9 Facebook Marketing Tips to Improve Engagement

social media how toNeed some Facebook marketing inspiration?

Here are nine Facebook pages using some great techniques for more engagement.

Keep reading for some awesome tips from businesses of all sizes.

#1: Get Personal

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn does a great job with a variety of posts but also adds some of his personal life. You can throw the old “don’t tell them what you had for lunch” advice right out the window with this tip.

Your community wants to get to know you and wants to be able to relate to you and your company.

get personal

You can tell them what you had for lunch. Better yet, add a picture!

smart passive income

Personal cover photo with his podcast setup and a picture of his son.

#2: Use Pictures

No doubt you’ve heard the visual marketing drumbeat, and it’s all true. Pictures are very powerful on Facebook. They take up more space in the news feed and can get more engagement than a straight text post.

Home Depot uses pictures very well by engaging their fans with project ideas, posts featuring employees and a fun game to guess the product. Notice how their pictures include a link to help drive traffic where they want.

use pictures

Home Depot gets engagement with their fans by making them guess the product.

home depot employees

Home Depot features their employees.

#3: Run a Contest

Facebook Contests are a great way to bring some fun to your Facebook page. Not only that, they can help boost your likes, grow your email list and showcase a product or service that you offer. Not a bad marketing tool when you wrap that into one shiny package.

How to Market Your Horse Business uses contests very effectively by showcasing the contest in the Facebook cover photo all along the way.

run a contest

Use the cover photo and app photos to help promote your contest.

#4: Have Fun

Even if you are a “serious” business, you can still have a funny-bone. Salesforce does a great job with their “SaaSy, VP of fun” character that makes regular appearances on their Facebook page.

Using humor on Facebook is a great way to get interaction. People are usually on Facebook to be social, and if you’re able to entertain and inform in your posts, you will get more shares, comments and likes.

have fun

SaaSy, the VP of fun, gets great interaction.

salesforce

Not only does Salesforce create their own fun posts, but they also feature crowdsourced fun.

#5: Showcase a Cause

Many pages have causes that they support—either through their own foundations or by running events that benefit other causes.

Little Man Ice Cream does a great job of running events that also benefit causes. Their Hula Hoop Competition was an event that benefitted a local farm providing sustainable food. They featured the event on their cover photo and through photos on their page.

little man ice cream

Little Man Ice Cream featured their event to benefit a local cause on their cover photo.

showcase a cause

Working with causes is a great way to benefit your company and your community.

#6: Use Facebook’s Features

Use some of Facebook’s features such as apps, pinning posts and highlighting to help your page stay interesting.

Each week, Tumi features a different bag they sell by using an app to showcase the type of person who uses that bag in a “Case Study” (and I’m pretty sure the pun is intended).

They also use a contest app to give the bag away to one lucky entrant and they pin the contest post to the top of their page to further highlight the contest.

facebook apps

Use Facebook applications to keep your page fresh.

pin a post

The orange flag in the upper-right means the post is pinned to the top of the Timeline and will be more visible.

#7: Consider Using Your Personal Profile

If you’re branding your business as YOU, such as a Realtor, author, or consultant, then you may want to consider using your Facebook personal profile to help your marketing.

Brent Humpherys, uses his personal profile to talk about his day-to-day activity as a Realtor while sprinkling in his life as a dad and husband.

When talking to Brent to find out how his Facebook use affects his business, he said that 80% of his business is directly affected by his presence on Facebook.

Share your personality while sharing news about your business.

Don’t be afraid to get personal if you are branding as you.

Brent shares his testimonials on his personal profile.

#8: Crowdsource Your Content

Medtronic Diabetes does a great job responding to customer issues in their posts. But they also like to feature their customers both in their cover photo and in pictures on their Facebook Timeline.

One thing that they do differently is that they have created an app on their Facebook page that will allow people to submit their story to be a candidate to be featured. This gives Medtronic a chance to review the stories and choose which ones to feature.

crowdsource

Medtronic uses an app to have people submit stories to share.

medtronic app

Then Medtronic will post the pictures and the story of the people who have submitted them.

Using crowdsourcing allows your page to be more of a community and connects people together.

#9: Love Your Fans

Campbell’s Soup uses photos and posts to show their fans how much they love them. Make sure you don’t take your community for granted. Show a little love! It also helps to be creative in the way you express it so that it adds some fun and gets shared.

campbells soup

Show your fans a little love!

