5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagement

social media how toWant to increase your Facebook fan engagement?

Keep reading for some simple techniques to get your fans more involved.

Even if you’re active on your Facebook page’s wall by posting regular status updates, interacting with fans and answering questions, you’re still missing out if you aren’t using calls to action.

A call to action encourages or even incentivizes fans’ responses to your content, and it can be as basic as a simple status update.

Your fans will enjoy interacting with your Facebook page and your page will benefit the most with increased visibility, traffic and marketing opportunities.

Many Facebook page admins aren’t quite sure how to foster an active fanbase, so here are five effective ways to call your fans to action.

#1: Post Fan-Centered Status Updates

You want to get your business in front of your fans. But how do you do that? Too many page admins resort to posting the same status updates over and over as a solution. But in the long run, that technique becomes annoying to fans and it doesn’t play to the power of EdgeRank.

EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to determine the importance of a status update. The more comments a status update receives, the higher its EdgeRank. The higher the EdgeRank, the higher that update is placed in news feeds. In addition, Facebook will display that update to more people. This means getting comments should be your goal with your status updates.

To get more comments, tailor your status updates to ask for your fans’ opinions, stories and even advice. The comments will float your post to the top of your fans’ news feeds, giving more fans the opportunity to interact.

lonely planet

Lonely Planet's fan-centered status update asked fans for their input. The 171 comments vaulted the update to the top of news feeds.

#2: Start Conversation With Relevant Content

If you’ve tried asking your fans for input but you’re still hearing crickets, it’s time to look back over your status updates and evaluate your posts. Are you posting more about your company or your community?

Facebook users want—and will respond to—relevant content. A car company that posts nothing but advertisements in their status updates won’t get nearly the response they would if they posted information about tire recalls, car seat safety test results and tips to improve gas mileage. Give your fans a reason to chime in by creating status updates that discuss issues they care about.

rosetta stone

Fans interact with Rosetta Stone's community-focused status update because it poses a question that resonates with the fans' interests.

#3: Enable Sharing and Get Traffic to Your Custom Content

Too often, Facebook page admins create these gorgeous, highly functional tabs, but fail to include a call to action. It’s not just your status updates that are important; every bit of content on your page is important, and you need to get that content spread around Facebook. That’s why all of your content must be sharable.

omaha steaks

Omaha Steaks' share button allows subscribers to post the newsletter—and the exclusive deal—to their walls.

All of your content can include a share button that encourages your fans to post that content to their walls. If you’re holding a sweepstakes, provide fans with a share prompt upon entry submission so that they can let their friends know they’ve entered your contest. When one person watches your video or enters your contest, that’s great. But if that fan tells their 200-plus friends about your content, that’s more clicks, more traffic and potentially more business.

It doesn’t matter what the content is. If it isn’t sharable, it isn’t benefiting your page as much as it could be.

#4: Sign Up Now!  Create Action-Based Incentives

Your custom Facebook tabs are a great place for your newsletter or customer relationship management sign-up form. If you aren’t seeing the number of sign-ups you had hoped for, incentivize it.

Remind your fans what is sent to subscribers (like coupons). It’s a great way both to populate your list and get your fans excited about your product or service.

80stees

80sTees.com, Inc. drives newsletter subscriptions by incentivizing sign-ups on Facebook.

#5: Like Us to Enter! Harness the Power of Simple but Effective Fan-Gates

Want to drive up your fan count and increase engagement at the same time? Create a custom tab with a fan-gated contest. Serve non-fans a message that tells them about the prize, but inform them that they have to like the page to be eligible to enter. Once the non-fan clicks Like, present an entry submission form that collects your targeted user data, whether that’s an email address or phone number.

If you’re giving away something good, you’ll get the likes and you’ll get the data. However, it’s important to note that if your contest is on a welcome tab, don’t gate the whole thing. You don’t have to let non-fans be eligible for contests and promos, but you can’t hide all of your content from them.

neutrogena

Neutrogena's welcome tab is perfect: it's fan-gated, incentivizes liking the page and includes lots of information for non-fans who may not want to click Like.

