As a business owner, running a social media page often means creating promotions, talking about your latest products and services, and sharing your most recent blog posts. While these are indeed important tasks, they should be balanced with other forms of engagement. After all, social sites are social. You and your customers share common interests, making social media pages the perfect opportunity for building a community.
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Use these tips to add a sense of community to your Facebook business page:
Use polls – Polls are a great way to find out what your followers care about. Not only can individuals share their two cents by participating in a poll, instant poll results show them where they stand compared to others. Your polls can be serious, fun, on-topic, or off-topic (though they should have something to do with your niche). Facebook’s internal polling feature has mysteriously disappeared, making it necessary to use a Facebook app or third-party polling tool such as PollDaddy.
Adopt a charity – Does your business support a charity? Make a point of sharing the charities you support. You could even run a promotion where a portion of the proceeds will go to the charity. When your adopted charity has big news or a heart-warming story to share, share it with your fans. When you volunteer at one of the charity’s local events, take and post photos. Make sure to pick a charity that is relevant to your community and not controversial.
Allow others to post to your wall – Though it may feel as if you’re giving up some control or inviting spammers to the party, allowing others to post photos, updates, and videos to your page encourages a sense of community. Most people will not abuse this option, and you can easily remove offending posts should they occur.
Tag people in photos – When sharing photos of events you’ve participated in, tag the other people in the photos. Your photos will then appear on their walls where their followers can view them, too. Obviously, no one wants to be tagged in an unflattering photo or be publicly outed as a drunken party animal, so make sure the photos you tag are both flattering and professional.
Provide opportunities for your followers to share their expertise – Ask probing questions to your community and let your followers shine. Everyone likes the opportunity to show off their knowledge or wit, so provide opportunities. Depending on the nature of your business, you could do this in a lighthearted way by posting a photo and prompting followers to add a caption. Open-ended questions such as “How would you handle this situation…?” prompt explanatory responses rather than a yes or no answer.
These tips are designed to prompt your followers to engage with your Facebook page and feel a part of a broader community.
What have we missed? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.