Campbell’s also does a great job of responding to posts, both positive and negative. Having excellent customer service can help your brand stay strong.

love your fans

Excellent customer service is another way to love your fans.

As mentioned, many of these pages use several of these strategies on Facebook—some were employing all of them. All of these pages have great engagement and have seen a lot of growth on Facebook over the last couple of months.

I hope these nine tips gave you some great ideas about new things to try and ways to stand out and will ultimately help your business grow.

What do you think? Have you tried these techniques? Or do you have one to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Straightforward and simple tactics that happen to work. Great list Andrea. Facebook success doesn’t have to be complicated!

  • AnnMullen

    Great ideas as usual. Please keep them coming, Andrea. My favorite from this bunch was have fun. I love a good laugh and as much Facebook as I read, I really like the fun stuff best. Thanks again.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1488872188 Lyn Pesterfield

     Thanks for a great summary of your webinar presentation from yesterday!  Enjoyed seeing it both times.

  • Rob Postuma

    Pretty straightforward advice that seems like common sense, but weirdly it’ll seem like something amazing and new to most people!

  • Gail

    great ideas here. folk need to be wary of contests on facebook in the sense that FB has strict guidelines on how to use the platform for this.

  • Brad

    These are all really great ideas, but you said 9, and there were only 8. You skipped number 7!!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Jeff!  It’s sometimes just as easy as good ideas applied consistently!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Whoops!  You are right Brad, we are correcting that now!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Yes, definitely, you need to us a Contest App and then you will be on the right side of the rules!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Very true, thanks Rob!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Lyn!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Ann!  I like the fun stuff too :)

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  • http://profiles.google.com/shiprap80 Shipra Pande

    nthng new

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    I agree. In fact, yesterday I was brainstorming with a landscape company client who is trying to drive in more business before winter hits.  

    We talked about 6 of these 9 tips. Everyone on their team knows what to do, it just needs to be done with more diligence. 

    That said, thanks for the 3 we missed. They all got the link to your article this morning. :)

  • Gordon Robinson

    So well written Andrea. Some classic tips to consider. Thanks Two things I found was that I was using my personal page and a lot of friends did not like it.  The other thing is I like the idea of having a Cause … thanks for sharing.

  • Pat Rhoads

    Andrea, great article, but I have a question. While we KNOW engagement is higher with images (at least when done correctly), do you have handy any data to back this up? I’m wanting to make a push for more images to be created in-house for us to use, but I need numbers to back this up (rightfully so).

    Thanks!

  • http://www.hub81.com/ Jose Huitron

    Humanizing your brand is a great step for leading engagement. The recommendation of having fun is spot on and resonates with the important attribute of brand building known as ‘play.’ (Taking a page out of Daniel Pink’s book, a Whole New Mind.) Immerse your audience in an experience as a means of moving customers to the point of advocacy. 

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    So many times it can be about seeing different examples to help remind us of a technique that we know but we may not using.  Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Gordon – so glad you enjoyed the post!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Love Daniel Pink’s book too!  Yes, that is a great point to create a whole experience for your audience and think of the experience you are creating in everything you do.  Thanks for bringing that into the discussion.

  • Bill

    Andrea I love to keep things simple and these are simply excellent steps anyone can take to improve their engagement. Without that nothing happens. ;-b

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694393906 Brent Humpherys

    Andrea, what a great Facebook engagement article, packed solid with awesome tips!  I’m humbled that you would feature me in your article, and am now studying the other eight businesses you highlighted to learn more.  Keep up the great work!

  • http://twitter.com/SMARTSocMed SMART Soc Med Mgmnt

    Hi Andrea, Great article. Actionable steps to improve engagement. I find that going off topic once in a while works too. I put up a brainteaser that got some good results and also a photo of a cheesecake. It was fun and just got people out of business mode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RichardNgHS Richard Ng

    Hi Andrea,

    Great tips! Especially like the “Get Personal” and “Have Fun”. I think these are the two tips that most commecial fan page lack of as they tends to make it too official!

    For running a contest, do you have any recommended apps/tools to facilitate it?

    Cheers! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/igbalayeyemi Igbalaye Olayemi

    Facebook has been one of my favorite social media on my blog and it has been bringing traffic on a daily basis. i think if you are planning of boost your traffic, it is better to try facebook. thanks for sharing

  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Anika Davis

    Great tips Andrea! Simple tactics yet very effective. Build tricks and strategies and don’t be afraid to test which of them works best.

    Cheers!

