How to get real engagement on your Facebook page

People won’t comment or start discussions on your page? Use these tips to get things rolling.

Many Facebook page owners are disappointed with the results from their Facebook pages. Why?

They think if they put up a page, their fans will flock to it and post content and discuss it with their peers without much effort from the community manager (if there is one).

Hooey. This just doesn’t happen unless you already have a vibrant community and expand it to Facebook.

What do you do?

1. Quit broadcasting.

If you tell me everything I need to know on your Facebook page and it reads like your email newsletter, then all I’m going to do is scan it, extract information, and move on.

2. Quit marketing.

If I feel like you stream ads to me and call it interaction, I’ll tune you out. I may scan your headline in my news feed but unless there’s a hook, I’m not going to read further. I want to be talked to, not at.

3. Find out who I am.

Did you ever look to see who someone was after she fanned your Facebook page? I guess fewer than 5 percent of page owners and 50 percent of community managers would answer yes. What a missed opportunity to learn more about the people in your market, what they like, and what value they can add to your Facebook community.

4. Like me back.

Say you sell photography equipment. Wouldn’t it be useful to you to know if your fans are photographers? What if you not only liked their Facebook pages, but shared their work on your page? What if you commented on their photos? They would be grateful. They would tell their friends. They might even buy something.

5. Give me something to do.

Photos and videos make us think and laugh, and encourage us to add a comment or share with our friends. Give me a poll that isn’t a focus group question, and I’ll give you my opinion.

6. Give me respect.

Show enough respect to your fans to say please and thank you, ask opinions and respect the answers, and feature case studies or examples of real people who had an impact on you, your product, or the world.

7. Rinse and repeat.

It’s not enough to do all of the above once. You have to do it over and over until it’s part of your natural workflow. The miracle happens when it’s no longer work, but fun!

Janet Fouts is a social media coach and senior partner at Tatu Digital Media. She blogs at, where this article first appeared.

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