“How do I create a Facebook advertising budget to meet my account growth goals? For example, if my goal is to reach 10,000 Facebook likes in six months how do I know what I should be spending to reach that goal?”

We were recently asked this very question by one of our JB Media Institute students. The budget you need to advertise on social media for a business depends entirely on your goals and chosen platforms.

A Formula for Spending on Facebook Ads

Calculating the budget requires a few key elements including:

  1. Your starting Facebook like count
  2. Your goal Facebook like count
  3. Time span to reach your goal (in months)

Step 1: How Many Likes Do You Need Each Month?

By subtracting the starting total from the goal and dividing by the number of months, we can determine how many new fans per month we want to attract. The formula looks like this:

Goal like count – starting like count = total new likes to acquire

Total new likes to acquire / months to reach goal = new likes to acquire each month

In the above example, assuming 1,000 starting likes we would need to add 1,500 new fans per month to reach the goal of 10,000 likes:

10,000 (goal) – 1,000 (starting like #) / 6 (months to reach goal) = 1,500 likes per month

Step 2: How Much Organic Growth Can You Expect?

Now that we have our monthly goal, we can establish our budget. By looking at Facebook Insights we can see the historical organic growth rate of the page.


Let’s assume the page is growing at 100 fans per month organically. Our new advertising strategy will need to add 1,400 likes per month.

Step 3: How Much Does a Facebook Like Cost?

Next we need to test some ads to see how much it costs to attract a new like for the target audience that you want to reach. Every target audience will have a different level of engagement with your advertising and the quality of your ads will also have a significant impact on how often people who see the ad will become fans.

In my experience, Facebook ad campaigns to grow a page can typically attract new fans at a cost between $0.20 and $1 per fan.

Step 4: What Do You Need to Budget to Reach Your Goal?

For our example this would require  an advertising budget between $280 – $1400 per month to reach the goal of 10,000 fans in six months.

Here is a chart of the budget depending on the cost per like acquisition assuming 1,400 fans per month:

  1. $.20 = $280
  2. $.40 = $560
  3. $.60 = $840
  4. $.80 = $1120
  5. $1.0 = $1400

Growing Facebook Likes is Only the Beginning

Fortunately for advertisers looking to grow a Facebook business page, there is a fairly clear set of expectations and best practices. That said, having a plan and strategy to grow your Facebook page with advertising is only a small part of an overall Facebook marketing strategy. You must not only have a plan to test your advertising to make sure that it’s working, but you must also have a plan to engage your new fans with quality content. Over time this will help you convert them from passive followers to active customers and brand advocates.