It’s a problem that just about every business with a Facebook fan page faces at one point or another – what to post to get people to engage. Remember, social media marketing is not supposed to be a one-way street. The purpose of having a Facebook page is to have conversations with your fans, and to share content that they in turn share with their friends – in general terms, to interact with fans and, through them, engage with the wider Facebook community.
But how do you get that interaction and engagement started? What’s the magical formula for an update that people will share or like or comment on?
To help you prevent Facebook writer’s block, and ensure that your fan page is just hopping with activity, we’ve put together a list of 30 different types of Facebook posts that will get people engaging with your content.
1. Throw ‘em the old desert island question. You know the one – if you were stuck on a desert island, which three items would you want with you? Except you’ll want to change it to fit your own industry, of course. If you were hiking up Mount Everest, which three items from our sporting goods store would you want with you? If you were staying late at the office, which three delicious foods from our menu would you be dreaming of? You get the idea.
2. Make it a million. Same hypothetical world, different question. Everyone loves imagining what they’d do if they won the lottery. Give it a personalized twist to fit your company, and off you go! Which products would you buy if you won a $10,000 shopping spree in our store? If every item that starts with the letter “L” in our store was free, which would you pick up? Be creative.
3. Get advice. People love to help others – and it doesn’t hurt if they can show off their expertise at the same time. Ask fans what they do in certain problematic situations related to your business. How do you handle a toddler tantrum in the candy aisle? Which tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve to keep cat hair off your couch? You’ll be bombarded with helpful advice.
4. What’s your must-have? Just like Oprah and her favorite things – or was that Julie Andrews? - people love telling others about useful products they’ve discovered. Ask fans to share their must-have item for situations related to your industry. My dog grooming must-have is…. My yoga must-have is….. My baking must-have is…
5. Aw, remember that? Tap into people’s nostalgia by asking them if they remember an old fad or tradition from their childhood or college years, related to your industry and tailored to your audience. Remember when slouch socks were all the rage? Remember when you got your very first car? Ask them to share their own memories of that time.
6. Share little-known tips. Dig up some useful tips related to your business and share them with your audience – but make sure they’re not widely known already. That way, you’ll look like an expert, and people will want to come back for more.
7. Solve a problem – with a picture. Pictures attract people’s eyes anyway, and when you couple that with the power of problem-solving, you’re sure to get engagement. Pose a common problem to your audience, and then propose the solution to that problem in a picture – which of course leads them to the appropriate page on your site.
8. Publish pictures in your post. Don’t let a tiny thumbnail be the extent of your image use – put pictures in the body of your post, instead, to make them larger, so they’ll stand out.
9. Add a caption. Use pictures again, but this time don’t comment, other than to ask for a caption. Everybody loves making up – and reading others’ – funny captions.
10. Feature a fan. Ask fans to submit their own pictures and videos, and then choose the best and give a shout-out to the helpful fans who provided them. The fans getting their 15 minutes of fame will share your post with everyone they know!
11. Give fans a choice. Let your fans vote in a unique way by “liking for A” and “sharing for B.” For example: Prefer to read or listen to books on tape? Like this post if you choose reading, share it to vote for listening.
12. Ask for the Like. Asking for a like doesn’t feel like asking for a like when you couch it in different terms. Telling your fans to like your post if they do a certain activity frames the request differently. Like if you wear slippers to the store! Like if you have a bobble-head in your car! It’s less of a request, and more of a way for fans to celebrate what they have in common.
13. Ask a question. Seriously. It can be as simple as that. Asking a question related to your business can draw lots of engagement. Just be sure to craft an interesting one that makes people want to share their answers.
14. Fill in the blank. Think back to those elementary school worksheets, and start coming up with fill-in-the-blank sentences! Whether it’s sales-y or just for fun, there’s just something about a blank that makes people want to fill it in.
15. Quote an expert. From old quotes from famous authors or historical figures, to new ones from motivational speakers or movie stars, posting a quote is a great way to get likes and shares. Whether it’s inspirational, motivational, funny, or just apropos, people love quotes.
16. Play Trivial Pursuit. It’s always fun to share tidbits of trivia with your fans – just make sure it’s related to your field. Did-you-know type questions can sometimes even inspire people to share their own interesting relevant factoids.
17. Start a discussion. Ask people what they think about a certain issue, or how they feel about a certain change. If it’s a subject important to your audience, they’ll engage with it.
18. Add a Funny Friday post to your editorial calendar. By Friday, everyone’s ready for a few laughs. Posting something random and funny can get you a ton of likes and shares, which just might get people engaging with more of your other posts, too.
19. Offer a fans-only discount. Nothing will get someone to like your page faster than the offer of a special deal.
20. Build up your partners. Do you partner or have relationships with any other companies? Like their fan pages, and then post a link to their sites, along with a description of your relationship, and what it is you appreciate about them.
21. Share company news. Of course, Facebook is the perfect channel for spreading the news about any company changes, new offerings, or specials. Keeping your fans in the know will make them feel like a part of the family.
22. Share industry news. Any big news in the world of your industry? Let people know about it. That way you look like an informed expert, and you’re providing a service to your fans by keeping them up-to-date, as well.
23. Link to your blog. Every time you upload a new blog post, you should get the word out, letting fans know there’s new content available for them on your site, and tantalizing them with the title and a short description.
24. Link to the other resources on your website. Every once in a while, remind your fans of the wealth of information you already have just waiting for them on your site. Whether it’s white papers, eBooks, recipes, tips, whatever – share the link to one item every so often.
25. Share behind-the-scenes photos. Pictures of what really goes on in your office behind the scenes almost always get an enthusiastic response. People love to feel that they know the humans behind the corporate façade, and that’s what these pictures give them a sense of.
26. Create a poll. Polls on Facebook are like social proof squared. People love knowing how their own opinions and choices stack up against others’.
27. Post videos. Maybe you have access to some useful tutorials. Or maybe you have fan-submitted videos, or funny ads for your product. Adding multimedia touches to your posts can drive engagement, as well.
28. Link to your other social media accounts. Sure, these people are following you on Facebook, but are they also interacting with you on Twitter, or Pinterest, or Google Plus? Let fans know where else you have a presence, and they just might follow you there.
29. Promote check-ins. Make it cool for fans to check in when they’re at one of your locations. Offer a special deal, or make it fun in-store in some way. This harnesses the power of social proof yet again, and will make more people want to go to your store so they can check in, just like their friends.
30. Use seasonal content. On top of the big holidays and seasons, there are an almost infinite number of more unknown national holidays, like awareness days for various causes, or humorous holidays like, “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day” (which takes place in February, by the way). Take advantage of the wealth, and theme your posts accordingly to drive engagement.
Which tricks and tips have you used to boost engagement on your Facebook page? Have any of the ones we have listed here been especially successful for your company? Do you have any of your own to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!