  • Moe

    Well explained, additionally, we have been experimenting with “linked” & “liquid” content by rewriting boring Corporate content In an interesting way, good end results.

    Q: when using contest apps, does it contribute to the page’s edgeRank?

  • Mahendra Varma

    Thanks Andrea for your innovative and useful tips, really it will works a lot for a brand promotion, Having millions of likes is not important how you connected with them is more important. thanks once again for your tips 

  • http://www.engage-2012.com/ Kevin Dolby

    These are all very good ideas. Simple, but why to do something complicatedly when it can be done easily and it works perfectly. Thanks for this summary, Andrea.

  • Pankaj Giri

    Yup! I’ve Got it ~

    First I would like to say Thank You “Andrea’” such a nice post; in my past I have made many mistakes in Social Media Campaigns…. Now reviewed your post and just thinking what I have ever done: P LOL ….. OK From now on I’ll never hesitate to promote my Brand/ Website / Product using these 9 Facebook Marketing Tips…. The 7th Topic – “Consider Using Your Personal Profile” looks very impressive to me,

    All The best & Thanks You Again
    Pankaj Giri

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Great ideas, Andrea! Very timely too since I am trying to find different ways to make my Facebook page more interesting for more exposure–I’ll definitely follow these tips you wrote! 

    I just want to ask you a question regarding posting photos, I have been sharing these Facebook candies from other pages for several days and even though they give my page the exposure it needs, I still think I would be a lot better to post interesting photos on the wall of my page, then share it on my profile page, that way when they click on the picture, they would be able to see my page. My main problem is there aren’t a lot of photos around that I could download then upload on my page. Are there perhaps websites were we could get these photos from? I know it would be fairly easy to download other pages’ photos, but I prefer to get them where I would not have to worry that I am using someone’s property without any rights to do so.

    Thanks in advance, Andrea. And, as I always say SME rocks! more power to you guys!

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  • Cindy H

    Love the advice. But, how do you get around the FB policy on not using Call to Actions your cover photo? Is it ok to promote a contest, etc?

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I’ve seen several studies on this here’s a link to one:  
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/6/prweb9600362.htm  But I know there are more out there.  Always good to back it up with actual data!  Thanks Pat

  • Esther Chung

    I worked for IT firm once before and my boss wanted me to take care of Marketing stuff.
    I was just a part time job student who was hired to translate Korean to friendly English.
    I was really surprised but I did my best.
    I used Twitter and Facebook for marketing.
    I quit my job 2 weeks ago because my school has started.
    I wish I read your posting little bit earlier!
    This is so much helpful. Thank you. I really enjoyed reading this.

  • Suresh Maheshwari Bangad

    Great Information by this article,
    it’s very useful…

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    Thanks for the tips. :)

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  • Steven Pope

    They’re all good except the contest one can attract spam and turn off customer base :(

  • Diane

     Be careful.  Even “free” online photo sources can create a problem.  The image industry is policing like the music industry did.  Thousands of dollars of fines per account, if you are not careful.  Paying for images is the safest way to go.

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  • Matthew

    This is a really informative article with some good practical ideas.
    I particularly endorse #4, a little humour now and then does a lot to brighten this often serious business and promotes communication.
    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/Linda_S_Daley Linda Daley

    Thanks, Andrea. I’m studying social media theory and practice with @DR4WARD at @NewhouseSU and we’re in the midst of learning about Facebook. I subscribe to the Social Media Examiner blog and found your tips to be extremely useful. Can’t wait to put them to use (especially #4 and #9). Thanks so much. #NewhouseSM6

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  • http://twitter.com/DonaldPeterson Donald Peterson

    I will definitely add these tips to my Facebook Marketing efforts. Thanks Andrea!!!!

  • Hezi Hershkovitz

    Simple yet effective, I just can’t help but love providing images on my marketing strategy. Audience really love images, it just comforts you when you get to engage with them and let them understand just having your images and making some offer that they cant decline but ask for more. 

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    So sorry Moe that I didn’t get back to this earlier.  Any activity that happens on an App and off the Timeline does not contribute to EdgeRank.  But if people are commenting on the Posts you make about the contest or sharing those posts that will definitely contribute.  Also if you have a contest that requires a Like to enter – best implemented with Fan-gating – then you will see the Talking About This score go up as people enter.  Every contest that I’ve seen has significantly helped the engagement of a Page.  

