What is the best way to start a conversation?
Mention your social media following? Tell them about your pet? Check your phone until they notice?
Here’s a better way…After saying hello of course, the best way to start a conversation is to share some common ground and to ask a question. This provides the foundation to building a good relationship as you have mentioned a topic that is of interest to the other person and have asked them a question, which helps them feel involved and shows that their opinions are valued.
So how does this apply to your Facebook fanpage?
One reason it affects your Facebook fanpage is that the process of engaging your fans follows the same conversational technique of sharing common ground and valuing feedback by asking questions.
In this week’s “Best Facebook Pages” series we are going to be analysing and looking at how Walmart are using questions to engage and help better understand their community.
We will also break down their key successes – highlighting strategies you can implement on your Facebook page to help increase your results today.
What industry are they in?
Walmart are in the retail and consumer merchandise industry
When was the page created?
The Facebook page was created back in October 2009.
How many fans do they have?
At the present time, the Facebook page has a total of 34,594,530 fans.
How often do they post?
Walmart typically post on average 3.3 times per day.
% of fans engaged
Walmart have a total of 210,130 interactions on the page with over 0.6% of fans engaged per post.
4 reasons why Walmart are seeing results with their Facebook question updates
1) Picking a passionate topic and rewarding fans for their feedback
We now know asking questions is a great way to increase your engagement organically. But is it really that simple?
The answer is no.
Simply sharing a question on your Facebook page will not help you to achieve results.
Instead, you must ensure the question is both relevant and outlines a topic your fans are passionate about or enjoy.
Below is a great example of how Walmart have used this technique to get nearly 16,000 comments on a single post.
But how did they achieve this?
To start off with, Walmart chose a topic their fans are passionate about. In this case, it’s the launch of the latest Battlefield 4 game for Xbox 360. Once the topic was chosen, Walmart needed a way to engage their fans to engage with this popular topic. To help engage and reward their fans for their feedback, Walmart decided to create a video directed exclusively at their fans that let them decide which of a selection of Walmart stores should host the upcoming launch.
This was a great way to highlight two key passion points for their fans — the first being the game and the second the chance to have the event appear in their home state. As a result, fans jumped at the chance to have the event take place in their local Walmart, resulting in nearly 16,000 comments and over 12,000 likes.
2) Asking for their fans’ opinions
Another great way to increase engagement on your question posts is to ask for your fans’ opinions on a subject.
In this case, Walmart have taken this opportunity to ask which home fragrance fans enjoy the most.
How did they achieve this?
First of all, Walmart selected a popular product their fans were already familiar with and chose to get their opinion on which fragrance they liked the most.
It’s very important to note here that in order to keep the answers relevant to the brand and the products they sell, they have offered their fans a multiple choice selection of fragrances from which to choose . This ensures that fans are selecting fragrances Walmart have available, which helps to build brand awareness while highlighting their latest range.
This, combined with an image of the products in question, has helped the post to receive nearly 400 comments with 1,880 likes.
3) Joining in the conversation
Questions are also a good way for your business to start – and continue – the conversation with fans on Facebook.
Choosing the right type of question and image can make the difference between a post getting a lot of comments or a few.
Here is an example of how Walmart have chosen a relevant topic to discuss based on the current season — in this case, summer time. They have chosen this time of year to showcase the fun that can be had outdoors through an image of people enjoying the sun in one of their pools. To help spark conversation around the topic they have asked fans a ”True or False” question, leaving the answer open for fans to discuss.
But how did they keep the conversation going?
A great way to increase the engagement on your posts is to join in the conversation.
Here we can see how Walmart have used this technique to encourage more feedback from its fans. They have chosen to ask their fans follow up questions based on the choice they have selected. This is a great way to further open the dialogue with fans and also encourage others to join in. When applying this technique to your page, you want to make sure that the questions you ask are still related to the original post, as it can be easy to go off topic if the questions are too broad.
4) Keeping the question simple to encourage feedback
When asking questions on Facebook you have a very limited time to grab the attention of your Facebook fan in the newsfeed.
For this reason, you want to ensure that your content not only stands out but that the message is clear and straight to the point.
Walmart have managed to get over 3,000 comments on a single post by implementing this technique, which helps them to stand out in the newsfeed and engage their fans.
But how did they achieve this?
To help give themselves the maximum exposure in the newsfeed, Walmart used a high quality image of two of their most popular ice cream flavours and asked users which they prefer in a side-by-side comparison. This, combined with the simple question format, allowed multiple people to not only share which ice cream they preferred but also opened up discussion into other flavours they enjoyed and why they enjoyed them. This was a great way to build awareness of both flavours and for Walmart to get direct feedback on how these and other flavours are received by their customers and fans.
How they compare against the “big guys”?
When auditing the performance of a Facebook page, we always find it interesting to compare it head to head against the big brands competing in their space. We selected 4 brands that compete in the retail category:
This is how the benchmark looks like (using Agorapulse’s built-in Facebook competitors benchmarking tool):
Although Walmart have one of the largest fanbase numbers in their industry we can see that is still room for growth with regards to interactions and fans talking about their business.
To help increase their interaction numbers it would be a good idea for a page with such large numbers to increase their post frequency to encourage more user interactions. As long as the content is kept at high quality this can be a great way for the brand to reach out and also engage with more of its fanbase.
Another great way to get fans more involved would be to encourage more user generated content i.e. asking fans to share their stories, images, pics and videos to their timeline more often.
What could they do to improve?
The page is doing a great job at engaging their fans through questions — however, here are a few tweaks they could make to help give them the edge:
- Brand images using their logo and website
- Share more customer stories instead of just focusing on the products
- Create more Facebook competitions to help capture leads
- Humanize the brand by showcasing the workers and the great work they do for the company
- Share more user generated content from fans
What are the key takeaways you can apply to your page?
Now that we’ve gone through and broken down the key ways Walmart use questions and relevant imagery to increase their engagement and brand awareness, here are a few key actions you can take today to help build a relationship with your fans and drive awareness for your business:
- Picking a topic your fans are passionate about and finding ways to reward fans for their feedback
- Asking questions related to your product/service to get direct feedback from your target audience
- Joining in the conversation by replying to fan comments
- Keeping questions basic to help encourage user feedback
- Sharing relevant images of your products or stories about your service. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans what they think!
Questions are a great way to involve your audience in a discussion around your products or services. To get the best results from this type of post ensure that the questions are kept short and that they are related to your brand. Here are a few question types you can try out today to help get you started:
Are you asking the right questions on your Facebook page? Comment below.