16 Ways To Get More Comments On Your Facebook Page

You know that engagement is important, but getting fans to comment on your Facebook updates can feel like an uphill battle.

And it can sometimes be painful watching other nonprofits who seem to make massively engaged fans. What are they doing that you’re not?

Even the most active Facebook Page began from a standing start. And many of them got to where they are today by making it easier for fans to comment on their Page.

16 Ways To Get More Comments on Your Facebook Page:

  1. Ask specific questions – Asking your fans what we can do to cut down carbon emissions might get comments from your biggest fans, but most of them would just skip to the next item in their news feed. Specificity will get more comments.
  2. Ask yes or no questions – Yes or no: Are you more likely to answer “yes or no” questions, or open-ended ones that require more time and attention? You get the point.
  3. Ask timely questions – Are you staying home or traveling this weekend? Focusing on your fans interests, and how those intersect with your mission, is a key part of growing an engaged community.
  4. Ask edgy questionsGreen Peace does a great job with this by asking questions like “Do you live near a nuclear power plant?” Adjust the edginess factor to your community, and certainly your mission.
  5. Ask true or false questions – True or false questions work really well for historical societies, whose fans love to show off their knowledge of history. Always begin these questions with “True or False:“. Fans will be more likely to answer if they know that a simple answer is all that’s required.
  6. Ask questions about a photo – Share a photo an ask your fans to comment. For example, an animal rights org could post a photo of animal cruelty and ask “What’s wrong with this picture?”
  7. Ask poll questions – Text updates makes it easy to create polls on your Page. Just make sure you give people the answer choices (A, B, C, etc).
  8. Ask fun questions – Don’t be afraid to go off topic with your fans. It will remind them that you’re just like them, and will establish a more human connection. For example, “What’s your families favorite vacation spot?”
  9. Ask directly – If your Facebook Page is new, or if it’s been dormant for months, getting any kind of response from fans can be difficult. If that’s the case with your Page, try messaging specific fans that you know personally, asking them to comment on a post. Tell them you think they’d offer value and insight around a particular conversation. Be sincere.
  10. Ask preference questions – When you were in college, did you prefer essay questions or multiple choice questions? Exactly.
  11. Ask who’s attending an event – You can pose this question to fans located near an upcoming event. Bonus points if you share a link to your Facebook Event.
  12. Ask those who attended the event to share a favorite moment – If you’re a national organization that help an event in Chicago, you can target an update to those attendees asking to share their impressions. This will mainly get responses from your core fans, but will give less active fans a deeper look at your organization’s culture.
  13. Ask for tips – This one works well if your organization works with families. Asking for tips on how to get kids out of bed earlier would leverage shared experiences among your Facebook fans.
  14. Ask humanistic questions – This works especially well if your organization deals with a disease or syndrome. For example, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation launched their Page simply by asking: “When you were first recovering from a brain aneurysm, what gave you the most hope?”
  15. Ask fill in the blank questions – Another way to make less work for your Facebook fans is to use “fill in the blank” questions. When you ask these, always begin with “Fill in the blank:”. Your fans will be more likely to answer a question if they know what’s expected. And everybody knows how “fill in the blank questions” work.
  16. Reply and pay attentionPeople skills 101 talks about acknowledging when someone answers a question. When your fans answer questions, comment back and deepen the conversation.

What type of questions work with your community?

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16 Ways To Get More Comments On Your Facebook Page

75 Responses

  1. Do you use these 16 tips every week, John?

    Ari Herzog April 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm #
    • No. And only because they may not all apply. But my clients have all used one or two of these methods.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm #
  2. Thanks for post.

    essay online April 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm #
  3. NICE collection here, John!! Two thumbs up. 🙂

    Mari Smith April 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm #
    • Thanks, Mari – I linked to your latest post about Events too!

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm #
      • Aha!!!! Way coolio – you rock!! 🙂

        Mari Smith April 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm #
  4. Great tips! I’ve heard the advice “ask questions” before, but these specific tips really help. I’m looking forward to trying them out. I’ve tried asking questions before, with no response, but maybe they weren’t the right kind of questions for my audience. Your tips will help me to put more thought into posting. Thanks!

    Laurie April 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm #
    • Perfect, Laurie. Let me know how you make out!

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm #
  5. Thanks For this Awesome Tip John

    Shahzad April 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #
  6. I really appreciate this tip thankx..

    Mirza April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm #
  7. I really appreciate this tip thankx..

    Mirza April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm #
  8. Good read. I’ve got one to add.

    17) Don’t ask risky questions: “What was your first pets name?” or “What high school did you go to?” and other standard security questions that banks use. Identity thieves are all over Facebook.

    David Goodlin April 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm #
  9. As always, great advice, John. Thanks!
    My clients have used questions to increase activity on their Facebook Pages to pretty good success.

    The other benefit to asking questions is you learn more about your “audience” — what do they care about? what interests them? You can then use this to benefit your organization. A college that’s a client of mine asked fans “what place on campus should definitely be on any admissions tour?” Within an hour, they had dozens of responses, ranging from specific locations to “no tour would be complete without a visit to Prof. X’s classroom, just to see the excitement and energy of her teaching.”

