So you want to engage your Facebook audience? I’ll tell what not to do – don’t send out marketing broadcasts with a link to your website. That brand of marketing is dead. Social media is about fostering conversation and community, building an affinity for your brand, and looking at the rewards over the long-term instead of instant gratification.
Remember – attention is the currency of the digital world. Every time someone likes or comments on your post it goes into the feed of 130 or so (the average # of friends someone has) of their friends. How’s that for a return-on-investment?
Here are 10 ways to get a conversation started on your page and to raise awareness of your brand.
1) Open-ended questions. The first rule of dating – get the conversation started by getting people to open up about themselves. A general one might be “What is your favorite part about fall?” However, you can tailor this to your brand. If you run a running shoe store, you might ask “When did you start running and why?” or “What do you love about running?”
2) Tip/Hint. Are you a personal trainer? Post a fitness tip. Are you a bakery? Post a short recipe. Make yourself useful AND be seen as an expert at the same time.
3) Polls. Use the “question” tab on Facebook (see image) to ask a poll question. These are quick and easy ways for people to respond and for you to get engagement. In addition, you can even tailor your polls to serve as an informal focus group about your products or services.
4) “Finish my sentence…” like an open-ended question, but you do even more of the thinking for your fans. Your post might say “If I had a million dollars, I would…” I like to post these on Fridays to keep the page active over the weekend, as people will find and comment on this at their leisure.
5) Humor me. One of the biggest hits on the DePaul Newsroom homepage simply read “Breaking news: Friday arrives, millions celebrate.”
6) Fact/Stat. People love easily digestible facts and stats. Tie them to your business – if you run a sporting goods store, post “great sports moments on this day.”
7) Photos. Again, they can be humorous or beautiful. No captions are needed. If you run a florist, you may post a beautiful photo of an arrangement every Monday. You may even ask people to submit pics. When I worked in a corporate office for Midtown Athletic Clubs, we asked people to submit a picture of themselves in their Midtown t-shirt (which we were giving away at the time).
8) Deal. Post coupons for Facebook-only fans. Maybe they walk into your sandwich shop and show you the post on their phone and get 20% off.
9) “Like if”. Use this one sparingly, but a great way to energize your page is a post like “TGIF! Click like if you are ready for the weekend!
10) Interesting news. Your page does need some meaningful connection to your business. Tell people what’s happening, whether that is a new sandwich, a construction update, whatever.