The more content you gate—the more abandonment you’ll see.

Remember—Fans First!

All of these steps revolve around fan-centric content. While this looks different from brand to brand, the first step in successfully creating a call to action is to put yourself in your fans’ shoes. So ask yourself—Why do they like my brand? My page? What do they all have in common? What interests do they share? Answering these questions will help you find your starting point.

What do you think? What are you doing to increase your fan engagement? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service software that allows businesses to create engaging campaigns for social, web and mobile. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.nearcoastmedia.com/ Matt Hamilton

    I always find it funny when I ask relevant questions relating to a certain field and get no responses and then I ask what’s your favorite Superbowl snack food and everyone wants to answer. I guess as long as they are engaging it’s a good thing. Also Jim I love ShortStack, keep up the good work!

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  • http://www.petezafra.com Pj Zafra

    Love it! Thanks for the tips and tricks here. Having an engaging fan page is definitely a challenge at first, but once we know what to do, it’s easy. Thanks for sharing! :) Great post!

  • http://girlseeksplace.wordpress.com/ Brianna

    This is something I have a really hard time with. I have over 100 fans, but I feel like I’m talking to myself. Most of the time, I am talking to myself. I posted two things yesterday and got nothing but crickets.

  • Joel Hulett

    Thanks for the article.  I shared it with some clients of ours who have had Facebook for awhile but have never seriously utilized it for building a fan base for their films.

    Joel Hulett
    FilmStart Consulting Group

  • Moorelander

    Hey Jim,
    I have just started on the blogging journey over here in Ireland, this website is really helping me, 
    Thank you so much. Looking forward to seeing whats next.

    A quick question if I may, is it possible to monitor which fans gain a lot of likes on your facebook page, so we can reward them?  

  • http://twitter.com/StudioVitaminC Studio Vitamin C

     5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagementhttp://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=KO3DU&m=3Z04JuzYJar.ILT&b=U6SSlATFf8LkIH7HJ2eq5w

  • Erockavella

     Hey Brianna, it usually takes anywhere from 3-4 months to see a DRASTIC improvement. “Post it, they will come” :)

  • http://healthywealthytribe.com/ Vaughn Ripley

    Great post. Thank you for the information and ideas! I agree with Matt Hamilton about the funny things people prefer responding to. I have found that this idea work nicely on Twitter too. Asking questions (relevant ones) seems to get more RT’s and replies. Thanks!

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  • http://twitter.com/Sebas655 Sebastian

    I think in this casa the 50/50 rule should be apllied. Or even 60/40, where less technical or product related questions should be applied and more “personal/general” questions have the power to close more the relation with the fans/clients.

  • http://LouiseM.com/ Louise Myers

    Great info, thanks! I’m trying to get organized with my new FB page and start incorporating these tips.

  • Laura

    Thanks for this bit of information; I’m having the same issue as Brianna.

  • Laura

    Louise, I’m trying to get a system as well for FB.  I’m finding this information helpful and will be dedicating time each day to developing my FB marketing strategy.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1427671041 Kari Fajen Kimmis

     Matt I totally agree with you.  Same thing happens to me as well.

  • Michele Reister

    Do you have a blog about how to create a custom newsletter sign-up form on Facebook?  Do I have to use a 3rd party service to do it?  Or can anyone create one with the right (free) plug-in?

  • Craig

    I thought contests or promotions could not be based on someone liking your Facebook page, as it is against Facebook rules and can result in your Facebook page being shut down.  As a matter a fact, Social Media Examiner had an article about this a couple weeks ago. It advised all promotions must go through a third party app. 

    Can someone please explain the rules as I am so confused by conflicting articles. Would your fan-gate be considered a 3rd party app?

  • http://essaychampions.com/ buy essay

    Very competent post!

  • Brigitte

    I have a question similar to Michele… I’m not too familiar with building custom tab for FB. Anyone has tips?

