How to get a Facebook fan for $0.09

What made me run this experiment

I watched a webinar recording the other day and the host claimed that they got Facebook fans for as low as $0.06 via Facebook’s own advertising. They then showed how to turn those fans into subscribers and buyers.

I was curious but a little skeptic if it will work so before going all-in and investing a lot of time on this tactic I decided to try the first step and only start thinking about the next steps (building list and making money) once the first step (getting Facebook fans) had proved successful.

My prior experience

I’ve done some Facebook ad campaigns before (for clients as well as for myself) but I always sent the traffic outside of Facebook. I never tried to get fan page likes.

Last time I ran a Facebook ad campaign it didn’t go too well. I spent $100.00 and generated 158 clicks to my ads from a total of 128 unique visitors. That’s $0.63 per click and $0.78 per visitor. I targeted English speaking countries in a niche similar to SEO.

So I didn’t believe it can be done for so cheap but decided to give it a try anyway..

For my experiment I used an existing fan page that I started back in 2011. It’s a page with 4,800+ likes but inactive (last status update was 6 months ago).

Ad targeting and placement

I targeted 21+ year old women who live in the US and are interested in Chinese cuisine. I excluded the people who already like my page and I set ad placement to “Right Column” only.

targeting and placement

Ad objective and budget

promote your page

I limited the budget to $5 and set the ad objective to “Page likes”. Choose “Promote your Page” when creating your campaign.

Ad image, title and body text

facebook ad

For ad image I used the existing fan page cover photo. It’s a cooking page so it makes sense to use a photo of a delicious food.

Ad title was the name of the fan page: “Chinese food recipes”. There is no way you can change the ad title when the ad objective is set to “Page likes”.

For ad copy I’m focusing on a number of things:

  1. Value: I start with “get” to emphasize what the user will get when they like my page.
  2. Clarity: I use simple language and make sure that they understand it’s free
  3. Benefits: “better healthier life”. Kind of cheesy but gives a reason to take action.
  4. Call-to-action: I specifically ask them to like the page.

Time spent on creating the advertisement

Probably took me about 10 minutes to set this up the first time. Next time I’ll do it in 2 minutes :)


The ad generated a total of 55 page likes for $5. That’s $0.09 per page like (fan). It’s still 50% more expensive than $0.06 that I saw in the webinar but I think I proved that it can be done. I think $0.09 is not bad for a first try.

facebook ad report

Notes: I noticed that the cost per page like went down as the ad kept running. First time I checked was probably about 10 likes in and the cost per like was $0.12 and then gradually the price dropped as the ad brought more likes.

How the pricing works? When you set the ad objective to “Page likes” then Facebook will charge you for impressions (the number of times your ad is shown). The higher the CTR the lower it will cost you per Page like.

So, your “cost per Page like” depends on how good your ad is (image + copywriting) and even more important is who you are targeting.

Follow these three simple guidelines if you want to get Facebook fan page likes for cheap:

  1. Target only the people who are most interested in what you are offering.

    Think about it. You can write the most persuasive copy in the world and use the best photo of the juiciest piece of meat but you won’t get many likes trying to sell meat to the Vegetarians.

  2. Use catchy, attention-grabbing image(s).
    • Your ad should stand out from the rest of the content and ads on Facebook. If it doesn’t stand out then no-one will notice it and your awesome copywriting has no chance to persuade anyone.
    • Use relevant images.
    • Photos of faces are known to work well as we people are subconsciously drawn to faces.
    • Use a colored border around your image to make it stand out more.

  3. Write clear, benefit-driven copy

    Tell them what they are going to get for exchange of liking your Page. Then, specifically tell them to click Like. It might sound ridiculous to specifically ask for something that is so obvious but it’s almost magical how many people will do what you want if you just tell them to.

: if you are serious about getting likes via ads then make sure you A/B test your ad with multiple images. It’s easy to do with Facebook –  just upload up to 6 images to the single ad and Facebook will show different ads to different people. After a while you should see which images are more profitable so you can keep those running and kill the others.

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this small experiment of a longer series.

What next?

This was just the first step.

I think this experiment proved that it’s relatively cheap (less than $0.10) to get Page likes via Fb ads. This is not the end goal though. What I am after isn’t the number of likes. I’m interested in highly targeted fans – email subscribers and buyers.

I don’t think it’s going to be easy to turn those fans into email subscribers, especially when Facebook makes it harder and harder for us to reach the audience of our own Pages. But, I’m willing to experiment :) and that’s what I’m going to figure out in the next experiment.

Stay tuned for the next experiment and join the SmartExperiments list so you don’t miss out on the fresh experiments we publish.

Do leave a comment and say “hi” or ask a question and I’d be happy to help if it’s within my capabilities to do so.

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Bodhi Clifford

I believe that anyone can start a successful online business, if they want to. I dedicate this blog to the people who share that dream and are willing to invest their time now to enjoy the freedom in a not-so-distant future. Let's locate your skills and passions. Let's find your niche. Let's create immense value. Let's accept the money. Let's live the life we want!

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