26 Ways to Create Engaging Content

Written by: Debbie Hemley. Source: socialmediaexaminer.com

 

Are you looking to create content that engages?

Does your content connect with people and encourage them to engage?

In this article I’ll show you 26 ways to make content that engages people, in an A-Z guide of tips.

#1: Authors Matter

Written content doesn’t exist without authors, whether constructing 140-character posts or 1000-word articles.  Not only do you want people who can write well (e.g., clear points, proper spelling and grammar, active voice), you need writers and team members who can think strategically about the content that will resonate most with your audience.

content creation

Creating good content is important for social media engagement.

We’ll talk about more specifics as we go down the list. For now, think strategy.

#2: Blog as a Spoke in the Wheel

A blog provides an opportunity to discuss a topic in-depth. It’s a place where you canoffer explanations and suggestions, demonstrate how-to’s, show thought leadership and generously offer useful content for readers.

Kristi Hines offers these helpful tips for blog content:

  • Analyze your competitors (topics, frequency of posts, who writes them, how they are shared) to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Make your content valuable and unique.
  • Subscribe to top industry blogs using RSS to keep track of the latest hot topics.
  • Search for people asking questions about your keyword or phrase on Twitter.
  • Ask your sales and support team what questions are asked most frequently by potential or current customers.

Is your blog’s content meeting your customers’ needs and expectations?

#3: Curate Selected Content

In the past couple of years, content curation has become more mainstream as businesses of all sizes and industries have started to adopt the practice.

Content curation is defined as “the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content.”

As Beth Kanter writes, “Content curation is not about collecting links or being an information packrat, it is more about putting them into a context with organization, annotation and presentation.  Content curators provide a customized, vetted selection of the best and most relevant resources on a very specific topic or theme.”

Brian Carter offered his social media posting rule at Social Media Marketing World (SMMW13): Post curated content 50%, original content 30% and promotional material 20% of the time.

 #4: Data Provides Direction

Social data can tell us a lot about industries, customers and prospects; what we should be doing more of and what we should do less of. Jayson DeMers says social data can provide five insights for businesses:

  • Real-time market mood
  • Relevant issues and content
  • User interests
  • Internal operational metrics
  • Competitive research

How are you using social data? Where can you improve your processes?

2012 social media marketing industry report

Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

#5: Email and Social Media Work Hand in Hand

Do you think of email and social media as separate entities?  Do you favor one more than the other?  The fact is, email and social media complement each other quite well.  They leverage one another. Help the other to be seen by an audience that may not have otherwise come across the message.

DJ Waldow offers these valuable tips for integrating email and social media:

  • Include social icons in emails
  • Ask email subscribers to share and connect
  • Send a dedicated email campaign
  • Provide incentive—for example, ask email subscribers to invite friends on Facebook to receive a discount
  • Promote email sign-up via social networks
  • Include “retweet this snippet” in email
  • Build an email opt-in form on Facebook
  • Don’t forget SMS—text your email address
  • Promote email marketing on your blog

#6: Facebook Pages Don’t Guarantee Engagement but are Good Candidates for the Job

The act of setting up a Facebook Page and publishing it for the world to see doesn’t automatically send people running to engage with your business. Engagement strategies should be tried and tested over a period of time.

Mari Smith offers these five factors that help contribute to exceptional engagement and measurable results:

  • Launch creative incentives
  • Post highly shareable content
  • Build a tight community
  • Have a quirky brand—for example, add humor and entertainment
  • Give your fans plenty of excellent content on a regular basis 
    mari smith facebook

    Mari Smith’s “peeps” won’t hesitate to share content they like.

#7: Google+ Provides a Unique Blend of Features and Benefits

Whether you’re a fan of Google+ or not, you should know that it’s a force to be reckoned with. GlobalWebIndex recently reported that Google+ remains the number 2 social network in the world with 359 million monthly active users (Facebook at number 1 with 903 million accounts).