  • Moorelander

    Hey Craig, I am trying to find this information out as well. I hope they respond.
    All the best

  • Craig

    Yes, the Facebook rules on their site are a bit confusing and I don’t want to lead my clients in the wrong direction.  Anybody out there who can clarify, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • JimBelosic

    Hey guys- what Facebook prohibits is the mere “Liking” of a Page as a means of contest entry. However, requiring someone to Like your Page before they fill out a Form to enter your contest is perfectly legal. This is done by hiding your contest entry form behind a fan gate; so non-fans can’t even see the entry form.

  • http://twitter.com/SteveBizMentor Steven

    Great content, really glad I connected with you on twitter otherwise I may not have found this useful information. Thanks very much…Steve Swift YorkshireMarketingBusiness.

  • Sonia Best-Koetting

    I’m onboard with most these ideas, but I haven’t tried a “fan gate”. Is it possible to do a fan gate for the new FB practice of opening up your personal wall for professional viewers? 

  • JimBelosic

    Hi Michele, there are lots of newsletter management systems out there. A quick Google search would probably yield you enough results to research for the rest of the day. The favorite around our office, though, is MailChimp.  :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387772285 Mary Morse Larson

    Great post Jim – big fan of Short Stack! :)

    We have a very, very, VERY difficult time getting our customers to respond to anything. Whether it’s on FB or the blog…it’s crickets, no matter what we post. As a result, our reach is getting smaller and smaller. The only time we get any interaction is if we run a contest and even then it’s not constant. We get a lot of likes on our photos we post, but those don’t seem to count in Edgerank or we would reach more, I think. 

    In any case, we keep plugging along.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387772285 Mary Morse Larson

     Check out shortstack.com – we use them for all our tabs/apps.

  • JimBelosic

    Starting out is certainly hard, but don’t give up! It’s good to be in the practice of engaging on your wall, because when interaction does increase, it’ll be second-nature! Some of the links here could be pretty useful for you: 
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/getting-started/

    Good luck!

  • JimBelosic

    Figuring out what kind of update will garner the most interest can be tricky. You can get some good ideas by checking out Pages like Seattle’s Best and Coca-Cola, and watching which updates get the most interaction. Both have huge fanbases and talented admins. 

  • JimBelosic

    Hi Sonia, fan gates are a tool only available to Facebook Pages, not profiles. If you wanted to create a fan gate on your Page with a link to your personal profile behind it, I suppose you could do it that way.

  • JimBelosic

    Unfortunately, according to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines, the act of Liking something can’t in and of itself make a fan eligible for a prize. I’d suggest going the classic route and setting up a contest. It’ll increase interaction across the board for your Page.

  • http://www.PrismShots.com/ Drserg2

    As a photographer, I have roughly close to 4,000 “fans” on my page. I used to just post images of my work and I got likes and comments here and there, not a bad number but nothing spectacular.

    I’ve recently started posting content related to fashion and photography and my likes and comments have sky rocketed. I am also more engaged with these “fans” which seems to draw in more commenters.

    I do a lot of what is listed here and I agree, it works.

    Check out my page if you’d like:

    Facebook.com/SergioGarciaPhotography

  • Craig

    Thanks for clearing that up Jim!

  • http://www.facebook.com/smallishbear Sarah Elizabeth Phelps

    I have the same problem.
    133 likers – but even when offering coupons for a comment – all I get is crickets. I’ve tried business posts, personal posts, posts asking questions….

    Unless I can get my posts up on EdgeRank, my reach is going to keep getting smaller, and my fans aren’t even going to SEE my posts! Gah!

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    Sarah

    Original Works Of Heart

  • http://www.fb.com/socialbizniz Bev Hayden

    Brilliant post – thank you so much, as always.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/orangechen920 Orange Chen

    Same problem as Mary and Sarah. I use hootsuite to post regularly
    content, ask questions, coupons, special deals, Few responses on our
    facebook page posts. I am about to use twitter and contests to drive
    traffic into facebook page first.

    Do you have any other tips ? can you help me ?

