7 no-cost ways to drive Facebook engagementYou’ve created a Facebook page for your small business, but does it sometimes feel like you’re talking to an empty room? You can boost posts and create ads with special offers, but what if you have a tight budget? The answer: Get more clicks and shares by creating compelling (and consistent) posts that build a relationship with your followers. Whether you’re brand new to Facebook for business, or you’ve been plugging away at your Facebook presence for a while and need some inspiration, here are a few fresh tips.

1. Show the man behind the curtain.
Show them the real people behind the scenes at your business. Facebook, after all, did originally begin as a social site. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show through. Highlight special events and behind-the-scenes stories that make your followers feel like insiders.

2. Give your Facebook followers a special gift.
You can create an “Offer” on your page using Facebook’s tool. But, if you’re concerned about your budget, you can just say “Mention this offer on Facebook.” Either way you can get more interest, more shares, and more engagement.

3. Start a conversation.
Posts that ask questions can start a great dialog. They also foster the sense of community your Facebook presence needs. Need some ideas? Ask your customers for tips; ask for stories about how your product or service has helped; ask for opinions about events that affect your customers.

4. Use the power of pictures.
Images get high engagement on Facebook—think about what attracts you when you look at your own feed. Share something thought-provoking, inspiring or humorous for extra engagement. It’s a good idea to have a link or page name, and make sure your images are easy to read if they have text. Keep the colors bright.

5. Act Locally.
Drive local engagement for your small business by sharing community items that might be of interest for your audience. Talk up local events and news, and don’t forget to share links. An example: Are you a vet or have another business that serves pets? Ask users what they think about the new city pet ordinance. Or share a link for the city pool’s Doggie Dip day.

6. Reply to comments.
It’s great to feel like someone’s listening. When your posts get comments, reply! Thank compliments and respond to complaints. The trick is to keep it up regularly, to build that sense of community. And if you say you’re going to look into a complaint…actually follow up.

7. Keep it consistent.
Finally, the key to a successful Facebook page (or any other social media outlet, for that matter) is posting consistently. There’s no hard and fast formula that says you have to post daily, but you should have a plan or a calendar. Even a simple list of posts on a spreadsheet will do. You can save time by scheduling posts ahead of time using Facebook’s own “schedule post” feature or using tools such as Hootsuite.

By building that sense of community on Facebook, your page gets more followers, more shares, and more clicks even if you have a tight budget. Consistent, well thought-out posts are the key. Want more inspiration? See our post on storytelling and branding to get more ideas that you can use in Facebook to really engage your followers.