If you have a business page on Facebook, you have probably heard the word “engagement” a thousand times. You want to engage your fans — that means get them to interact, share, like and comment on your content. But in order to do that, you need to post interesting and relevant information on a somewhat regular basis.

For many, this means automation — using RSS feeds and scheduling tools to make sure there is a steady stream of useful content in front of your fans. But sometimes, less is more. And you can do quite a bit as far as engagement goes by taking just a few minutes a day to manually interact with your fans.

Here are five hands-on yet easy ways to engage with your fans on Facebook that are fresh, real-time and won’t take long to do.

1. Pin and Highlight

By now, you know all about the Timeline design for Facebook pages (this article on Facebook Timelines by Mari Smith is also a must-read) that rolled out in March. Two new features of the Timeline are Pin and Highlight. Pinning allows you to pull a post from anywhere on your page and “pin” it to the top of your page for seven days. Highlight lets you expand a post so it fills both columns on your timeline. This is a great way to get more mileage out of the content you already have on your page.

2. Like and Comment

When someone posts something on your page, or comments on one of your posts, it’s the perfect opportunity to like and comment back. You can set your notifications in Facebook to send you an email when someone has posted or commented, or you can use a notification app like Hyper Alerts so you don’t miss anything. This kind of interaction only takes a few seconds, but it can open up the door to conversation, sharing and more engagement.

3. Welcome New Members

The new Timeline layout makes it very easy to see who has liked your page and when, so you have an opportunity to personally welcome new fans. The challenge here is being able to communicate directly with fans, which is a bit limiting from a page perspective. Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • If a new fan is a friend on Facebook, you can tag them in a post, welcoming them to the page (when using the page as your personal profile).
  • You take take advantage of being able to view which pages have liked your page (from your Admin Panel, click “See All” next to New Likes, then sort by Pages). Once there is mutual “liking” (you like their page, they like yours), you can tag the page in your posts.
  • You can send a message to any fan that emails you through your page.
  • You can tag a person who has commented on a thread on your page. Example: You post, “Who’s new here? Welcome, please introduce yourself below.” And you can tag any fan that comments on that post.

4. Post Immediately

Part of keeping up with manual posting on your Facebook page is being successful at integrating it into other marketing activities that you already do for your business. For example, if you blog, make it a habit to post a link to your blog posts, as soon as you publish them. Or, if you’re an avid blog reader, post links as soon as you find something of interest to your audience. If you read something interesting on Twitter, bring it over to your Facebook page. Consistently think about how you can incorporate what you’re already doing into your Facebook page.

5. Use Pictures

There is no debating that photos and other images have a lot of attention-getting power. And every small business can use images to grab attention, whether they use product images, photos of their stores and customers, inspirational quotes, etc. In fact, you may already be doing this for Pinterest. Try sharing your photos and images on Facebook first, then upload them to Pinterest and add a link back to your Facebook post. This will give you some extra mileage for both your content and your Facebook page.

These five ideas are only the beginning of ways you can manually engage with your Facebook fans. What are some of the things you do on your page?