• 12/05/2011
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20 Tips For Boosting Facebook Engagement

Best practices from brands that get their fans involved in the conversation, based on MotiveQuest research.

Show Some Personality

14. Let characters represent your brand. Disney: "Sometimes magic appears in unexpected places. Watch as Mickey Mouse brings a touch of Disney Parks to New York City."

Why it works: Characters provide a personality fans can connect with your brand. Disney is particularly fortunate in having such a large cast, but insurance companies, such as Allstate (Mayhem) and GEICO (the Gecko), and automobiles, such as Ford Focus (Doug, the Orange Puppet) have also successfully used this strategy.

15. Leverage star power. ESPN: "COMMENT with an NFL-related question, and Coach Herm might answer it ON TV tonight on Audibles."

Why it works: Celebrity spokespeople certainly draw attention, but interaction with famous people dramatically increases fans' excitement.

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16. Be irreverent. Allstate's Mayhem character: "It's hot. I think I'll drive into an ice cream truck today."

Why it works: Give fans a laugh and make your brand more approachable by being a little irreverent. Allstate makes the insurance conversation more interesting through its Mayhem ads and Facebook posts, which amuse fans while reminding them why they need insurance.

17. Talk about something besides your product. Coca-Cola: "Does running in place while on Facebook count as exercise?"

Why it works: All business, all the time is no fun. Go off-topic once in a while and make small talk with your fans, whether you ask a lighthearted question or provoke their thoughts about an issue that is meaningful to your brand community.

Make Connections

18. Share content. Xfinity: "Re-watch last night's 'Dancing With The Stars' dances. Who did you like? Who do you think will go? Click here and watch the recap."

Why it works: Content providers like Xfinity have an advantage here, but providing fans with links to appealing, relevant articles and videos--created by your team or not--is like giving them a small gift, whether it is simply entertaining or serves to raise awareness about a particular issue, cause, or opportunity.

19. Champion a good cause. Chase: "Like the American Giving Awards so you can vote to help 5 charities win grants! The American Giving Awards Presented by Chase: A Celebrity Tribute to Community Heroes."

Why it works: Building a separate page for community outreach allows companies to focus and segment their Facebook activity and gives them a chance to showcase the good they do under their brand's name.

20. Make your product relevant to everyday life. Dr. Pepper: "Dr Pepper TEN Man'Ment #7 No posting pics of your lunch. If you're doing it right now, consider yourself a Man'Ment breaker."

Why it works: Create posts that tell fans you understand how your product fits into their lives. For example, Dr Pepper's Ten Man'Ments campaign, successful due in part to the controversy it ignited, showed men that the new TEN product "gets" them.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

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