    Orange

  • http://bippermedia.com/ Bipper Media

    Isn’t it against Facebook policy to create fan gates for contests?  Please tell me if i’m wrong here…

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  • http://bippermedia.com/ Bipper Media

    Without a doubt, the two most explosive ways I’ve seen fan sgrow on Facebook are:

    1)  sending out an invite link to an email list to “become a fan” – I did this for a client once and their fan page grew over 7,000 fans in 48 hours  (here’s the page I built, launched, and managed the social marketing campaign fore > http://www.facebook.com/BoycottRalph)

    2)  purchase something to give a way (i.e. gift cards, certificates, a free “whatever”) and tell your fans they need to either “like” or “comment” on the give a way to be to eligible to win.  This does, however, walk a thin line of violating Facebook’s “contest policies” – but I share the idea because it does in fact create explosive growth on a Facebook page.  Just do your homework, and proceed with caution on this tip.  I’ve been researching this for the past year and I keep going back and forth over the “what’s valid and what’s not”

    anyone have any thoughts….?

  • http://twitter.com/inspirekelly Kelly Ballard

    Great article thanks!  I would love to see more facebook tips for businesses who provide a service such as accounting / legal etc

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566797355 Elizabeth Cass-Kanti

    “The more comments a status update receives, the higher its EdgeRank. The
    higher the EdgeRank, the higher that update is placed in news feeds.” Does it matter who the comments are from?  For example if I have 20 comments on my post, but they are a 2 way conversation between myself and a fan, will this count?  Or does it have to be 20 (for example) comments from 20 unique fans?
    As usual, another fantastic, useful, helpful and practical article.  What an inspiration you are!!  I am also wringing my hands everytime i post something on my page waiting for feedback ;) I have a villa rental business in Greece and my fans LOVE photos, cant be bothered with videos and rarely comment on my posts!  But I am playing around with post timings, type of content etc.  Your previous article about a socila media planner was a god send!  Thanks for all you share ;)

  • soumitra

    does that really happen ?

  • Soumitra

    aweber is paid one , but to my knowledge the best in market

  • AlexanderHoll

    Like esepciall thetip number 4, it is so easy but effective as you are overall driving traffic from one source to the next source. Thanks great tip
    Alexander

  • Bart van der Velden

    I don’t think so. It is against their policy to make the like a part of the contest. So something like ” Like this post to win blablabla”
    Check this http://honeypotmarketing.com/internet-marketing/facebook-contest-policy-updates.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/bartvandervelden Bart Van Der Velden

    Hi Sarah, I saw a great webinar by Amy Porterfield last week where she also talked about this ‘catch 22′ some of us are in; because we have no engagement we don’t appear in the newsfeeds which means we can’t engage.
    She talks about the use of Page Post Ads to reconnect with existing fans. Give it a try…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.ouwendyk Tony Ouwendyk

    It’s an interesting  subject and one that few ‘social network users’ know how to handle simply because of their ‘offline social habits’. As inside… so outside and vice-verse.

    Do you normally and consistently ‘respond to passers-by’ when going about your daily tasks and functions?

    A simple “Hello!” “Good morning.” “Nice to meet you.” or any friendly verbal ‘gift’ to make someone feel like they mean something to a total stranger, could be the next marriage made in heaven or Marks and Spencer partnership ‘IF’ that ‘gift’ is returned in kind and becomes the ‘foundation of this new-found-friend or business partner.

    This is your chance to ‘tell somebody new’ how you ‘feel’ about how their ‘gift’ made your day or opened a new chapter in your life.

    Maybe ‘they’ just lost their job, or lost a loved one. Maybe they’re making a last bid effort to start a new life after a divorce or just got out of re-hab. You don’t know. Do you?

    Maybe you won’t respond to this comment because you rarely get one with more than a ‘hello’ or a ‘like’ without a ‘comment’ or ‘share’. I don’t know.

    What I do know is this: “If you do not respond to this comment, you will not make it in meaningful social network growth.” That is just a fact of life. You need to interact consistently with one person at a time and deal with your own sense of ‘self-importance’ and the ‘next caller on hold’ waiting to respond to you too!

    Call-waiting should be on your list of services to cancel first. Then social networking will become your teacher rather than your ‘popular video posting place’.

    Not that video isn’t a ‘ratings thing’, but whose rating does it build up? Your video supplier’s ratings, and the fact that your fans can be expected to see more of your fav vids as if they can’t find their own.

