At Blog World Expo this year, I was in a great session on using Facebook pages by Amy Porterfield. The session was very helpful on many levels, but one thing that Amy said that I immediately put into action—within a few seconds of her saying it, in fact—was to ask simple questions of readers to generate discussion.
Amy had been working with a client on their Facebook page and the client had suggested a discussion starter that was quite open ended and which required a long answer from readers. Amy switched the question into this format:
“What’s one word to describe…?”
This question lowered the barrier of entry for anyone considering responding to the question. Instead of having to write a few paragraphs in response, all that was required to participate was a single word. Amy reported a much higher than normal level of comments.
I immediately asked my own photography community a “one word to describe” question on my photography Facebook page.
367 comments later…
The same principle applies to generating comments on your blog … or any other attempt at reader engagement, for that matter. Make it simple to participate!
Another example of this was recently when a sponsor ran a competition on my photography blog. Initially, the sponsor wanted our readers to fulfill four requirements to enter the giveaway. They had to follow the sponsor and our site on Facebook, tweet something, and then leave a comment of 500 words explaining why they wanted to win the prize.
I pushed back—four hoops was more than I suspected most of our readers would jump through. The sponsor decided not to run the competition with us and I later saw them do it on another blog. The result? Three entries!
The same lesson again: make it simple for your readers to participate on your blog!