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How to use Facebook, Twitter and other tools to reach your readers
3 ways to get readers to fill-in-the-blank on Facebook
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By David Arkin
GateHouse Media News & Interactive Division staff post best practices on social media uses, as well as information on the newest technology newspapers can use in the social media space.
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More and more media companies are getting clever with their Facebook posts, all in an effort to engage more of their "friends" to participate with their social media site.

One somewhat new technique includes asking social media users to fill in the blank to a sentence or question, like this one from ESPN.

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I also like this one from ESPN's Fantasy Football site.

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I can't locate the image, but New York Times did something similar when the creator of Mad Libs died.

Sites that ask users to fill in the blank too often (like more than once a week), likely won't get much participation because it doesn't become a unique experience for the user. But, finding the right time to do it, can turn your average post into an engaging experience.

Here are three simple ideas on how you could do this:

1. East High School will beat West High School __ - __? Then link to your advance story on the game.

2. The city has decided to build a new high school. They shouldn't spend more than $_ million. Link your coverage of the event.

3. Thursday is Thanksgiving. You're going to gain __ how much weight this holiday season. Link a holiday-related story.

There are dozens of other ways you could use this tool. Try it a few times over the course of the next few weeks and see what kind of engagement you get. A mix of using questions, polls and this tool, will keep readers involved with your Facebook page which means more page traffic for your site.

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