There’s no secret—all community managers want their Facebook communities to thrive. Comments and shares are the currency of social media. The question plaguing community managers every day is “How do I generate more engagement on my Facebook posts?”

While posting status updates and linking to high-quality, highly relevant content on your Facebook page is encouraged, there’s no better form of engaging content on Facebook than media—namely, video and photos. According to Doug Schumacher at Zuum, a social-insight tool, video is the most shared type of brand content on Facebook, followed by photos. But just posting a video or photo isn’t enough. You have to get your fans to interact.

Here are 7 ways you can fire up your audience and motivate them to contribute to and share your brand’s content.

1. Design a Custom Image

To show you why custom images are effective, why not start with one of the most engaging posts ever, right? Oreo, which has one of the largest Facebook fan bases at 27 million fans, made waves with its multicolored Oreo cookie celebrating gay pride on June 25. What would be a risky move for most brands—taking such a stance on a polarizing issue—Oreo’s post set the interwebs ablaze and garnered nearly 300,000 likes, more than 90,000 shares and more than 60,000 comments for a 1.67 percent engagement rate, which is impressive for a such a huge community. All it took was a little Photoshopping.


2. Customize Memes and Pop Culture

Facebook fans have little patience for old news but love to engage and share content that’s new and now. Memes and popular culture flow through our social streams, some becoming popular and then so yesterday in, well, a day. Creating a custom photo that plays on a popular meme or topical news can generate a good deal of sharing. Green Giant (client) created its own cover of the popular Carly Rae Jepson song “Call Me Maybe” with a veggie spin.


3. Use Photos to Ask Questions

Why use a photo when a standard status update will do? Because people love to share photos! So the next time you’ve got a question to ask your fans, why not find a relevant image and design the question right on top of it? Coca-Cola asked its 45+ million fans what summer days + Coca-Cola are like.


4. Celebrate Holidays

What does everyone talk about on Facebook when it’s a holiday? Exactly that. So make sure your brand is taking part in a unique way. Oreo goes so far as to celebrate Bastille Day and Twitter’s birthday. Converse celebrated with some cool red-white-and-blue Chucks, while Budweiser—a quintessential American beer—designed a slick cover photo.


5. Highlight Product Launches/Updates with Video

Your brand’s most loyal fans get excited when your product or service is changed or updated. Just look at the hoopla surrounding any Apple product release. So instead of linking to a blog post, why not put together a quick video? When Facebook released its stand-alone camera app, it posted a one-minute video. Surprisingly, Facebook is not an avid poster on its own page (only once or twice a month), but this video was shared 6,675 times and liked 39,509 times and received more than 25,000 comments.


6. Feature User-Generated Content

Who doesn’t love a few minutes of Facebook fame? Giving your fans a chance to be featured in your brand’s timeline or cover photo can be a huge motivator for engagement. Warby Parker Eyewear, a Post-Advertising favorite, has written the book on fan-featured content. Since Warby Parker will send you as many frames as you’d like with free shipping and free returns, it has effectively turned its customers’ homes into its storefront. Fans take pictures of themselves trying on the frames and post them to the Warby Parker Facebook page. They’ll get feedback not only from the brand but also from the community!


7. Make it too good not to share

This is probably the most difficult of the 7 ways, but it’s possible. Red Bull has made a practice of posting incredible videos and photos that are simply so cool that your hand clicks the “share” button before your brain can tell it to. The photo below was shared 5,438 times, liked 35,795 times and commented on 767 times for a 1.5 percent engagement rate.


If you’re a fan of Mario Cart or Big Wheels, you’ll want to watch this video Red Bull posted as well:

Extra Tip: Incentivize

There’s no question that rewards motivate behavior. If you want fans to engage and share your content, the better the reward is, the better their response will be. It’s not always appropriate, but at the right time, the offer of a prize (which could be anything, even a simple 25-cent coupon) can get fans to click. There are a wide variety of Facebook contests you can host (though please don’t make me like another photo of my friend’s baby), but the better the prize, the more engagement you’ll get.

Of course, every brand is different, and not all audiences will respond to every strategy outlined above. As you would with any marketing activity, test and learn. Figure out what resonates with your audience, and work hard to deliver that to them every day.

What other ways do you increase engagement on Facebook pages by using media?

Read more: