Get more Facebook Likes with Facebook Ads

I tried out Facebook Ads today, seeing as they are going a definite ‘pay to play’ route I figured it was time to start looking into it for my own business. I’ve used them before to drive highly specified traffic to sites, get some click-throughs, newsletter sign-ups, but i had yet to try it out to drive some Facebook Likes.

Social proof is very important, you need a good amount of ‘Likes’ to be qualified for the bigger, unconnected fish to ‘Like’ you. I don’t know where I stand on it, but you can go to and grab yourself a hefty bunch of Likes for $5. They are unqualified, probably inactive and very much uninterested in what your saying (for the most part), however, to an onlooker, it looks like 100s even 1000s of people ‘Like’ you and your film. And that really does the job. There is a critical mass, once you get there, the Likes start rolling in casually just because.

So back to my excursion into Facebook Ads to drive Likes. I spent £6.34 on 19 Likes. These were Split tested with several images, the most effective one was then focused on. I originally went with quite niched interests, keeping the audience to about 200,000. Working now with the same image (Bold, contrasty silhouette images seemed to work best over lens photos, in studio camera peeps and other such photos), and increasing the Interests to something broad like Filmmaking and Cinematography, this puts my potential audience up to 1.5mil.

Compared to the Fiverrr route, FB Ads is not the most cost effective in terms of quantity. BUT, if we look at who has liked the page, 10 very interested, indie film loving, filmmakers are now on the list. Anyone of them just needs to be a client and this has been incredibly cost effective in terms of ROI

So lets get to the walkthrough of Facebook Ads. What we are going to do is create a ‘Like Campaign’, the way it works is we send out an ad that simply says ‘Click Like if you love …’ where … is a thing related to your film, so for me I want filmmakers, producers, editors to Like me, I chose the word ‘Indie Film’ and ‘being a Filmmaker’. We are also going to use only mobile ads, a.) because they are cheaper, b.) because most users are now mobile users, c.) because at the moment, mobile ads aren’t blocked as much/at all compared to their desktop counter part!

Step 1: Getting started. Go to Facebook Ads Management, choose Page Likes and then your Page in the box:

Choose your page

Step 2: Choose some images. By default it will select your cover page or some recent photo. What I want to draw your attention to here is the ‘Find Image’ section. Here you can go onto Shutterstock and completely for free, choose from there amazing selection of images!

Stick in a keyword, in my case it was ‘film’ and up will pop some awesome images you can use. Choose about 4-5 that you are going to ‘test’, Facebook will automatically start using the more successful images when that becomes apparent but you can also delete the ones you don’t want or at least turn them off if you want that to happen sooner.
As I mentioned above, very strong, bright, contrasting images work best. Something to really catch peoples eyes, in addition, smiling faces work well, so think about it a bit, get a second opinion, you could even google an image and choose the most used one. If your ad is ‘Click “LIKE” if you love Sting!’ choose the one he uses for all his press head shots!
This one for instance, didn’t work for me, the space you have to work with on mobile ads, is long and thin. In this particular case, the power of the image is really lost on mobile so, something to consider there. I could test this, but, my money has been more effective elsewhere so, parred!

Step 3: Enter the text and choose Mobile Only! Next box is this stuff, Headline, Text and Placement. Hit ‘Remove’ on Desktop Feed and Right Column, as mentioned above, desktop is pants for this particular task. For the Headline, as we are Mobile Only, headline isn’t something to worry about, put whatever in there, I just went with the Page Name.

Onto Text. Quite simply this wants to be ‘Click “LIKE” if you love …”. This type of statement is called ‘click bait’ you will have seen it on those ‘Viral Sites’ that are all the rage at the moment, its just a basic statement, that asks very, very little of you simply if you agree. “If you found this funny, share it with your friends” – Massive Share Button. Easy, piece of piss. Share. Click Like if love Filmmaking, love One Direction, love iPhone. Just make sure it links to your actual page topic, you’re doing it wrong if you’re just chasing numbers, going in for the One Direction like and then sending your status updates to people who literally could not give a shit about you. So target it, and send your updates to people that are at the very least, mildly interested in your topic!

Step 4: Audience. Down another level and were going to be looking at who actually is going to be shown this ad. What I recommend is keep it reasonably broad, not the whole world, but maybe if it’s say a Japanese film, do language Japanese and English, select English and Japanese speaking countries. I’m looking for purely English speaking people, but I want just UK, USA, Canada, Australia maybe go State/City level, London, California, New York, Austin, Melbourne, Toronto.

I went broad; UK, US, Canada, Australia and also niched; Toronto, London, Los Angeles. I got interesting results from both, more likes from the broad, but with the niched, there are people I could actually reach out and help from London tomorrow! Split test it yourself, if you need more likes, go broad, if you want some clients, maybe pull this down to local and hit up the new likers.