    SEO or search engine optimization, is a function of search engines to target your comments to their advertises products and keywords to place their ads next to you and your friends’ conversations and your business interests, therefore keep your conversations about things you don’t mind being in-your-face every time you and your friend change the subject.

    Want a Fan or friend to share your posts? Like, Comment, Share this one… and Visit and Like my Page too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rwynn Roger Wynn

    It’s always the simple things we tend to forget most times. Great tips as always  Thanks

  • JimBelosic

    Bart, you’re exactly right. The act of Liking something, be it a Page, update, picture, whatever, cannot automatically enter someone into a contest. There needs to be some sort of entry form. What you can do is hide the form behind a fan gate so people have to Like your Page before they ever get a chance to enter.

  • JimBelosic

    Thanks Elizabeth! I’m afraid I can’t answer your question. Facebook doesn’t publish their complete EdgeRank algorithm. All we can know about it is the little they tell us and what we observe, and I’ve never seen any documentation that addresses your question. I’m sorry I can’t be of any help.

  • JimBelosic

    Great words, Tony!

  • http://twitter.com/b_reilly brian

    Aren’t there a ton of rules about throwing a giveaway on your facebook page? Not sure you can just ask people to like your page for a contest without running into some fb fineprint. Anyone familiar? 

  • JimBelosic

    Hi Brian, Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines aren’t that too bad or too long of a read. You can find them here: 
    https://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php

  • http://twitter.com/ronipfeffer Roni Pfeffer

    Are there any facebook apps that I (a very non-technical person) could use to add a share button to my facebook posts?

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    I have created a Facebook account two months ago, but I could not increase the fans to my account as I expected. I hope these tips would be more helpful to me in improving my Facebook fans count. Thank you so much for sharing these suggestions. Keep updating.

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  • Linda

    Brianna, I know what you mean!  I’m going to try some of Jim’s suggestions and see if I get better feedback.

  • http://www.alexseo.se/ Alexander Edbom

    I belive that it’s important to mix content in updates.

    Post about your store, staff, product updates/news, coupons, silly texts such as “fun fun fun” or jokes. You have no idea how fast I got shares and likes on a simple “fun fun fun” :P But of course, it depends on how many fans you got etc.

  • Sfrost

    Jim,

    Thank you for this very
    helpful post. Your content is informative and concise, clearly providing a
    how-to guide for Facebook page admins. As a Facebook page admin myself I have
    been struggling to engage Facebook fans and your post has given me very useful information
    that is easy to implement.

    Additionally, I found your
    post interesting as it relates to the concept of communication dialogue. Many
    communication scholars believe that a dialogical approach to communication is
    vital to any realm of human interaction, including social media. By engaging
    Facebook fans, page admins are encouraging discussions that are relevant and
    interesting to users. In this way they are fulfilling Martin Buber’s characteristics
    of dialogical communication: authenticity, inclusion of all views, and
    confirmation of individuality (Johannesen, Valde, & Whedbee, 2008, p. 55).

    With the advent of
    social media, the public’s expectations now demand interaction from businesses
    and other organizations. It is through advice and expertise like yours that
    these expectations can be met and the businesses and organizations can benefit
    from increased user engagement.

    Thank you again for
    this post.

    Johannesen, R. L., Valde, K. S., & Whedbee, K.
    E. (2007). Ethics in human communication
    (6th

    ed.).
    Prospect Heights: Waveland Press

     

    Stephanie Weddell

    Graduate Student

    Drury University

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7I2VZLXCHKQGWQ3KY37Z3QP6FI Hual_Arc

     Did you know Mary that a study was done and only about 30% of people overall on FB are actively giving “Likes”, and share content with their FB friends. Regardless of the offer or content provided. Not a optimistic stat, but welcome to the unreal world of the Internet. :( HF

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7I2VZLXCHKQGWQ3KY37Z3QP6FI Hual_Arc

     Both very good ideas and they do work, but what works isn’t usually being too passive, and what may seem as being over zealous is what usually works because you stand out more from all the noise on FB and across the Internet as a whole. The thin line may be thin, but at least there’s a line to work. :0)

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  • https://www.conenza.com/web/guest/blog-detail-marketing-communications/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_iEAS/2853856/3826144/BLOG_BODY_DISPLAY_MARKETING_COMMUNICATIONS Rory Martin

    We’re not entirely sure how important Facebook engagement is if you can’t drive users to your corporate website.  Fan engagement is great to a point, but I think businesses need to focus on how to get users back to the business website instead of focusing on driving users to their Facebook page.

