The name of the game on facebook these days is engagement. It used to be that if you created a post on your business page it would automatically show up in the news stream of anyone who had liked your page. But alas, facebook changed that some time ago. Nowadays, facebook takes into consideration the relevance and perceived popularity of individual posts to decide how many people will actually see it. Facebook has decided that the more comments, shares and likes your posts receive on your page (activity), the more likely your posts will show up in the news streams of people who like your page. But, that’s not all bad. The good news is that active ongoing dialog also entices people to stay engaged, since the page is vibrant and has ideas that others find interesting.

In the interest of getting people to like, share and comment your posts, here are several ways to increase the engagement of your facebook audience – for free!

  • Post on your page consistently. This will show that it is current and active.
  • Encourage employees to actively engage on your facebook page: Like posts, post comments on posts and pictures, etc.
  • Keep your posts short.
  • Ask customers or clients to post on your facebook page to share photos or experiences.
  • Provide timely responses to posts, questions, and comments.
  • Post photos with or without accompanying text.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Use words that encourage engagement and explicitly say what you’d like them to do (e.g. like, post a comment, or provide a caption).
  • Ask for input on new features or products.
  • Thank and congratulate employees, customers, community members.
  • Post a photo and ask for a caption.
  • Ask about favorites – e.g. favorite community restaurant.
  • Post a “fill in the blank” statement.
  • Ask a question to get the conversation going.
  • Conduct an informal poll.
  • Acknowledge new people who like your page.
  • Share pictures of employees and customers.
  • Welcome new clients or customers.
  • Use humor (appropriately).
  • Use emoticons.

Facebook-approved apps are also a great way to increase engagement on your facebook page. Some are free, while others charge a monthly or one-time fee. As a word of caution, facebook-approved apps are required for any and all contests, games or other activities that result in a winner. Examples include apps for:

  • Fan of the week or month
  • Name a new product or service
  • Photo contests – people using your product/service, best decorated house, etc.
  • Rewards and awards
  • Polls with multiple selections
  • Games
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Seasonal Activities – e.g. Holiday lighting contests, Easter egg hunt, etc.
  • Create an FAQ Tab for Customers to Post Questions
  • Add a Discussion Board to Your Page

Hope this gives you enough to get started in engaging your facebook audience!