Sarah Bauer suggests that Google+ is rapidly becoming “the most important content publication platform for businesses with an eye on higher search rankings. The data in a piece of content posted on Google+ is immediately indexed for Google search. On Twitter or Facebook, Google has restricted access to the data and indexing can take a few days. AuthorRank, the digital signature for Google+ users, is also set to affect the ranking order for search results.”

Mike Stenger offers these tips for engaging with readers on Google+:

  • Follow active people relevant to your business
  • Take time to comment
  • Participate in hangouts
  • Publish high-quality content

#8: HootSuite Offers Ability to Listen and Engage

HootSuite, a popular social media dashboard, offers ways to narrow in on places to engage with users. As Pawan Deshpande suggests, “…subscribe to a Twitter search for a keyword of interest.  Instead of paying attention to the tweets in your stream, keep an eye on articles, videos, and images that are linked from the tweets to uncover breaking content. Often you will find content before Google is able to even index it.”

Step 1:

keywords

Use HootSuite to keep your eye on a keyword phrase.

Step 2:

monitoring keywords

By monitoring the keyword phrase “content marketing,” you can see real-time results.

#9: Instant Feedback Helps

Social media encourages two-way conversation, so why not take advantage of the feedback you can gain from users on social networksAndres Traslavina offers creative ways to problem-solve and meet marketing and business goals:

  • Collect product feedback
  • Host an online focus group via Twitter Chat
  • Conduct surveys and polls
  • Ask industry experts
  • Crowdsource blog content
  • Develop personas
  • Monitor brand mentions

The information you’re able to glean from customers and prospects will provide in-the-moment and future opportunities for engagement.

#10: Journalist’s Digital Media Pyramid Encourages Engagement

Benjamin A. Davis coined the concept of the “digital media pyramid” as an alternative approach for bloggers and other online journalists from the inverted pyramid used by traditional print journalists. Davis suggests that one of the features of the digital media pyramid is to “encourage the self-education of ‘users’ or readers, enabling them to quickly seek out balanced information on a news story through the use of embedded links, social networks and other sources.”

digital marketing pyramid

Digital media pyramid offers online reporters a valuable framework.

It’s during this “self-education” when engagement is ripe. As readers click on links, businesses can remind them via social sharing buttons and invitations to like, retweet, +1, mention and share the content on multiple channels.  And voilà, before you know it, there’s a whole lot of opportunity for engagement.

#11: Keywords Help Find the Needle in a Haystack

The amount of data being shared online every minute can feel rather daunting. Consider these numbers reported a year ago by Domo:

  • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
  • 2,000,000 search queries are made on Google
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
  • 47,000 apps are downloaded from the App Store
  • 3,600 photos are shared on Instagram
  • 571 new websites are created

What would help get your content in front of the people who would most appreciate reading itKeywords, plain and simple.

As Jerilyn Soncrant suggests:

“When posting on your social media networks, include keywords in the following places while remembering they need to sound natural. If it feels obvious that you snuck in a keyword phrase, remove it or try again. Place your keywords:

  • In the Bio or About Us section of all of your social networks
  • In posts when you’re talking about that particular subject
  • In the vanity URL you create for each social network
  • In the titles of your blog posts

#12: LinkedIn’s Role

At times, LinkedIn may appear to be one of the more misunderstood platforms out there. Astute companies have discovered LinkedIn is a key player for engagement. Mike Delgado offers these suggestions:

  • Leverage LinkedIn Groups to find engaging content for company followers.
  • Post status updates often (especially every morning).
  • Add pictures, files, questions, links and contests in status updates.
  • Promote your LinkedIn Company Page badge and product recommendations on your website.
  • Use LinkedIn Recommendation Ads

    Social Media Examiner provides regular updates on LinkedIn and maintains their product offerings utilizing the vast resources of LinkedIn for companies.

