In the last couple of years, the uptake of social media by businesses of all sizes has been huge. While this is great, unfortunately after taking this first step not all businesses have had the time, resources, or know-how to really capitalise on social media, so in many cases their social accounts never really get off the ground.

As a result, we often speak to businesses with only a handful of Facebook likes, and while the number of likes isn’t everything, it is important to have a decent sized audience in place in order for all the effort you’re putting into the content you post on Facebook not to go to waste.

Fortunately, there are some ways to increase your Facebook audience that are straightforward, immediate and cost-effective. Here are my top 3 suggestions:

1. Email Invite Tool

My number one suggestion is brilliant for businesses that are struggling to get Facebook likes, but that have a large database of customer email addresses (which is quite a common situation in our experience!). Facebook offers an email invite tool, while allows you to import a spreadsheet of email addresses directly into Facebook. It will then match those email addresses against Facebook users, and then send those individuals an ‘invite’ asking them to check out your page.

2. Facebook Ads

We’ve found Facebook’s paid advertising to be tremendously successful in the past. The great strength is that you can pinpoint and target the precise demographics of people who will be interested in your business. You can set strict parameters so that only people with certain interests, age and gender will see your ads, which will appear in the right hand side of their home page, next to their wall.

It’s a very cost-effective advertising platform, and if done well you can expect to pay 10-20p per like, so a month-long campaign at £10 a day will see the size of your audience absolutely rocket.

3. Email Signature Blocks and Website Icon

The above ideas tend to work best for business-to-consumer companies, but there are opportunities for business-to-business corporates as well. One way to get more likes is to raise awareness of your Facebook presence by ensuring it is prominently displayed in the company’s email signature blocks, and on the company website. People can’t like your Facebook page if they don’t know about it, so you need to get the message out there using all available means.

Hopefully you find some of these ideas useful. If you’d like some more info on how to implement them, or if you have your own ideas and methods for how to grow your Facebook community, we’d love to hear from you.