How to Increase your Facebook Likes with a Small Budget: Case Study

The art and science of Facebook advertising is a challenge.

The questions such as, who should I target, what headline do I use and what budget should I set are just some of the questions that goes through each marketers mind.How to Increase your facebook likes on a low budget

Here is my story of how I increased my Facebook likes from 600 to over 11,000 in just over 2 weeks with a creative and low cost strategy that used Facebook’s advertising platform.

I had recently launched fitness site, which is receiving some good traffic via organic search. However, I soon turned to Social Media (Facebook) in a bid to try and grow a fan base that I could later send through to my website.

My Facebook page is called Erny Peibst Fitness and I used to have only 600 fans.

Now I have over 11,000.

At the moment I am roughly paying £0.002p per fan (much less than a penny!). The average cost per fan for businesses is reported to be around £0.70p (or around one US dollar).

That is 350x more than what I’m spending!

The proof

Here is the screen shot of my Facebook analytics showing the increase in page likes by 4,147 in just one week from the 15th of July to the 21st of July for just under 8 pounds! (That is only just over $12 US)

  Goku Facebook analytics

How to increase your Facebook likes for a low cost

So what were the key elements that made this Facebook advertising campaign such a success and how do you increase your Facebook likes so dramatically with a small budget?

Here is what I learned about creating an effective Facebook ad strategy to increase my Facebook likes without spending a fortune.

#1. Target something people are crazy about

For me it was targeting all fans of Goku. Goku is a fiction character featuring in the popular DragonBall Z cartoon. His physique is immensely muscular and ripped. So, the key is channeling their love for this superhero and linking this somehow to your page i.e. them wanting Goku’s physique, and my page giving tips on how to achieve just that!

Erny Peibst Goku Facebook Ad

For High CTR’s you must have a picture that stands out! For me it was simply picking an image of Goku that was bright and with some of his muscles showing to grab attention. When you show a big and colourful picture of something somebody admires, it will get their attention quickly!

#2. Write a great title

My title was “Get Ripped Like Goku!“.

Notice how I mention what they admire in the title to grab attention and it’s short, punchy and exciting. It leaves fans thinking ‘wow I’d love to have his body‘.

#3. Write compelling copy

My content in the ad was “LIKE for Free Tips by Erny on How to Build Muscle and Burn Fat – Goku Style!”

What are the 6 key elements that worked for me in this advertisement?

  1. It is important that you give a call of action which is to like your page. 
  2. Put that in capital letters at the start of your ad.
  3. Make them want to like your page so I give free tips on how to build muscle.
  4. Make it relevant to your page by including your name, so I put “Like for free tips by Erny“. This also adds curiosity, “who’s Erny?”
  5. Mentioning the name of the thing they adore again in the content of the ad is wise, so for me it was at the end of the ad ‘Goku Style!’.
  6. Also make sure that all first letters of words are in capital letters. I find this way, it is easier to read and stands out without looking unprofessional.

OK, great. You’ve got a very high CTR, but now what?

#4.  Make your Facebook cover relevant

To get a great click to like ratio, I send all clicks to my wall. But I added images on my wall so they would think my page is really cool. So, I changed my cover to a cool fitness related Goku image (see below)

 Goku Erny Facebook Page

This makes the Facebook page relevant for the campaign that they would instantly like.

#5. Show the buzz on your page

I would also pin a status to the top of the page that would have a lot of likes/comments for social proof to show that there is a lot of buzz on my page.

Another important factor is to include statuses related to the ad campaign. So for instance, Goku likes sushi. So I would take a picture of my sushi meal and write “Eat Like Goku, to Look Like Goku!“, then include a picture of Goku dribbling next to my sushi.

 Goku Facebook Photos

Fun statuses like this will really engage fans and get them liking once they get to your page.

If you run a page that is personal i.e. your name is in the page title, then put a picture of yourself near the top of the page so when they click through they can associate a recent pictures of you in statuses. Remember that you can manipulate where your statuses show on your page by editing the dates. This can come in handy when testing how well fans convert when changing statuses at the top of your page.

#6. Set your budget low

One final and strange thing I noticed with the ad, is that when I set my budget higher, I ended up paying a lot more per fan. So I recommend keeping it low (I keep mine at £1 every day).

Wrap up

Be creative and apply these principles to your own page and you will also grow your fan base – hopefully by thousands like myself and at a very low cost!

Guest author: Erny Peibst is the savvy marketer behind the website and the Facebook page Erny Peibst Fitness and now he is a Goku fan.