#13: Mobile Content Meets People Where They’re At—In the Moment

If you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, mobile content offers a great opportunity to engage potential customers. Christina Zila shares these insights:

“In general, smartphone users look for local information while they’re on the go.  In survey after survey, smartphone users want to know if a close physical location is open. Content for these types of searches shouldinclude basic contact information—address, phone number and operating hours—as well as a short description of the location highlighting why a visitor should choose that location.

And for other types of businesses, Ian Cleary offers suggestions for how to create a blog that is mobile-friendly and a website that is responsively designed.

show business hours

Opt to show your business hours since that’s what mobile users may want to know most. For instance, a search made on a Friday will show Friday’s hours.

#14: Nurture Leads Through Social Media Comment Replies

Some businesses are looking in all the wrong places. They’ll tell you they’re not seeing any return on their social media efforts and then you find that no one has responded to the comments or questions a user left.

Scott Gallagher articulates this point beautifully: “Social media is all about sharing and discussion. If you post a great piece of content, there is a very good chance that you’re going to get people commenting on it. These are your leads, and you need to encourage them to become more. This is where many people fall apart on their social media strategies. They don’t realize that replying to the comments on media can be as important as the creation of the content itself. When someone comments, you must reply.”

#15: Objectives Are Key

Quick, if someone asked you right now to list your company’s content marketing objectives, do you know the answer? Marissa Peacock points out, “It’s not just about creating any old content; it’s acknowledging that in order to reach more customers, companies must increase their efforts to provide timely and relevant content.”

Timely and relevant content sounds like a good mantra!

#16: Podcasting Offers a Powerful Tool

Podcasting is experiencing huge growth.  Mitch Joel explains ways it can be a powerful tool for engagement. “A credible podcast is a powerful tool in social proofing. Asking recognized authorities and industry thought leaders for a twenty-minute interview not only provides value to an audience, but it can also be used in other ways. A show of this nature is a great internal communications tool to help your peers learn more about the industry you serve.” Joel also said, “Podcasting is a way to network with your industry’s key thought leaders.”

#17: Quora’s Questions and Answers

You may hear mixed emotions about Quora. Some will say that it’s a great resource to see what people in your industry want to know. Elijah Young offers both points of view and highlights these benefits of Quora: “A great place to find content ideas and experts, opportunities for networking and joint ventures.” Conversely he says, “It’s the self-promotion capital of the world.”

What are your thoughts about Quora for engagement pre- and post-content development?

#18: Return on Investment (ROI) is One Part of the Equation

I know—ROI is often the elephant in the room.  But it doesn’t have to be. It just needs to be kept in perspective.  Nichole Kelly sums social media ROI this way: “One of the biggest challenges with social media is that we are trying to measure social media in the social channel, when in fact the business value tends to happen on the website or through the email list. You have to stop thinking in terms of one silo and look at social media as one part of the story.”

#19: Storytelling is About Connection

Storytelling has become one of the buzzwords we hear discussed in social media circles.  Some interpret it to mean that the writer has to be able to tell a good story. And while that’s true, there’s something even more powerful about storytelling.

Monica Carter Tagore adds an important dimension: “…storytelling is about connecting with your followers, friends and circles on an emotional level. And when you do, you’ll have a deeper and more meaningful social media conversation.”

share your story

Monica Carter Tagore makes it a practice to share parts of her personal story with readers.

#20: Twitter and CEOs

In many companies, social media community managers monitor the business’ social profiles for company mentions and to share relevant content with their Twitterfollowers.  And while they’re doing a terrific job at it, customers often want to know what CEOs and upper management are thinking, reading and doing in the industry.

Monica Romeri gives this piece of advice: “Encourage your CEO and other company leaders to contribute to your company presence on Twitter.  A CEO can easily use Twitter on the go as a marketing and public relations asset.  It only takes a few minutes in between meetings to share great content along with an insightful comment, so get your CEO and other executive leaders on board with Twitter engagement.”

