When you post questions on Instagram, you open up the door to more engagement, which leads to more people seeing your posts.
One of the best reasons to use questions on Instagram? They are one of the most underutilized types of posts. Most businesses treat Instagram like a photo journal, instead of an opportunity to engage with their followers. You can stand apart by connecting with your audience through your posts.
Ready to get started? Here are some questions you can ask. Each of these examples is just a beginning– get creative and transform these into dozens more questions to post on Instagram!
In real life, this is a standard ice-breaker question. Yet, we rarely think to ask it online. One of the primary reasons that social media even exists is because people, in general, like to share their lives. When you ask questions that give an opportunity for them to open up, you start the conversation.
These types of questions can be asked in a lot of ways. For example:
You will notice that all of these questions have a time-related word, such as “now” or “next.” This helps prompt a response. The questions are also limited in scope and easy to answer. They are customized to the type of business asking them and related to something that their ideal customer deeply cares about.
Ask yourself what types of things your ideal client is doing right now that they’d like to share and ask them about it! Then they don’t feel like they have to do an awkward humble brag instead, because you brought it up in the first place.
Another question to post on Instagram is about how your audience uses your product. This is a two for one win for you, because not only do you engage with your ideal client, but you gain some useful information in the process. You can use what you learn to make better products and services.
But simply asking “How do you use our product?” is boring, and will quickly become repetitive.
Think like a reporter: Who, What, When, Why, and Where. Here are some examples:
Once you start thinking this way, you’ll be able to come up with lots of questions.
Sometimes, when you post a question on Instagram, follow up with a call to action such as tagging a friend. Don’t do this too often, but it’s good to add from time to time.
There’s a reason that inspirational memes and quotes float around on a daily basis. People want to feel good. We crave inspiration.
The next time you post an inspirational quote or picture though, don’t leave it there. Add a question. Which question works best depends somewhat on the picture, but here are some ideas as a starting point:
Give people an opportunity to join in the goodness, without asking something that is too personal or revealing, and you will see lots of replies on your Instagram feed.
Think about the last time someone made an effort to remember something that was important to you– a favorite food, or band, or coffee order. How did it make you feel?
There are almost limitless ways to use this question such as:
The list goes on. Use a good mix of questions that are related to your product or service or of interest to your target audience and watch your engagement go up.
My kids are obsessed with playing “would you rather.” They love discussing the finer points of whether they would rather only eat pizza or eat ice cream for the rest of their lives. But what they are showing is how much we want to be understood. This type of question triggers a different feeling and response than just asking “what’s your favorite X?”
Not everyone will have a favorite sports team (me for example). But if you give them two options and ask them to choose either or, almost everyone will have an opinion. It triggers an instant response because it’s a straightforward question.
Some companies use this in the product development phase to decide which products to invest in making in the first place. But you can go in a lot of different directions with this:
Start paying attention to the types of situations you ask someone in real life an either or question, and then see how you can apply this online.
Social media is used for a lot of things– to inspire, to connect, to sell. It’s also used to educate. Don’t forget about this when you are thinking of questions to post on Instagram.
No matter what type of business you’re in, you have opportunities to share valuable information. Here are some ideas:
You want to provide enough information to create an “ah-ha” moment for your audience. This builds trust, and helps them know that you are a valuable resource on the topic you are an expert in.
Well, that is one side of a “Did You Know…” question. You don’t have to be serious all the time. This is a fun format to share a joke, or humorous meme– just make sure that you really know your audience and don’t cross a line. If you are unsure, or work in an agency setting, make sure that you have a clearly defined social media policy.
This is the least defined of the question types but can be incredibly valuable when you do it right. These types of questions are not surface level– they get down to what we deeply care about and who we identify as.
Think about self-identifying statements such as:
What questions can you ask that let your audience show off their cred as in the example above or give them an opportunity to share something they love? If anyone asks a question about Wonder Woman, Star Trek, or Mr. Rogers, I’ll definitely answer it.
Obviously, for some lucky people, your fans are obsessed with your product or service directly (Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.). Even if you don’t tap into that level of fandom, you can still bring out people’s inner geek with well-focused questions.
For example, a coffee shop might ask a question about “what kind of coffee drinker are you?” and include pictures of various roasts and blends. A bookstore could also use a coffee picture but change up the question to be “what is your book reading coffee strength?”
Get creative with this one. Start by asking how your ideal customer or client would describe themselves to others, and discover the points of connection.
Whatever questions you use, don’t forget that on Instagram having a quality picture and relevant hashtags are crucial to success. A great question without both of these things will still be mostly ignored.
What about you? What was the best question you ever asked on Instagram, and what kind of response did it get?