    Mary Ann Hill April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm #
    • Mary Ann – excellent points. A thriving Page is like being in a room with your supporters and asking them for feedback on your org.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm #
  10. Many thanks, John. Our business (Bayview Gallery) is new to Facebook as these tips will be quite helpful.

    Susan Starr April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm #
    • Awesome! Glad they are helpful.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm #
    • Awesome! Glad they are helpful.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm #
  11. Thanks John for sharing these tips… this is truly one of the best ways to get to know your fans and building relationships with social networking is one way to get more business. If people talk to you they feel they know you and that is the first step.

    Dawn Abraham April 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm #
    • Exactly. Consistency is key.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm #
    • Exactly. Consistency is key.

      John Haydon April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm #
  12. Good list of intrest generators. But you’ve still got to actually use them to get the response. Let’s Go!

    Will Hall April 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm #
    • Yes, you have to use them to get a response… 🙂

      John Haydon April 5, 2011 at 10:58 am #
  13. Ask questions that will trigger an emotional response, our travel community engage around sensory themes as well, what they saw, tasted etc ( evokes memories of travel experiences), not only gives you insight but fundamentally connects you on an emotional level if you’re prepared to engage along with them. Re-enforces your ‘Why’ (you exist)

    Chris Noble April 5, 2011 at 9:20 am #
    • Chris – What an excellent – and very specific – example! What kinds of results have you achieved with this approach?

      John Haydon April 5, 2011 at 10:59 am #
      • I think a lot of companies measure the success of their FB engagement purely on comments, and although it’s a great measure of how ‘engaging’ the post/question was, the real benefit in my mind is what you do with the learnings. Insight is great to have, but only truly beneficial if you leverage it in some way. We’ve tried to ask questions that give us insight then allow us the opportunity to create something in response for the community.

        One basic example is we know ‘food’ plays a massive part in the travel journey, what you eat / taste can link you to a place you’ve visited and that memory can far outlast others. How do we know for sure, we just asked our community questions around travel & food. The number of comments far outstripped anything we’d asked previously, so we took that learning and decided to seek out our community to share their ‘recipes from the road’ which we’ve added to our connect locally blog. Our first post had over 1,400 views in the first 20 minutes, so not a bad response.

        FB has served as a gauge for what makes that emotional connection and we’re looking to see if we can undertake a ‘listen,learn and respond’ approach to leveraging that engagement for content creation elsewhere. So far, so good !

        Chris Noble April 12, 2011 at 12:05 am #
    • What a great way to stay relevant. You’re giving people a reason to feel good, every time they visit your FB page. Smart!

      The Hub April 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm #
  14. John – I have to say this is one of the best articles on engagement that I’ve seen in a long time. In fact I copied it and printed it out so I have an easy reference point when I feel the need to spice things up on our Facebook page. I’m looking forward to using these tips to drive engagement within our community, this is a great resource! Thank you.

    Courtney Dirks April 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm #
    • Courtney – You know what’s funny? I actually wrote this while sitting waiting for a meeting to start. Took me about 20 minutes. 😀

      John Haydon April 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm #
      • Ahhh, I wish I could whip out great content that quickly…I’ll keep working at it!

        Courtney Dirks April 6, 2011 at 12:28 am #
      • All it takes it practice. Seriously, I’m no Einstein…

        John Haydon April 6, 2011 at 2:21 am #
  15. Great tips, John. This is a nice checklist! One of the things we like to do is play games that center around our home base of Philadelphia. We ask quiz questions and give away branded prizes based on the correct questions. It’s been a great way to boost interaction. Thanks again for posting!

    The Hub April 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm #
  16. Great stuff! Should fix point 11; it is worded funny: ‘Bonus points if you share a link [you your] Facebook Event.’

    Anonymous April 6, 2011 at 12:10 am #
  17. True or False, Does Homer Simpson hates homework ?
    True or False, Are most of your Fans like Homer ?
    Dooohw can I have some comments now

    Themelis_Cuiper April 6, 2011 at 2:07 am #
  18. Thanks for the great tips. I’ve been working lately with clients to put the “social” back in their social networking efforts. I think it’s easy to forget we’re actually talking to other people and not at them. #16 is so important, you ask them to comment and then don’t respond back — BAD PRACTICE! Thanks for the list. 🙂

    Donna Queza April 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm #
    • I agree with you about #16. It drives me crazy when I see other pages getting the kind of engagement I want and yet, they totally ignore their fans!

      Laurie April 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm #
    • Thanks, Donna.

      John Haydon April 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm #
  19. Hi John,

    The list is great; however, your blog post has quite a few typos which, while not relevant to the topic per se, do detract from the quality of the blog as a whole. And that’s something that I believe people need to be aware of with their social media activities – grammar mistakes, typos, bad language all reflect negatively on the brand.

    Giselle April 7, 2011 at 10:12 am #
    • Giselle – thanks for the feedback.

