April 8, 2011

16 ways to get more comments on your Facebook Page

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John HaydonGetting fans to comment on your Facebook Page can take a lot of time and effort. And it can sometimes be painful seeing other Facebook Pages that make engagement look easy.

But even the most active Facebook Page walls began from a standing start. And many of them got to where they are today by making it easier for fans to comment on their Page.

Asking questions is probably the easiest way to get fans commenting. But keep in mind that Facebook fans don’t like homework. If they have to spend time trying to understand a question, they’ll be less likely to answer it.

16 ways to ask questions on Facebook

  1. Ask specific questions – The last thing your fans want to do is homework. Asking your fans what we can do to cut down carbon emissions might get comments from your biggest fans, but most of them would just skip to the next item in their news feed. Specificity will get more comments.
  3. Ask yes or no questions – Yes or no: Are you more likely to answer “yes or no” questions, or open-ended ones that require time and attention? Point given.
  5. Ask timely questions – Are you staying home or traveling this holiday?
  7. Ask edgy questionsGreenpeace does a great job with this by asking questions like “Do you live near a nuclear power plant?”
  9. Ask true or false questions – This type of question works really well for historical societies. Always begin these questions with “True or False:.“ Fans will be more likely to answer if they know that a simple answer is all that’s required.
  11. Ask questions about a photo – Share a photo an ask your fans to comment. For example, an animal rights org could post a photo and ask “What’s wrong with this picture?”
  13. Ask poll questionsFacebook’s new “Questions” feature makes it easy to create polls on your Page. Plus, there’s a good chance they’ll create more awareness about your Page than a simple wall post.
  15. Ask fun questions – Don’t be afraid to go off topic with your fans. It will remind them that you’re just like them, and will help establish a more human connection with them. For example, “What’s your family’s favorite vacation spot?”
  17. Ask directly – If your Facebook Page is new, or if it’s been in a coma for months, getting any kind of response from fans can be difficult. If that’s the case with your Page, try asking specific fans that you know personally to comment on a post. You’ll get a good response if you tell them that you think they’d offer value and insight around a particular conversation.
  19. Ask preference questions – When you were in college, did you prefer essay questions or multiple choice questions? Exactly.
  21. Ask who’s attending an event – You can pose this question to fans located near an upcoming event. Bonus points if you share a link to your Facebook Event.
  23. Ask those who attended the event to share a favorite moment – If you’re a national organization that held an event in Chicago, you can target an update to those attendees asking to share their impressions. This will mainly get responses from your core fans but will give less active fans a deeper look at your organization’s culture.
  25. Ask for tips – This one works well if your organization works with families. Asking for tips on how to get kids out of bed earlier would leverage shared experiences among your Facebook fans.
  27. Ask humanistic questions – This works especially well if your organization deals with a disease or syndrome. For example, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation launched their Page simply by asking: “When you were first recovering from a brain aneurysm, what gave you the most hope?”
  29. Ask fill in the blank questions – Another way to make less work for your Facebook fans is to use “fill in the blank” questions. When you ask these, always begin with “Fill in the blank.” Your fans will be more likely to answer a question if they know what’s expected. And everybody knows how “fill in the blank questions” work.
  31. Reply and pay attentionPeople skills 101 talks about acknowledging when someone answers a question. When your fans answer questions, comment back and deepen the conversation.

What’s your #1 tip for getting comments on your Facebook Page?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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10 thoughts on “16 ways to get more comments on your Facebook Page

  1. Thanks John. I love these ideas and they work just as well for any online community. People enjoy giving their opinion and this list is a great prompt for specific ways to engage them.

    We've actually instituted a daily question on our whiteboard here in the office and we've seen a new level of communication taking place. We've brought back the proverbial employee "water cooler" plus people stop by just to see what the question is.