Today, a Facebook page is an essential component of just about any full-blown marketing campaign. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where a Facebook page has become mandatory for many businesses — potential customers can get suspicious when they don’t find one available.

But what brings validation to a Facebook page is the number of likes and comments it gets. A page with fewer than 1,000 likes is considered unimportant by many people. And if you don’t have more than 1,000 likes, your posts will be shown less frequently than you wish – remember that you’ll be competing for space with giants such as Samsung Mobile and its 40 million Facebook fans.

Unfortunately, not everybody has the budget to grow their Facebook likes through advertising. The good news is that there are several ways to increase the number of your Facebook fans without a budget.

First: What you shouldn’t do to get more Facebook likes.

Just to make sure that we’re on the same page here, let’s list a couple of things that you shouldn’t do to get more likes on your Facebook page:

  • Never buy or swap Facebook likes – what you get in the end is a page with thousands of fans and no activity, which ruins your credibility.
  • Don’t worry about growing too fast – with Facebook, as with most things in life, patience is the key.
  • Never beg for likes – posts that directly ask people to like a page might be penalized by Facebook, which considers it as an attempt to game the News Feed.

Now that is clear what you shouldn’t do to increase your number of Facebook fans, let’s talk about the best ways to get it done without a budget.

1.  Add a blog to your website

If you have a Facebook page, it is easy to assume that you have a website. But do you also have a blog? If you don’t, you should consider adding one. A blog will give you the means to share valuable content to your audience and will give you the opportunity to offer a link to your Facebook page on each post.

2.  Go guest blogging

In addition to writing your own blog, consider writing for other blogs with relevant traffic and an audience that matches yours.

This kind of arrangement comes with the possibility to add links to your contact details which is where you can let them know about your Facebook page. Just be sure that you write something consistent with the content that you already offer on your page. Otherwise, you’ll confuse your audience.

3.  Swap Facebook mentions

Online businesses understand each other and tend to be very collaborative when it comes to cross-promoting pages. There are several Facebook groups where you can meet other moderators and administrators to discuss free mentions of your page on their page. It works by writing a post about something that your page has the best answer to.

Just be careful when choosing your partners. Their content or product should also be relevant to your audience, hopefully in a complementary way – you talk about yoga and they sell yoga’s products, for example. Otherwise, your post promoting them will just feel odd or like a scam on your page.

4.  Add your Facebook page’s link to your e-mail signature

It is incredible how many people forget simple ideas like this. If you want to promote a link at zero cost, you should add your Facebook page to your e-mail signature. You can create a button to make it even more attractive, but a basic link will do the trick just fine. Considering the large number of e-mails that you probably have to deal with every day, the odds are pretty good that you’ll generate some traffic using this technique.

5.  Run a contest

A proven way to grow your number of Facebook fans is by running a contest. Yes, you need a tool for it, and it implies that there will be a prize, but it can be a voucher or a discount or even a product that you can get for free from a sponsor or business partner.

6.  Answer questions on Quora

Quora is an amazing Q&A platform where you can ask anything you want and get replies from experts and gurus. But anybody can give it a try and answer questions to the best they can – and so can you. So go through Quora and look for questions that you are confident about the answer so you can write your reply. Just make sure that you have a post on your page about it, and that you add a link to it and get their huge audience of over 80 million unique visitors to know what you are offering there.

7.  And more

Here are a few more things you can do to increase the number of your Facebook fans:

  • Sign up to forums, communities, and groups where you can find your audience, and make comments adding your Facebook page as a link for more info about the topic.
  • Mention your page on your personal profile on Facebook – not frequently, but you still can do it.
  • Link your business’s Facebook page to your personal profile on your About Me section.
  • Add your Facebook page to your business card.
  • Add a Like box to your website or blog.
  • Post your Facebook post on other social media networks, such as Twitter or Pinterest.

As you can see, running a Facebook campaign on a limited budget isn’t that hard to do. You just need to add a few things here and there, spend some time networking and being social online and count on the right partnerships. That way, you’ll be able to grow the number of likes on your page organically and in a sustainable and constant way.

Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, GA. She is interested in self-development, design and marketing. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter or blog.