      John Haydon April 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm #
    • 239 Retweets so far, despite a few minor grammar flubs (which I still can’t find). Looks like your theory has been proven wrong. 😉

      John Haydon April 9, 2011 at 1:00 am #
  20. Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

    Mrandonian April 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm #
  21. You are the Facebook God – and my hero all at the same time 🙂

    I’m with everyone else my friend – great post full of helpful tips.

    Frank Dickinson April 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm #
  22. This is awesome John! I usually do a regular “check in” type question on the same day every week, where I ask my people what they’re grateful for. It’s brought a whole new sense of engagement to the community. 🙂

    Nathalie Lussier April 8, 2011 at 10:49 pm #
    • Whatever the tool or tactic, people just want connection. They want to be heard, and they want a home.

      John Haydon April 9, 2011 at 1:03 am #
  23. Darn John!!

    First of all this is a frikin awesome article!! Engagement 101 (written in 20 min!!)..

    What’s the secret John Haydon sauce??

    Now I can see that you ask 15 times before you pay attentions.. my Norwegian brain cells is working on figuring this out…

    Maybe I need to share more of my weirdness on my fan page. Every time I do it on my profile I get a lot of response.. Maybe you triggered an idea for me here..

    Cheers my friend…

    Are 🙂

    Are Morch April 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm #
  24. So very true. The beauty of social media is it provides a forum for what we all love to do most…talk about ourselves. It’s a smart move for brands to open that door.

    Btourek April 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm #
  25. John – in honor of the Red Sox opener win, you hit a home run with this one 🙂
    So many of the suggested open-ended questions are fantastic. Since it is impossible to get detailed information about a Page’s fan, I find that asking open-ended questions aimed at a few different potential audiences is a good tactic for helping to figure out what kinds of questions and topics a Page should post.

    For example, on one page, we A/B tested (repeatedly) two types of questions: one that related more to what a nonprofit is concerned about, and the other type aimed at what the individual would be want to read. It helped us figure out who was on the Page and wanted to participate.

    (p.s. and I can’t find any typos in your blog post, either)

    Debra Askanase April 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm #
  26. Great list of tips. Not all of them are application to the needs of my website’s facebook page, but I think #16 should be the No. 1 in terms of importance. That’s the sure way to maintain an interactive communication between the page host and his/her fans.

    Agnes Lam April 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm #
  27. Thanks John. Great tips. (via Sarah Robinson) I am knew at all this and look forward to using your suggestions. I will be following you and trying to learn as much as possible. Saw the comment about typos …. Who gives a SHTI ? OOPS ! Ha.

    Respond and Engage !

    CARE about others: Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage.

    Keep up the Great work !


    Al Smith April 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm #
    • Oooh! I love this: “CARE about others: Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage”

      John Haydon April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm #
  28. Awesome John! Been thinking about asking questions…and coming across this blog confirms I should. woo-hoo to more soon to come interactions!

    Joanne Cipressi April 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm #
  29. I’m new to Facebook and this post will give me an edge in climbing the ladder. Thanks

    Richard Davidian April 16, 2011 at 1:25 am #
  30. As an artist it never occurred to me to ask questions of my audience on fb. I thought about it though and I have always liked to engage in topics about art so it does make sense. What I would like to know though is how to draw new fans to the page? I tweet it, it’s on my website, maybe it’s just a gradual build up. I have to confess though that before fb made changes to their fanpages (receiving comments, etc.) I had over 100 fans and deleted the page, now I’m trying to build it back up.

    PatriciaGapske April 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm #
  31. Great stuff John. I was just inquiring bout how I might engage people on my fan page and then I run across you here with a sensible, reasonable, and doable to-do list. You give top shelf info, thanks for sharing. 

    Marqus Stone May 17, 2011 at 2:57 am #
    • Glad it was timely and useful! 🙂

      John Haydon May 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm #
  32. John 
    I have asked questions on our Page Wall previoulsy – but there has been little response. However, the new Page function – Poll Questions – is absolutely brilliant!.
    I asked a simple question.
    Will you travel with us within the next 10 years? And three possible answers Yes, No and Maybe/I don’t know – I left the option open for a different answer. 
    Overwhelming response – especially as I can ask all my Facebook friends the same. I have made system to collect friends on Facebook who share my interest in birds. Having around 2000 such friends and get them to answer this question (seems like asking around 30 at the  time is the limit) you get incredible feedback on the page. I still have some 1000 friends to ask—so it will take some time. BUt the page is more active than ever. Which is good. As people comment their answers, I am also able to have a dialogue with them.Magic! Thanks for the tip.

    Gunnar Engblom May 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm #
    • Gunnar – Yeah, Questions/Poll feature rocks! Plus you can send those to folks beyond your fanbase!

      John Haydon May 26, 2011 at 10:59 am #
  33. Thanks For this great Awesome Tips..

    Sathish_v41 June 19, 2011 at 2:33 am #
  34. Love these strategies John! Thanks for this- will be forwarding to our community managers 🙂

    Anonymous June 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm #
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