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It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

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  • Jason King

    Great to see how being creative can help build a fan base. This post has got me thinking about how to produce something similar for lets say more boring companies like TV aerial repairs or Gas Engineers. Tick tick go the cogs in my brain. Very helpful post :)

  • JameSEO

    I am about to follow this step by step since I just started a brand new FB last night. Wish me luck!

  • andrew hickey

    But what countries are you targeting? You’re not getting dirt cheap likes in places like Australia, UK and US.

  • Dale

    Was this campaign set up as CPC or impression-based?

  • Robin Bodicoat

    A very interesting and helpful article. However my question concerns the licensing of DragonBall Z. Surely you did not have permission to use imagery from the cartoon within your campaign, therefore as creative and attractive as your campaign was, it must have been breaking licensing laws!

  • JackCassedy

    How much did it cost to license all of the Dragon Ball Z content?

  • Krishna Kurapati

    Pinning a status with a lot of LIKES / comments is a great idea. Its about the perception and first impressions right :)

  •!/CGarafola Chris Garafola

    Dope article, thanks for the great insight! You said that you drove clicks to your Facebook fan page Wall. I have made a custom tab on my Fan Page where fans can download exclusive music once they’ve “Liked” my page. Do you think it’s alright to drive all traffic from my ad to that custom tab instead of the main Wall?

    Thanks again!

    • Diogenes

      Hey, Chris!

      Here in Brazil, lots of Companies are doing it. They drive all the trafic from the ad to the tabs. Another strategy is to send them to the tab and after that to a page at your website where you can get the visitor’s email.

      The good thing is that now they are making more money with it, cos they have good infoproducts!

  • Lyubcho Kostadinov

    A nice article and a really impressive result with those Cost per Like values :) In my opinion it is far better to pay just a little more for a fan, but for a quality one :) I see you are targeting people from India, Nigeria, Phillipines etc. Those are really cheap likes, but do you really need them? :) The only reason for doing those cheap likes is probably to bump up your page’s overall impression and by that increase the LIKE-per-Visit Ratio. Anyways thanks for the article. I will definitely try the AD description starting with “LIKE” 😉

  • Lenka Istvanova

    Great article full of useful tips, Jeff! I will certainly apply some of your hints and tips. i really like the idea of targeting crazy stuff people relate to. I was wondering what other social networks did you use and if you applied similar strategy for your other social network? Thank you.

    • Jeff Bullas

      Twitter is the other major social network I use and it is one of the best sources for driving traffic, connecting and engagement that is not filtered like Facebook

      • Lenka Istvanova

        Thanks Jeff. What about Instagram? I know that many fitness-orientated people use it to post their workout, images, ideas, etc. Have you though of using that one as well?

        • Jeff Bullas

          Facebook is weaving it more into Facebook and people are understanding that the authentic images from networks such as Instagram produce higher engagement.

  • Sbrown

    This article, though useful, promotes copyright infringement and is therefor very irresponsible. If you actually licensed these characters you should have mentioned so in the article. If not, not only are you taking a huge risk with your own business as far as potential litigation, you are encouraging naive readers to do likewise. Not good, not good at all.

  • Saad Ahmed

    I agree that it is hard to grow your social media with a low budget, but I have
    had much success using in the past

  • Dahlan Dahi

    Thanks to Goku…. Creative!

  • Syed Ali

    Is it possible to have more fans for my page GW Fashion House. without paying for advertising an ad on facebook? or to have an ad is neccessary?

    • Syed Ali

      But i don’t want to become a part of paid marketing.

  • blazzing light

    The best way i found is Via “Social Media Giant” i generated genuine 10,000+ likes without spamming categorized by my interests such as “Country based” etc…Worth a try guys,find this link

  • Mike Rothwell

    Hi Emy,
    Is this CPM or CPC? Cant see where you say in the article…

  • JungBahadurRana

    For small business i always suggest – a great way to convert walk in customer info social media follower

  • Sana Sharma

    Excellent tips, completely hit the nail on the head. I am going to use
    these tips as well as what my Like Alyzer results gave me as a way to
    pick up traction on my fb page. Thank you

  • hron023

    For Udacity, in contrast, working with companies to train existing and future employees is now the heart of its business model. It has tie-ups with several firms, including Google. It recently formed a partnership with AT&T,

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  • ginobb

    Thanks alot man! I’m trying to grow my social media and this post helped me alot.

  • caroline forbes

    Good article