#21: Unique Content is Crafted

Why does it seem at times that other businesses have more unique content available to them?  The truth of the matter is that they started where you did—without content or maybe with a few old white papers lying around.

Stanford Smith says, “At the beginning of a social media engagement, you don’t have content.  All you have are ingredients.  These ingredients are combined into various types of content.  An impromptu video of the factory floor is turned into a YouTube video.  The sales meeting presentation is transformed into a captivating industry infographic. Customer case studies are turned into insightful blog posts.”

“Content is crafted, not harvested.  You don’t know what you have and how it can be used until you understand your audience’s needs, what they value and share and how customers prefer to gather information about your product. Get these answers and content opportunities become easier to identify.”

#22: Videos Are Often a Top Choice

What is it about a video that captures viewers? For one thing, if done well it has a way of grabbing our attention, educating and entertaining at the same time. We’re taking in a lot of written content all day long. A video offers a few minutes of respite.

Joe Martin suggests, “Marketers should take note of the growth of video within social and mobile channels and look for ways to invest further in video content, and create an engaging experience for users on mobile devices. The ROI of social marketing is on the rise and our data shows that video content will certainly lead to better results than non-video content.”

We’ll talk more about video content in #25, YouTube Videos That Engage.

#23: Webinars Provide an Opportunity for Real-Time Engagement

Webinars, the unique blend of using online experiences for training seminars, have become so mainstream that I can hardly remember the first one I attended or how long ago. The ability to sit at your desk and tune into a training session conducted in another part of the country, or world for that matter, and be exposed to real-time content may be one of the most rewarding experiences that a business can bring to their target audience.

Allison King advises marketers to keep webinar content tightly focused. She says, “It’s better to go in-depth into a narrower topic than to skim the surface on a broader topic. Most webinars are about an hour in length for the presentation, followed by a Q/A session.” To keep your bases covered, Allison has two recommendations:

  • Get the PowerPoint presentation from the speakers two weeks in advance to give yourself a chance to review it and ask for a revision if needed.
  • Have a speaker prep session one week in advance, in which the speakers will rehearse their presentation. 
    infographic

    From Infographic, World Wide Webinars, by ClickMeeting.

In the image above from World Wide Webinars by ClickMeeting, you can see why people organize webinars.

#24: E(x)perience of Users

Nordstrom has been recognized for their customer service excellence. People care about their experiences with businesses—and that goes for online content, too. They’ll be more likely to notice when something isn’t working well, such as a poor navigation scheme, broken links and run-of-the-mill content.  Bottom line, online users expect things to go well.

Blaise Lucey writes, “The best kind of SEO strategy, at its core, provides a seamless user experience when people visit a website. Take a step back and look at your website. Use Google Analytics or another analytics tool to see how people are finding the site in the first place. Then, do some backtracking by clicking that page and pretending you’re a visitor. What do you see? As someone who just came to the site to read a specific blog post, do you want to or feel compelled to click on anything else? Remember that people who are looking for specific information often have tunnel vision. It’s up to you to broaden their horizons with additional content that pulls them further into the site.”

#25: YouTube Videos Work With All Budgets

You don’t need to go to great lengths to create videos for YouTube. Even a small budget with an inexpensive video camera or smartphone camera will go a long way if you don’t have the means to allot more resources. Jeff Bullas offers these ideas for what to record on video and publish:

  • Arrange formal interviews in advance with prepared questions and answers
  • Do casual, impromptu video interviews at a conference
  • Presentations either in part or in full and edited or unedited
  • Video products such as clothes or items that you can publish to your online store that show the product and how it can be adjusted or worn
  • “How-to” videos that teach
  • Grab your smartphone and obtain people’s feedback or comments as they happen about your product, service or store. This will provide authentic and real testimonials that money cannot buy

#26: Zones and Social Media Posting

Social media is a local, national and global experience and knowing good times to post is critical.