  • Marie Jonsson-Harrison

    All very interesting points of view.  What I am most annoyed at are the new changes with the pages as I used to have stacks of comments and could see the traffic increase each time I blogged and sent out an Fb update to the fans.  Now since Fb have taken that function away I have to rely on my personal page to drive the traffic to my website, luckily people are subscribing to my updates in droves – but the 
    http://www.facebook.com/Naiveartbymarie is really frustratingly slow.  Great article :) Love Marie xxx

  • http://twitter.com/RaginaSmith Ragina Smith

    Great post!! Definitely going to try some of these suggestions.

  • http://www.Zynali.com/ Nate

    Great tips, Jim!  Another thing to remember is to tie in your offline and traditional media with your social strategies.  How many commercials or print ads fail to make an effort to draw those viewers or readers into their social streams?  Even if they do, they frequently just put a facebook or twitter icon at the end of the ad, without posting the actual URL!  What nonsense!  These brands are missing out on low hanging fruit.  They are already paying for the advertising, why not pull these customers in and have the capability to interact with them on a daily basis online?  As far as getting these customers more engaged, they can create spots with open ended questions, asking them to respond via facebook or twitter!

  • http://www.Zynali.com/ Nate

     Actually, the ONLY condition of a facebook contest, pertaining to on facebook actions, is liking the page.  In other words, you can require the user to like your page, but you can’t require them to ‘share’ or ‘like’ a post.  You cannot contact them for any reason via facebook messages to notify them about contest details, or to even notify them that they won.  Facebook updates these regulations frequently.  All contest and promotions must be administered via a third party application.

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    The 2nd tip was very innovative. Not heard of such kind of suggestion earlier. Have loved these suggestions would be implementing soon for our business.

  • http://pmstudycircle.com/ Fahad

    you did not say anything about limelight?

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  • Алексей Василев

     My way of getting fans is Buysocials Great service

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sabh-Ruch/100002789356495 Sabh Ruch

    Nice Article Mate !!But Plzz Help Me To Increase Likes of my website http://www.goalietimes.comThnx

  • zipsite

    There are other sites that give value added traffic to social media as well. Have you tried a new site called http://so.cialfans.com ? I’ve tried it and even if its a new site, my likes and +1′s went up.

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  • http://buycheapgranitecountertops.com/discount-granite-countertops/ Angelina vax

    All very interesting points of view.  What I am most annoyed at are the
    new changes with the pages as I used to have stacks of comments and
    could see the traffic increase each time I blogged and sent out an Fb
    update to the fans.  thanks for sharing. http://buycheapgranitecountertops.com/discount-granite-countertops/

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  • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z
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  • http://www.nobledrugstore.com/ John Green

    I am posting sometimes funny jokes related to my niche, sometimes interesting things about my niche.Also I post any important health updates.Never heard of facebook edgerank algorithm before.Also thanks for the tips for creating social engagement that you need to ask for opinions to make people to comment on your status

  • http://www.iwebxpert.com/business-facebook-page/ Daisy Bono

     Amazing post! I think I already know the technique on how to make my fans engage in my business page and I apply the things posted above. I certainly agree that in creating a fan page or business page we should always consider our fans first because everything that we do for our business is for our customer’s satisfaction.

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  • http://www.makeitmindful.com/ Mindful Marketing Strategies

    These are great ideas Jim. I’d love to get your thoughts around how to increase fan engagement and have an effective social marketing campaign for service providers, such as mortgage brokers, therapists, and plumbers? Their product is not as tangible as a consumer goods, which makes it difficult to offer action-based incentives.







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