It seemed like out of nowhere we saw a bunch of our friends on Facebook answering these poll type questions. There was a lot of speculation this past summer about the release of Questions, but we are only first seeing it being put to use as of lately. The new uprise of usage might have to do with later product development on Facebook’s part.
The obvious goal here for Facebook is to gain the level of attention that Yahoo! Answers has by using the “trusted” Facebook name. It also serves as a way to crowd source large groups of people for simple opinions. In theory, wrapping these ideas together should surpass Yahoo! Answers and improve the Poll option on Facebook. However, will it? Some brands have tapped into this new feature, and as usual many brands are waiting to see results.
What are Facebook Questions?
According to Facebook: ”Facebook Questions lets you ask any question and get quick answers from your friends and other people on Facebook. Questions is designed so that anyone on Facebook can help you find the answer. So when you ask a question, it is shared in News Feed. If your friends answer or follow that question, it will be shared with their friends and so on.” Facebook Questions came about when the team at Facebook noticed users posting questions and having their friends answer within the same wall post. Essentially, Questions are the same except it opens the question to the entire community of the user.
The average Facebook user will get excited when new options pop into their main page, however they may not know how to use it. Some users seem to be asking questions that are not answerable or not interesting to their friends. Other users who are early adopters have had more fun with this new option. Facebook was obviously trying to appeal to the user and take off as a fun Q&A tool (as Quora did).
To view the Question wall, you must click on the options to your left hand menu.
Why would brands want to utilize Facebook Questions?
- Branded questions can travel into the main Question feed of a friend of the “liker” who has answered it?
- When two or more “liker’s” of the brand page answer a question, it can show up in the Main feed of their mutual friends.
- Find out majority opinion of your audience in a short amount of time.
- Questions allow users to give additional feedback.
- Launch new products/campaigns and receive feedback within minutes.
- Give friends of “liker’s” a new chance to follow your brand.
What kind of questions should be asked?
- Topics that are within brand and important to the user.
- Opinions that require little thought and quick reaction.
- Topics that are off brand that users are adamant about.
- Commonly discussed items within the community. (This will take a little Facebook stalking / research)
Obviously, the types of questions asked would be highly dependent on the kind of brand you are managing. Simple questions might be a bit safer than controversial questions, however the personality of the brand controls this. There have been some decent attempts on using Questions to improve fan engagement. Here are some examples:
- WP Beginner’s
- Red Mango
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- A&E Television
- Human Rights Campaign
- Local Business: Salon
As you can see, more controversial topics and questions that people have serious opinions on will tend to get most traction. However, small business page admins should not shy away from utilizing questions. Integrating Facebook Questions into your Social Media Strategy will allow more engagement, activity, and let the fans know that you are active and up to date on social trends. It is definitely worth giving a try!