Questions are possibly one of the most powerful tools that you have on social media. They can be used to learn more about your ideal customer, come up with product ideas, get new fans and followers, bring in new business, and get more social media engagement.
Today we are going to unmask the power of the question and show you how to use it to rock your social media.
One of the more recent features of Twitter is polls. Like anything else on Twitter, it has limited character options. You can use up to 116 characters in your poll question, and up to 20 characters in each poll option. You are limited to a maximum of four possible responses.
Your poll is considered complete 24 hours after it is posted. The challenge of this type of question is working around the character limitations. It really forces you to think about each word and how to ask what you really want to know. Try this to get quick feedback from users. And since they see the poll results in their feed when the poll is finished, it is an additional touch with your followers.
One reason that people don’t answer questions on social media is that the answer is too long or complicated. Let’s be honest: a lot of the time we spend on Facebook is scrolling, not in thoughtful analysis. A fill in the blank question makes people automatically respond in their head, so then it is one small step to answering.
The key to a good fill in the blank question is that it needs to be a short and clear response, rather than something too open ended.
A this or that question can be used in many different ways. It can be used to ask your customers which product or service they want you to create. If you are a fashion brand, it gives followers an opportunity to share their opinion about two different looks. Or it can be used simply as a fun question to get to know your audience better, say, like whether they prefer coffee or tea.
This type of question works particularly well with images like the example above from Mattel. The one opportunity that the Barbie toy maker missed in this post is labeling the two looks, as you will notice in the comments that many people are jokingly responding “this” or “that” without it being tied to anything meaningful. But the post was still successful as people are thinking about what it would be like to own the doll and be able to dress it up.
A yes or no question is a variation of this or that. The difference is that you don’t have to come up with two alternatives – throw something out there and let them respond. Like this post to health professionals about detoxing:
As in the example, one of the fun things about this type of question is that you can get very specific to your audience in a minimum number of words. You can mention a celebrity name, a specific cooking ingredient, or parenting style, or whatever fits your subject matter, and then let people go to town. It gives people the option to give a simple one word response, which increases your total responses and engagement. Keep in mind that this type of question won’t address the “why” of a response..
There are so many different directions you can go with a “have you ever” question. You can show a picture or video and ask if people have seen it. You can ask if people have tried a certain product or had a specific experience. You can ask about whether they have visited a particular location. It can be serious, inspirational, or just silly like this post from Ellen:
One thing you will notice about this post, and others like it, is that a lot of people will simply tag someone else that they think the post applies to. Especially if it is silly or gives them or their friend a chance to brag.
Another way to get people to give your opinion about everything from your new logo (like the Celtics did in the example below), to the latest news item.
What makes this question different from the yes or no question or this or that questions is that it requires a little more thought from your followers. Occasionally, that isn’t a bad thing, and can prompt some questions (and answers) that don’t fit with the simpler responses.
Other than give their opinion, another thing people love to do is reminisce. This question gives people a chance to do just that. You can make it lighthearted like what they were doing when their favorite sports team won, or a beloved band released an album. It can be a post that is emotional, like asking them what they were doing when they found out they were pregnant, or what they were doing during a big historical moment like 9/11.
These type of questions are also great for Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday content!
This is another fun way to get people to weigh in. This post from Sand Cloud Towels is perfect. Not only is it super adorable, but they pull in a pop culture reference that relates to towels and a nod to conservation all at once.
You can also ask about your specific product or service, like “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like our new flavor?” or a question about them such as “On a scale of 1 to 10 how much of a morning person are you?” Hint: that last question would be great for a coffee company. There are lots of ways to make your posts relevant to your brand without sounding like a sales person all the time.
If you run a Facebook group, this question becomes essential every so often. Even if you are on other social media platforms, it is a great way to get engagement and get a better feel for who your audience is at the same time.
You can ask your followers to broadly introduce themselves, to welcome a new member of your staff, to come up and say hi when they stop by your business, or to tell you about their business.
Relationships need small talk, but they also need those deep moments too. The one where you suddenly see someone in a completely new light – even when you have known them for years. Opportunities to share thoughts and feelings and expose a part of who you are as a human being.
When trying to decide what would make a good deep connection question, think about the most powerful emotions that we have; fear, pride, anger, love, excitement. Ask about those things and you will be amazed at the responses you get. Make sure to know the overall tone that your business wants to have on social media so that you don’t cross a line, and avoid things that are needlessly controversial about sensitive issues.
Another way to uncover new possibilities for product and service needs, while also giving you a chance to give some virtual high fives to your fan base is to ask what they are working on.
In the post above the are also combining with a contest. There are lots of options here; if you have a recipe book or food related product you can ask what they are cooking or baking today. If you are business to business, you can ask about their current business projects. If you are an author or musician you can ask what they are reading or listening to.
Do you have a problem in your business you are trying to solve? Need to connect with a particular type of professional? Want to make new friends? These are all great times to ask for recommendations from your fans and followers.
Sometimes, like in this football team example, you can ask for ideas for hashtags or captions. But you can also ask who your fan base trusts when you are looking for a plumber or a new print shop.
As I always tell my clients, the real key to success is knowing not only what people do, but even more importantly why they do it. This uncovers what is missing in the marketplace, how to motivate people to take action, and how you can best impact your clients and customers.
Like any other question, this can be on the lighter side, like “Why do you drink coffee in the morning?” or more serious like why they donate to a particular cause. When people are willing to open up to you in this way, chances are that you have done an excellent job of building relationship with them up to this point.
What questions have you asked that have gotten the biggest response? Remember that tracking responses in a tool like Agorapulse is important to be successful so you can see what is working and what is falling flat.
(Haven’t used Agorapulse yet? Try it for free today!)
Whatever questions you use, don’t be afraid to experiment!