For starters, Craig Van Korlaar offers this guideline: “For those of you in the United States who have a national audience, you will want to use Eastern time, as this is where nearly half (48%) of the U.S. population lives (Eastern + Central = 81%). If your audience is primarily local or regional, treat it as local time.”

He also offers a helpful plan and schedule for good times to post content, with translations in eight languages.

Knowing when and where to post makes social media engagement more doable.

 

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3 Easy Steps to Engaging Your Customers

By 

Published November 29, 2012

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/engagement-marketing-book-review/

 

Are your customers spreading a good word about your business?

Are you happy with your volume of referral business?

If not, it could be that your “engagement marketing engine” is not revved up.

 

What is Engagement?

Engagement is not just about unending, feel-good conversations on your blog orFacebook page.

According to Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected Worldengagement is when people qualify themselves – when a prospect raises her hand and says, “Yes, I’m interested in your company. Help me to get to know you a little more.”

Invariably people who have engaged with you online become customers at higher rates, and they in turn tell their friends about you, revving up your marketing engine over and over again.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to strengthen engagement with existing customers, get more repeat sales and even more referrals,Engagement Marketing is exactly the book for you.

Here are a few things you should know about it.

Author’s Purpose

gail goodmanGail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing.

Gail Goodman wrote this book for small business owners who understand what it’s like to struggle to find new customers, retain old ones and get the biggest bang for your marketing buck.

As a small business expert, she knows firsthand that word-of-mouth and social media marketing can be game-changers for small organizations looking to achieve more success.

This book is about making your company so interesting and providing so much value that people will want to stay connected and maintain a relationship with you.

What to Expect

At 185 pages, Engagement Marketing is an inspiring book with relevant ideas for small business owners. In a down economy where small business has borne the brunt of the recession, Gail’s book points to a silver lining that will have you feeling more confident about the future.

She shows how small organizations across the country (Gourmet Coffee, Maas Nursery, Currier Museum of Art, The Beantown Sound and many others) are using creative engagement tactics (despite the fierce competition) to find new customers, win back old ones and make more money.

Here are some useful things you will learn:

  • The engagement marketing cycle – the idea of getting new customers through existing ones.
  • How social visibility happens – when your social network shares your content, your business is exposed to new prospects whom you can subsequently convert.
  • Engagement marketing tips and tricks – 5 additional insider tips that further increase your social visibility and ultimately bring in new customers.
  • And much more!

Highlights

The gist of Engagement Marketing is that when you delight your customers by serving them well, and then deepen your relationship with them via social media, they will give you more repeat business and even lead others to you.

Engagement marketing is a three-step process.

the engagement marketing cycleThe Engagement Marketing Cycle – experience, entice, engage!

#1: Deliver a WOW! Experience

One of the best ways to figure out whether you’re delivering a great customer experience is to look at your business from the outside inAsk yourself the following:

  • When people call your office, are they put on hold for 5 minutes, stuck listening to “Your call is very important to us” every 10 seconds?
  • What happens when you try to access your website from a mobile phone?
  • Is your website built on Flash?
  • When a customer complains about your service, does someone from your office respond immediately or are these comments ignored?

Here’s what a WOW! experience looks likeGourmet Coffee Service delivers office refreshment products to companies in the greater Los Angeles area.

Following their slogan ”We’re going to spoil you,” they send a driver out to the customer’s workplace every four weeks. When the driver arrives, he doesn’t just drop off the products (and an invoice). He straightens up and restocks the pantry, and then he cleans and maintains the coffee brewer. That in itself helps to keep costs down for the customer. The company also sends out nice, easy-to-read invoices.

Remember, when you deliver a WOW! experience, customers will be interested and open to keeping in touch with you.

#2: Entice Customers to Keep in Touch

Now that you’ve wowed your customers, the next thing you’ll want to do is entice them to keep in touch via email or social media. It’s important to keep in touch with customers for two reasons.

