queues at the toll booths, so have many tens of thousands.
I found a picture of the sign, put it in Photoshop and added the words ‘The only road sign in Wales that will make you smile’. I added my website address to the picture and shared it on social media.
Naturally, it struck a chord with those tens of thousands who have passed the sign. The picture went viral, and because it had my website address on it (and alongside the post so that it became a live link that people could click on), it both helped with my branding, helped me get more Facebook followers, plus I saw a spike of people visiting my blog.
So create viral images, in keeping with your blog, to attract new visitors and to help promote your blog.
If you are able to create your own custom memes, even better. I’ll give you an example of a meme I created – and I timed it to perfection. Take a look at this.
In 2016, Wales were drawn in the same group as England in the UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euros as they’re known.
In case you’re unaware, Wales is part of Great Britain (and the United Kingdom) but a separate country from England. This is why we always like to get one over on the English when it comes to sport.
Traditionally, Wales have never been too good at football (soccer) whereas England has. So when the two were paired up, it was a case of taking on the Old Enemy.
To cut a long story short, Wales didn’t do too bad in our group stages. In fact, in the closing stages of the group stages, Wales had the chance to go top, beating England into second place, giving Wales the advantage in the forthcoming knockout stages.
I was on holiday in Mexico at the time but I watched the final games, knowing that should Wales hang on until the end of the match, they’d top the group.
Slightly drunk (I struggled to create the meme on my laptop, doing the one-eyed drunk thing) and had it ready to send to Facebook as soon as the final whistle blew.
The whistle blew and I pressed ‘Send’.
It had 1,000 shares in less than ten minutes. I sat back with my beer and imagined all the Welshies back home, drunk and jubilant, sharing the post as fast as they could.
I gained 3,000 followers in one night.
A lot of my content is aimed at going viral. The reason for this is that I’d rather not pay to have my content promoted by social media companies.
Before I start, I just want to point out that my content is AIMED at going viral. That doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed. A large percentage of my work doesn’t catch as much as I want it to but that’s part and parcel of the blogging world.
One of my brands was actually born out of one particularly viral post (you can read about it here) and what tends to happen is that when people see a story or post that they can connect with, they’ll likely follow the page that it’s come from, especially if they see more of the same.
There are some key elements that are worth thinking about before you write your post:
- What’s in it for the reader? What do they gain by reading your post?
- Does it include a shared experience? The more your posts resonate with your audience, the most they’re likely to share it.
You can read my link on how to write viral posts here.
Invite people to follow your page
It may be a bit old-fashioned but inviting people to like your page still works. In fact, it’s usually the best place to start building your Facebook following. I’ve done this many times, inviting friends and family from my personal profile. As the page picks up ‘likes’, and as people engage with it, your page will tend to pop up on people’s feeds, thus showcasing your page to your friends’ friends. If you want to get more Facebook followers, don’t feel shy in asking for them.
If you’ve got a lot of friends on your profile, try not to invite everyone at once, especially if it’s a new page. Facebook tends to get suspicious and may try and block you from inviting any more.
Add a Facebook ‘Follow’ button to your website
I’ve used several plugins for my WordPress sites over the years but the one I’ve come to rely on and have found most success with is Mashshare. It’s available as a plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, which is the only way I’ve used it.
I’ve used it mainly to keep tabs on the amount of shares each post gets but you can also add a Facebook ‘follow’ button to your site.
The obvious catch with this is that you need traffic on your site in the first place for people to find the follow button, when it’s usually the other way around and you’re sending people from your Facebook page to your site. This is where good SEO housekeeping comes into play because if people are finding (and liking) your site organically, a simple Facebook like button will mean make it easier for them to find you on Facebook.
Host a competition
I’ve used these with varying degrees of success to get more Facebook followers via competitions and giveaways. If you’re running a store, for instance, you may want to give away some of your stock as a prize. Several years ago, you’d find a lot of Facebook pages doing this, often captioned ‘Like and Share our page to be in with a chance of winning’. The problem often came about when users would like and share the post, as opposed to the page, which would mean that people wouldn’t see any lift in Facebook page likes.
Here, I need to hold my hands up and let you know that I’ve never used Facebook ads to get more Facebook followers (or for any other reason) so I’m in no position to comment. Buffer has published a great guide to getting started with Facebook ads and you can find that here.
Post regularly to your page
It’s very off-putting when you arrive at a Facebook page to find that it hasn’t been updated for a long time.
Posting new content can be a chore but you do have to put the work in to get the numbers. If you have any ‘evergreen’ content (content that can be used again and again), feel free to re-post it but not too often. Visitors want to see a vibrant page, not something that’s left to go stale for months.