One way to stimulate participation in your Facebook application community is by providing a variety of incentives. The incentives don't have to be monetary - often recognition or the opportunity to have an idea or article amplified within the community is sufficient.
Recently, William Warren, a member of the Insight Facebook application from the Charlotte Observer posted a story about his atheist billboard advertisement which appeared on the Billy Graham Highway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Observer decided to send a reporter out to interview him and ran the story on the front page of its paper and its website: Atheists Buy Sign on Billy Graham Highway.
"When the words 'under God' were inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance between 'one nation' and 'indivisible,' they made a lie out of both those ideals," Joseph McDaniel Stewart, vice president of FreeThoughtAction and one of the N.C. coalition founders, said in an e-mail. "You can't have an indivisible nation if you draw a line between the godly and godless. We all belong here."
This is a great example of using cross promotion to incentivize participation. Insight is encouraging its members to post story ideas as well as to write their own stories using the community blogging feature. If you have a great idea or a great story, you might see it shared with the entire Charlotte Observer community.
Similarly, KPCC radio, an NPR affiliate in Southern California, plans to mention articles that its co-hosts write on its Facebook application, The Freeway, on air on the radio and on the station website.
Stories and blog posts aren't the only Facebook application features to cross promote. Other user generated content that might make sense to promote could be a great user comment or idea or an interesting event or a great question. Think outside of the box.
Creating creative new exposure for your application members creates a positive feedback cycle that will continually stimulate participation and energize your Facebook community.
You can read more about this example at the Knight Foundation blog: Custom Facebook News App Engages Readers and Drives Story to Front Page of Local Paper