Facebook has made recent changes like adding a significant metric such as the “People Talking About This” and launching Facebook Actions through the Open Graph last week. Facebook tells users changes like the Timeline profile will enhance user experience. Though some of you might agree that these changes aren’t exactly improvements for usability, most of them can be used to improve user engagement strategies. Keep in mind that for some people, Facebook is the Internet and vice versa. And as a community manager, you have to place yourself in an ordinary user’s shoes.  

With all these new enhancements, how can you increase engagement on Facebook?

Here are 5 ways for a community manager to increase user engagement:

1.) Time Management

One of the most essential aspects of user engagement is time management. It pays to be aware of the peak hours to capture the most engagement. So when’s the best time to post? Always put into consideration the timezone of your customers, if majority of them are in EST then it’s best to post during these hours: 10am-11am, 4pm-5pm, and 10pm-11pm. Arguably, these three schedules will fit into PST as well, but it’s always up to you to test alternative schedules and intervals for sharing a post or asking a question on your page.

2.) Encourage Customer Feedback

Thanks to social media, customer-company collaborations have paved the way to improve product development. Before, companies will ask for feedback just for the heck of it. Social networks gave customers a voice where they can make or break a product. As Jeff Jarvis puts it, “Customers are your walking ads.” And as a business, bear in mind that the products you offer are for customers and not for you. Asking for substantial feedback from customers on Facebook will support your brand development teams in addressing issues to make a product or service better.

3.) Conduct Surveys

Surveys are interruptions and that’s the truth. Most of my peers feel that conducting surveys is a total pain. You can’t seem to ask people to answer questionnaires unless you give free stuff. So how do you entice people to answer a survey? Simple – ask for their opinions about your company’s product or service. People who are active in social networks are the most opinionated. Once you get to have them answer a survey, lead them to a Thank You page where you offer free product-related apps or a 30-day free trial of your service offerrings. Free is the new medium for surveys.

4.) Monitor Mentions and Answer Queries

Arguably, the most crucial aspect of CRM. Remember Dell Hell? Michael Dell turned it to a pitcher of lemonade when he launched the IdeaStorm blog and the Social Media Listening Command Center to collaborate with customers and address product complaints. Dell knows that establishing a presence on the Social Web will not only increase engagement but gain fans as well. Remember that positive customer feedback is more powerful than advertising. Before you know it, you’ve made an irate customer into a brand ambassador!

5.) Your Social Media Dashboard is your Bestfriend

Yes, social media dashboards help a lot with engagement specially with queued posts and tweets. However, it’s another story to totally depend all social media activities to a social dashboard. It’s a lemon that will screw your CRM! Always keep in mind that an effective community manager knows that he has to engage with fans in real-time. Why? Because real engagement happens in real-time.