  • It drives repeat sales because it helps draw them back to your business.
  • It keeps you top-of-mind. Even if they delete your emails, your name stays on their radar and the next time they need your product again, they’ll be more likely to call you.
reception bell with hand isolated on whiteRepeat business is more likely to happen when you’ve kept in touch with customers. Image source: iStockphoto

Gourmet Coffee Service knows how to entice customers to stay in touch.

First they use their email newsletter to feature new tea and coffee products, biscotti or eco-friendly cups and napkins. Customers choose whatever they want to sample and email their requests back to the company. Dedicated reps then handle the orders and ensure that customers get their “goody bags” when their driver visits next.

They also have a “Refer a friend” campaign whereby customers who refer a friend via email receive gift certificates for more delicious treats.

There’s one thing that you have to be careful about with email newsletters and social media content, however. “You have to walk a fine line between content that benefits your customers and content that is self-serving,” cautions Bob Tullio, owner of Gourmet Coffee.

#3: Engage People

Once your customers opt into your social content, you have to make sure they stay by engaging them on a regular basis.

Engaging people means delivering interesting, relevant content that gets them to take an action. Engagement includes everything from likes, comments and shares to downloads, event registrations and online purchases.

Keep in mind that online participation often translates into offline engagement.

Gourmet Coffee engages fans on their Facebook page with exciting giveaways and contests such as their “Driver Contest.” Customers were invited to post comments about why they love their drivers. (Editor’s note: All Facebook competitions are subject to Facebook’s guidelines. You can find out more here.)

The company also committed to giving away valuable prizes (e.g., Bose SoundDock Digital Music Systems) by entering people who liked their page in a weekly drawing. Winners were announced each week through videos posted on Facebook.

In just 11 months after implementing these easy engagement tactics, Gourmet Coffee earned more than $100,000 in additional revenue, and the “Refer a friend” campaign netted dozens of referrals, with 7 of them turning into $5000-a-month accounts!

If you put yourself in customers’ shoes, you can see why it would be easy for them to keep in touch with a company that delights them with sample goody bags, clean pantries, dedicated reps and drivers, interesting newsletters and amazing content.

Key Takeaways

  • Figure out how you can provide a WOW! experience to your customers. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it just needs to be delightful (being on time, nice packaging, thank-you notes, customer rep phone calls to ensure everything is OK and so on).
  • Start with one initial connection method (e.g., email newsletter or a blog) for enticing customers to keep in touch. Remember engagement marketing is an opt-in strategy, so give customers a reason (i.e., a benefit) to keep in touch with you.
  • Once you have that piece gaining traction, add a social media platform(where your customers hang out) and experiment with different types of content to see what your potential customers like. Be sure to measure results and repeat what works.

Personal Impression

Gail’s book offers a practical, hands-on approach to using social media for customer engagement. I especially enjoyed her case studies because she used ordinary small businesses that were easy to relate to.

I also liked many of her budget-friendly content marketing tips. For example, when creating incentives for your email newsletter, do something simple and cheap such as bundling your five most popular blog posts into a special “toolkit” report.

On the downside though, I felt that the whole idea of “engagement marketing” is nothing new. Most business owners know that they must provide a great customer experience if they want to stay in business.

It’s true that social media has created new opportunities to entice and engage customers (and the book gives many good examples), but even that has been in place for a long time.

That said, I highly recommend the book because it delivers very important yet achievable strategies for using social media to attract repeat and referral business.

Social Media Examiner gives this perceptive book a 4-star rating.

5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Bài viết sưu tầm. By 

Looking to increase your Facebook page engagement?

Wondering why some pages have very high engagement and others nearly none?

In this post I’ll share five tips you can put to work right away.

About Facebook Engagement

What is it that makes some Facebook fan pages wildly successful with constant high engagement rates where the fans and their friends eat up the content like there’s no tomorrow… while other pages sit there dormant with hardly any activity, yet they produce great content, too?

