Fan engagement is the name of the game on Facebook. Not only does engagement build a community of fans who share your message, and defend your brand, engagement determines which messages even APPEAR on the walls of your fans. Facebook uses an algorithm resulting in sharing your message with only 16% of fans. But, that percentage increases dramatically when you get fan engagement on your posts.
Messaging fans to establish a 2-way conversation is one of the best ways to encourage engagement. But, Facebook makes it exceedingly difficult to begin that 2-way conversation because you can’t message fans directly. Thus, I approached last week’s Facebook Marketing Conference expecting a solution to this problem.
Creating fan engagement through messaging
Chinese whispers being what they are (and my computer crashing at the worst possible time), I only heard half of the story about Facebook’s new updates. When I heard “Messaging” and “Pages”, I was over the moon that finally I’d be able to satisfy my clients and directly contact our fans! Wow, that’d make my job 100 times easier!
But no. Not Facebook.
The new messaging system for Pages makes it so the FANS must make the first contact with the PAGE, not the other way around…
So, to make myself feel a bit more optimistic about these changes, I thought I’d write a post on ways to get your Fans, to contact You. Because once a fan messages you, the channel is open, and you can message them. Any. Time. You. Like.
10 ways to build fan engagement
Since you need fans to contact you first, here are some suggestions for building fan engagement:
- Set up daily questions. These could be about your business or random trivia. All answers to be messaged to you, not put on the wall.
- Get them to tell you a secret. One so daring they can’t possibly post it on your wall, for fear of it being seen next to their name. Then you can “change the names to protect those involved”, and post up some juicy gossip!
- If you’re in an industry that changes frequently (Social Media, Fashion, etc) and is very trend-centric – get your fans to message you their predictions for the next season. It’ll be kept completely confidential, and when the next season arrives, you can re-post the correct predictions, and highlight them in your new “Pin To Top” feature. (This is a feature that allows you to pin a specific post at the top of your timeline, for a max of 7 days).
- To get more people talking about your brand – especially bloggers – get them to message you with a link to a review they’ve done on your company. The winning post, wins the “Pin To Top” feature, for 7 days to advertise their blog or website.
- Offer a free product. Free E-book. Free Audio. Anything really. But get them to message you with their e-mail or contact details so that you can e-mail out the product to them.
- Similar to number 5 – get people to message you directly, and you can message them a private discount code. “10% off your next visit”.
- Get people to message their most embarrassing questions – and this could work in all industries. There are a lot of people who are older, and have never learned how to change the oil in a car – and now feel so silly, they wouldn’t even dare ask! This gives you both their contact details, and content ideas for posts.
- Get people to play the “how many jelly-beans in the jar” game. Everyone e-mails in a number, and the winner gets the jar couriered out to them.
- Get people to dob in a mate or a colleague who has done something really awesome. And nominate them for a special prize.
- If you have the time – do a “Where’s Wally?” with your new Banner area at the top of your Facebook page. Put up an image with a lot happening in it, put a grid over it, and people have to find “Wally” and message you with the grid location. Or similarly, “hide” something in the picture, and see if people can message you with details of the “hidden” object.
- I couldn’t just stop at 10… Write a post that’s a riddle. “Pin To Top” for a week. Get people to message the answer.
This list is far from exhaustive, but I hope I’ve managed to turn your frown upside down and get that good ol’ creative Marketers brain chugging along again. And now, your channels are open for direct messaging – much less stress than wondering if your status updates are getting seen in fans’ newsfeeds!
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