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Definitely, Mahendra!  Thanks!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Great point Diane!  Yes be very careful about the photos you use.  I either look for Creative Commons photos and site the source or use stock photos that I pay for.  Some sites like http://www.someecards.com encourages use of their cards so then it’s ok.  But I would say to never download a photo from an unknown source and upload it.  You don’t have the rights to that photo.

  • Molinmat

    All 9 ways are perfect ways to get more people to engage in your Facebook. My favorite tip is taking pictures, since facebook bought instagram, people love viewing pictures that they can relate to or are just different. These tips will be helpful to anyone who is trying to enhance their brand image.

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  • http://tanyaaliza.com/ Tanya Aliza

    Love the simplicity and effectiveness of these Facebook Tips!

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  • http://www.twitter.com/jukemfootball MSpelman

    I saw a LOT of text in the cover photos cited in a couple of the above examples.  This teeters on the edge of what’s allowed according to Facebook’s guidelines for cover photos.  No doubt there is some gray area with how you can communicate with cover photos, but the average small business trying to leverage Facebook is not likely to have the time to delve into the nuances enough to get this right, and may instead venture onto thin ice if they begin to try to include a lot of non-image messaging there.  It would be helpful to include additional information that explains why these examples would be permissible while other promotional messages would not be.

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  • Tamara Gaffney

    Social engagement as measured by use of the “like” button is up.  Details in this report: http://bit.ly/PFSwxI.

  • http://twitter.com/Initi8Marketing Tom Crawshaw

    Hey Andrea,
    Thanks for you content! There’s tons of actionable steps you’ve given us!  I love how you’ve used case studies to back up each point. 
    Images are playing a massive part in my Facebook engagement strategy, I rarely post an update without one.  
    I’m running a training event on Facebook Fan Attraction, there’s some great content available >> http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E153DD808448

  • szoumbaris

    The Realtor example is a great reminder of what NOT TO DO! How many times do you think your friends want to read about the exciting new listing you got in the exciting new neighborhood. Please…. Once you’ve sold homes to all your friends and family, they switch off your feed and you don’t even know it. As for attracting new friends with your listings, this is much better served on your own site where converting the lead is your primary focus, employing industry standard tactics which Facebook frowns on.

  • http://twitter.com/XIAMETER XIAMETER

    Some good thoughts here. What about Facebook not applowing Call to Actions in your cover photo though?

  • Chiki_bo07

    I have a question. I would like to add a page in my profile to advertise some new staff I have for sale or even better make it a site where not just me but other ppl can advertise their own stuff too. I recently moved from a different state so most of my friends are not in the same place I live in now. Question is how I invite people from my area to visit my page

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  • http://twitter.com/rajanshu Rajeev Ranjan

    i am your daily reader..  all time waiting facebook marketing tips..how could reach the customers. I am trying my best for reaching. We want some features like 1- Landing Page 2- Send the bulk mail to our fans like CRM. If we can use this features in future i am sure Facebook PPC business ll be high. We ll get good platform as compare to others.

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  • http://twitter.com/WeareSculpt Sculpt

    Touchy (and tricky) subject, but wouldn’t using your cover photo as a contest tool violate FB’s terms and conditions? 

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  • RJ Penn

    Thanks for the great post. Very informative.

  • http://lasantedansmonassiette.com/veloute-brocolis/ Anne

    I find those tips great because they show people are fond of fun and personnal stuff ! And that’s a good thing, I think. Thanks for these tips I will certainly use !! 

  • Caesi

    Re: “Running contests” – if you are a business or nonprofit, charity, or church, check with your state to see if you need a special license to permit you to do this. States watch out for “scam” contests.

  • http://lesastucesdeluce.com/ Luce

    Very informative these tips !! Thanks, I will no longer use facebook in the same way !!

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  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Love this post as well. I love the fact that Andrea touched on the power of pictures on Facebook. I actually just Liked the Social Media Examiner Facebook page. The content that this site produces is unmatched. Thank You.

    Quick Question: How effective are pictures on Twitter?

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  • http://www.gamesunveil.com/ Stella

    This article is fantastic. It’s just something I’m looking for as I plan to run a contest. Now I’m not sure which third party apps I could use as a small biz starting up on IM.

  • Melissa Hylkema

    I’ve never seen this site before, but I’ve only read 1 post and I’m already loving it! You’ve got a new fan, Andrea. Thank you for this article!

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  • Nikhil Tiwari

    Thanks Andrea for your well researched article on Facebook marketing. one can also consider SOCIOTA for one stop solution for all the social media accounts.







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