If you want to encourage discussion on Facebook, sometimes the simplest path is best. Ask a question! You’ll see this kind of content on many Facebook Pages. There are lost of different types of questions you can ask. To ask a question or poll, use the ‘Question’ link under your Page’s ‘Share’ options. If you like, you can convert your question into a poll by selecting ‘Add poll options.’

Here are a few different types of questions that you can ask:

Questions about your brand, product, or service

Though these kinds of questions do stimulate discussion, they’re particularly useful for the insights they can give you about your audience. Here, you can see an example of a Page asking for feedback on how fans consume the website’s content, and how this could be improved.

Questions that are relevant to your audience

This operates on the basic social principle that people like to discuss the things they have in common. If you ran a blog about photography, for example, you’d be safe in betting your Facebook fans are interested in the topic. So why not post a general question or discussion point on photography?

Questions that are relevant to everyone. Facebook is, by its nature, a fun and informal platform. People are familiar with using it to chat with friends, organize their social calendar, and share bits of their everyday lives. Brands have been able to add a similar feel to their Facebook Pages by asking fun, informal questions that everyone can participate in. This can include questions like ‘What are you doing right now?’, ‘Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?’, and ‘What’s your favorite video game of all time?’

If the tone of your Page is usually quite formal, you may need to set up your question a little bit, or the change in tone could be too jarring. Try something like: ‘Fun question today: What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?’ By making it clear that this informal question is a departure from your usual content style, fans will be more accepting of the change in tone.

If you’re still concerned about changing your tone too much, try saving these kinds of questions and discussions for the weekend. Fans may be much more receptive to a ‘Favorite movie?’ discussion point on a lazy Sunday afternoon than they’d be on a hectic Monday morning!

Controversial and breaking news

Nothing generates comments like a controversial topic. That being said, taking sides can damage the brand perception of those who disagree with you. You can harness the discussion power of controversy by reporting on the issue without taking sides. Instead, ask fans ‘What do you think?’

One case where it might benefit you to take sides is when your audience, by their nature, will agree with you. For example, if your Page was for a political party or pressure group, presenting your group’s stance on an issue is likely to be well received among fans of your Page.

Alternately, you might make the decision to take sides, knowing that your position will resonate with the majority of your audience.

Even if some people disagree, the benefits should still outweigh the negatives.

Useful and valuable links and tips

One of the most popular uses for Twitter is to share links, tips and quotes that your audience will find interesting. People love recommendations that are well tailored to them, and this kind of content does well on Facebook, too. However, where this kind of content is often the majority of what’s shared on Twitter, it’s a good idea if this kind of content only features occasionally on your Facebook Page. People usually ‘Like’ your Page not solely because of what you post on your Wall, but because they Like your brand. For that reason, most of what you publish should be about, or related to, your brand. It’s the reason people Liked your Page in the first place!

Post photos

At the time of this writing, Facebook Pages display a photo bar of five photos across the top of your Page. To keep your Page seeming fresh and dynamic, it’s important to occasionally refresh your photo bar with a new photo.

Here are some ideas for photos to post to your Page:

  • Photos of your products.
  • Sneak peeks at things you’re working on.
  • Photos of you or your team.
  • Photos of customers and clients.
  • Photos from events you’ve held.
  • Images of your branding, i.e. a logo.

Engage with video

Video can be a more intimate form of communication than writing. By talking to your fans ‘face to face’ through video, you can bring them closer to you. In the search engine optimisation space, many a Freelance SEO consultant will use video to provide a personalised technical SEO audit to their customers.

Video content on Facebook has another impressive benefit. If you upload video to Facebook, rather than linking over to YouTube or another video hosting service, your video will display a ‘Like’ button when viewed by someone who’s not yet a fan of your Page. If they click that Like button, they’ll become a fan. For this reason, it’s often best to host your video content on Facebook directly, unless a YouTube subscriber is as important to you as a Facebook fan.