posted a great article over at Social Media Today
about improving your Facebook page
. It's great advice. I'm going to add my two cents by adding some risk mitigation strategies for each.
1. Solve Problems with Photos ... but don't cause yourself problems
Krista's right: photos get more engagement on Facebook. So post lots of photos, but mitigate risk by ensuring you have the right to post the photos you choose.
2. Give Shout-Outs to your Customers ... but ask first
If you're going to use your customers' content for your banners, ads, etc. make sure you credit them appropriately. If you really want to be careful, ask first.
3. Involve Customers with a Question ... but make it specific
Again, Krista's tips on asking questions are great. What I gleaned from her tips and the examples she provide is that good questions give fans a narrow sandbox to play in without emphasizing the box. The question Skittles posted
demonstrates this well: "What do you call that awesome moment when you open a pack of Skittles?" clarifies contribution parameters that would be looser if they had simply left out the word "awesome." Be careful though—tight parameters can come off as trite, and you won't get any engagement. Just check out Condescending Corporate Brand Page
on Facebook to see how this can go wrong.
4. Let them Fill in the Blank ... but make it a small blank
My advice is similar for this point, and Krista's Pringles example
is a good one because it asks for suggestions from a small pool of possibles. McDonalds asked its fans to fill in a ridiculously large blank with #McDStories, and it backfired on them
5. Crowdsource Photo Captions ... but keep an eye on contributions
This is going to be risky no matter what. However, if you're judicious with your photos and have community engagement guidelines and a monitoring/deletion procedure, you can reap some good engagement. Be careful that this technique fits your brand. For example, the Edmonton Human Society asks people to caption pet photos. Again, ensure you have the right to post the photos you use.
6, 7, 8. Quotes, Votes, & Hashtags ... hmmm
Krista's 6th and 7th suggestions are pretty good, and fairly low-risk. However, asking people to "like" or "share" to vote heads into the sort of thing they decry at Condescending Corporate Brand Page.
And, her 8th suggestion to use hashtags on Facebook may not pan out. A recent study posted over at Search Engine Watch
shows that hashtagged posts are actually getting less engagement than their tag-free counterparts. However, it's early days, so we'll see.