Making Facebook work for your business can often take a bit of trial and error… and time.

You need to have patience and be willing to invest your own time and/or invest in a team to help you. You might refer to my post Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide and scroll to the section on Recommended Six-step Approach to Building Your Facebook Page for a refresher.

Though Facebook has introduced a plethora of changes since I wrote that post, the six-step approach remains valid.

In order to create success on Facebook, you need to have a clear objective and great design, plus:

  • Solid content strategy (what you’re going to post on your page)
  • Promotion strategy (how you’re going to continually increase your fan base)
  • Engagement strategy (how you’ll respond to fans and build community)
  • Conversion strategy (how you’ll turn your fans into customers)

In this post, I’ll explore five factors that contribute to exceptional engagement and measurable results!

#1: Launch Creative Incentives

From time to time, keep your fans engaged with fun promotions. That mayinclude contestsoffers, games, vouchers, codes and more.

Arby’s recently rolled out a clever campaign to celebrate its 48th anniversary. The company added a nifty retro-style coupon as a Milestone way back in the year 1964 (the year the company was founded) on its Facebook Timeline page.

Visitors to Arby’s Facebook page were encouraged to click on the beginning of its Timeline to get a coupon for a Classic Roast Beef sandwich at the 1960s price of $0.64.

Coupons could only be redeemed on July 23, the company’s anniversary date.

The post announcing that the coupon was coming got over 2,600 shares and the poston July 23 got over 3,000 shares. Both posts received thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

arby's facebook fan page post
Arby’s Facebook fan page post.

This was a wonderful opportunity for Arby’s fans to play a ‘treasure hunt’ game of sorts, and clearly yielded significant engagement.

Jo Ann Herold, VP of communications and public relations at Arby’s Restaurant Group, said,

“One of our goals for this promotion was to increase engagement and entice sharing, so we wanted everyone to explore our Timeline and have access to the coupon.”

The promotion was also featured on Instagram and Twitter, both directing people to Arby’s Facebook page.

Simple campaign, yes? What can you take away from this idea?

It’s perfectly within Facebook’s Terms of Use to do a giveaway on your fan page. The rule of thumb is does everyone get one? If the answer is yes, you’re good to go—that’s a giveaway. If the answer is no because you’re drawing select winners, then that’s a promotion where you must adhere to Facebook’s Promotions guidelines and use an app to administer the contest/sweepstakes. More on that here.

#2: Post Highly Shareable Content

You might be familiar with the expression “Facebook candy.” This is the type ofcontent that Facebook users get very excited about and immediately want to share with all of their friends.

Your own Facebook news feed is likely peppered with such candy!

This is almost always an image, which tends to get a higher EdgeRank (more news feed visibility). And often, the images contain inspirational or motivational quotes along with an eye-catching photo.

morning coach post
Popular fan page post by MorningCoach.com.

My friend JB Glossinger does a great job of posting consistent shareable content. The interesting thing is JB frequently shares what I call “OPC”—other people’s content.

And, JB’s team engages well with his community (see below).

JB has a daily podcast and has grown his subscribers considerably through his highly engaging Facebook page.

For more on this topic, see this post: 7 Ways to Craft Your Facebook Posts for Maximum Shares.

I’ve compiled a Facebook Interest List, Facebook Candy to Inspire, featuring 83 fun sources of content to share. (Let me know in the comments below if you have any fan pages to suggest for this list!)

Could your content use a bit of a boost? How many images do you post vs. links? The latter does tend to get much more visibility!

#3: Build a Tight Community

Some Facebook pages just seem to have a knack for building a real community—onewhere visitors and fans often engage with one another and there is much peer support.

Plus, you can feel the page owners’ presence. They don’t just use their Facebook page as a one-way broadcast channel.