Step 5: Age, Gender, Language. Age, use what you thinks best, niche it down if you can. For me, odds are people between 25 and 55 are going to a.) have money to actually pay for my services and b.) are able to make decisions or influence decision makers. If your film is for horror fans, thats a broad age range, if your going for 70s revival, maybe look more towards people that are 50-70 now. The younger demographic, teens, early 20s, aren’t so much on Facebook now as they are on Instagram, SnapChat and WhatsApp… Wherever parents aint… wherever their information, isn’t going to be used so readily!

Looking gender, if you’re gender specific go specific, you are charged sort of per impression, per Like, so if you particularly resonate with Women, choose them, you get more bang for you’re buck!

Languages. As mentioned above, go English + <Films Language>, or just <Films language>.

Step 6: Interests. This is the big one! You’re going to be choosing pages that your audience most likely ‘Like’. In the example below I’ve gone with Wes Anderson. I think a lot of filmmakers that i’d want to work with ‘Like’ Wes’ films, fun, quirky, playful and they make good use of all the filmmaking set pieces, structures and shots. My next selection is to demonstrate how you don’t want to split you’re potential audience unless its to your benefit.

If I’m making a film, I want to be choosing similar styled films. A Wes Anderson/Cabin in the Woods hybrid, although interesting, would have a severely diminished audience! Not that these Interests are affecting one another a la Venn diagram, but i did notice my audience numbers changed so there was something in the combination and as a film marketer, I would want to stay within the same ‘shade of tastes’, so to speak

One I am yet to toy with on ‘Likes’ is the HUGE audience:

If I go ‘Star Wars’ this is 47 million on the potential audience. I’ll try it out and update, but for this particular walkthrough, I’m going to advise against it; you would be putting the ad out to so many, paying for so much exposure that I’m not sure you’re going to ‘hit home’ with too many people.


Step 7: Connections. Easy. Make it people not connected to you, then your sending your net out afar, opening up more their party connections. When you’re playing with a good 10s of thousands, maybe you could choose ‘All’ so then your tightening the net and pulling in people that know your people and keeping out further ‘nomads’. There is also an option for Advanced targeting, which is great, but for this Like campaign, not needed. We’ll look into that in a different walkthrough.

Step 8: Finishing touches. Last few boxes are probably already set for you but just to go over them so you know whats what. Ad Set; odds are this is your first Like Campaign, so leave it as it is on New Ad Set. You can name it what you like, I name mine after the specifics so ‘GB, US – 25-55, ‘Indie Film’, Indie Interests’ does fine for me.

Budget. Whatever you’re happy with, I say for the first one, just send them £6/$10, try it out see what you get. Facebook is brilliant at making this cost effective for you. Until it reaches a critical mass, these ads will be cheap for you. For the ‘Like campaign’ you might be looking at as much as 30p for a ‘Like’ but more likely with about a tenner behind you, its going to be fractions of pennies (If your image and text hits home!) I set mine to £3.50 per day and then it will run continuously for a few days. No biggy. You can also set the exact start and end date if you wish, you can also set a maximum spend for the whole thing. So expires when you’ve spent £10 say.

Bidding. Set this to Bid for Page likes. It will auto be on this, but just in case. Bid for likes makes most sense, your paying *mostly* for the likes, I noticed some pennies were spent for the exposure, and as it says there ‘You will be charged every time someone is shown your ad.’ which is doubly why you should really consider that audience. 42million star wars fans is a lot of exposure, a lot of money to show to them, but could pay off… Right now, I’m thinking not, I want qualified leads to be liking my page.



Extra sugar.

When is your audience online? If you know what time you’re ideal audience is online, on Facebook, you can turn your ads on and off on down times to better spend your budget. My audience gets on about 12 (lunch time), dips off between 2-3 (Full from lunch, sleeping/napping/looking like they are working) and then picks up again 4-6 (Hometime, browsing on the bus) there is also a pick up towards the end of the night 8-10 (People getting ready for bed, saying bye to friends online, getting in that last ‘Like’!)

My Numbers. For those of you interested in my results:
Days 1 and 2 were reasonably broad, indie filmmakers. My message was ‘…if you love indie film’ and it looked for people with interests in Indie Film, Raindance, Indie Film websites and looked to be targeting 190,000 people. End of day 2 I have 16 pretty qualified Likes, reached 700 people, and spent 40p per like with total spend of £6.38

The minor spike there came from adding in ‘California’, drop is because its a new day, humpday, when traffic drops. I’ve tweaked to include All US, Canada to combat that this and we shall see what happens end of the day!

End of Day 3 and I’ve garnered another 10 Likes which brings me to 34p a like on average.