Actor and activist George Takei recently added another achievement to his list, topping Mashable’s list of the Top 10 Most Influential People of Facebook. As if three seasons on Star Trek and six subsequent movies were not enough!

In the announcement, Mashable proposes that anyone who has spent any time on Facebook has likely seen a share of one of Takei’s many “memetastic” posts. And considering his popularity (3.2 million likes as of this posting) and impressive engagement numbers, that’s probably not much of an exaggeration. As the graph below from Inside Facebook shows, Takei is one of only a handful of entities on Facebook that has more people talking about it than it has total likes. When this graph was created, Takei had 2.1 million likes, and 2.8 million people talking. Which, as writer Ryan Haight points out, means he had 135.7% community engagement.

So how does he do it? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of his posts:

1. They’re Always Visual.
As Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm has evolved over time, the right formula for engagement has been a bit of a moving target for marketers. However, one thing is for sure: visual posts win hands down. In a recent post about how to improve your Facebook reach, we discussed how EdgeRank value, or weight, is based on what kind of content users tend to engage with the most (through likes, comments, and shares). And that has turned out to be photos by a long shot. If your brand has lots of photos available, great! If your brand is less visual by nature, it’s time to get creative and find images that can reflect the messages you want to post. The more people see it, the more people with share it, and the more new likes you’ll see.

2. They’re Posted Frequently.
Limited time and resources are, of course, going to be factors in your small business Facebook page. However, it’s important to know what you’re shooting for. The sweet spot – in which Takei abides – seems to be 2-3 posts per day. You don’t want to flood your followers’ feeds, but you also don’t want your 1 weekly post to get lost in the shuffle and have your brand get dismissed by EdgeRank.

3. They’re Always Positive.
Turns out that the old adage that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is also true on social media. An infographic posted on Mashable illustrates that positive content gets more likes and share than negative. Not only to hilarious and positive posts result in more shares (and more social discovery) for Mr. Takei, they also serve to endear his followers to his positive personal brand.

4. They Often Come From Followers.
A great way to make your Facebook followers love you is to ask for their participation and share their content on your page. A quick glance at George’s page shows dozens of “from a fan” posts. This tells his followers that he really is listening to them, values their participation, and shares their passions. Find creative ways to feature input from your own followers, and they’ll become your most loyal evangelists.

What brands or personalities have you found on Facebook that are superior at engaging their followers?

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