Bridal Hotspot page owner Sylvana Spiby stated on this post that she can’t remember the last time her engagement rate (ER) was lower than 100%.

Now that’s saying something! Given that the average ER for most brands and businesses is a mere 2%!

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Bridal Hotspot fan page owner Sylvana Spiby’s comment about her ER.

To calculate your own engagement—or that of any fan page—here’s the formula:

(PTAT / Likes)*100, where PTAT is “people talking about this.”

This is the most common and quick way to calculate ER.

The screenshot below shows an example of an ER over 100%. This is Modern Parent‘s fan page:

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Modern Parent fan page, an example of ER over 100% (135.5%).

However, there’s also per-post engagement rate which is:

(Likes + Comments + Shares on a given day) / # of wall posts made by page on a given day / Total fans on a given day)*100

On Bridal Hotspot’s fan page, Sylvana responds to ALL posts by others, always has a warm and personal style and often uses people’s first names. Plus, something else that stood out for me: she encourages others to share their own content… even if he/she could potentially be a competitor!

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Bridal Hotspot fan page question requesting permission to share.
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Here’s an example of a fan posting on Bridal Hotspot’s page. Notice their engagement.

Do you have an active community on Facebook? Are you or someone on your team consistently responding to fans’ posts and comments?

#4: Have a Quirky Brand

Have you seen the Dollar Shave Club‘s comic marketing video featuring CEO Michael Dubin’s dry humor? It’s exceptionally well done and currently has well over 5.5 Million views on YouTube!

The Dollar Shave Club is an innovative concept where members pay a small monthly fee to receive razors by mail. That’s it—super-simple and highly successful!

The company culture is clearly fun, quirky and creative, and this spills over onto the company’s Facebook page, too. Although DSC doesn’t post that often on its fan page, the fans post regularly… and they frequently get a personal response by DSC admins.

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Example fan post and engagement by Dollar Shave Club on its fan page.

The company involves fans with giveaways such as flasks, t-shirts and “handsome-ass bottlekeys!” Fans can participate via Twitter and DSC’s blog, too.

Along with a hilarious marketing video and quirky brand, this company clearly filled a niche that people didn’t know they needed, and as such the company has built a cult-like following.

Even though he doesn’t shave often, Sir Richard Branson was so impressed he felt compelled to blog about this fun company! See also this writeup on Inc.com. (I first discovered the DSC in an article in the July 2012 Inc. Magazine.)

How can you add humor and maybe a wee bit more quirkiness to your brandand Facebook engagement? People LOVE to be entertained!

And, when you mix entertainment and education, you get edutainment. Social Media Examiner’s own community manager, Andrea Vahl, has an alter ego as a fun social media edutatiner, Grandma Mary.

#5: Be a Beloved Personality

Last, but by no means least, is the inimitable George Takei. He’s really in a league of his own on Facebook!

George is a widely recognized actor, starring in some 40+ feature films and hundreds of television shows. But, he is probably best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series, Star Trek.

On Facebook, George seems to have an incredible knack for posting extremely viral content—his fans just can’t wait to share the next nugget of wit.

At any given time, George frequently has an engagement rate GREATER than 100%. At the time of writing this post, per the screenshot below, the ER is 135%. (Remember, the average is just 2%.)

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George Takei’s popular Facebook page with high engagement rate.

Almost all of George’s posts are fun and quirky Facebook candy. Notice that the majority of his posts are photos and he typically posts a very short (humorous) narrative, both factors in getting higher news feed visibility and engagement rates.

What we can learn from George and the way he’s built his Facebook community is that he is extremely consistent. He posts around 3-5 times per day, every day. And, in terms of driving his fans to action, George does get the word out about the upcoming musical Allegiance, in which he stars (and was inspired by his family’s experience).

Nonetheless, aside from being a celeb, you can definitely take away from factor #5 how it’s important to give your fans plenty of excellent content on a regular basis that they just love.