Do Questions Work on Facebook? [Infographic]

facebook questions
Do you feel like you’re talking to no one on Facebook? (Image source)

If you feel like nobody is listening to you on Facebook, you’re probably asking the wrong questions, or more likely, you’re not asking them in the right way.

Social engagement is a tough thing to get right, but there are some proven ways to connect with your fans, and have them respond to your questions – to stop you from feeling like you’re literally talking to a brick wall.

Dan Martell told me about a simple technique that worked really well for the Flowtown Facebook page.

It’s based on asking open ended questions like this: My favorite restaurant in San Francisco is ________?

Basically it’s a fill in the blank type question that encourages people to be creative or funny, which creates a cyclic effect where others comment on the answers and offer their own once the conversation is started.

So what can you do to make people listen, and respond?

Social stats phenom Dan Zarella, from Hubspot, has done the research to answer this question for you. So let’s dissect the subtle nuances of your questions to see which work best.

  • Tradeoff: One important thing to note is, that despite questions increasing comment engagement, they also apparently decrease the number of likes and shares. My thinking on this is that by commenting, people are more actively engaged and don’t pay as much attention to liking something – as they think they’ve already participated enough.
  • Coulda, woulda, shoulda: The difference between these words may seem simplistic (and realistically there isn’t much variation in the efficacy of either of the top words). The most important part of the graphic below, is how differently the less powerful words succeed in engaging people. This is where all of your attention should be spent.

It’s a simple graphic, with a simple point. So go read the picture…

fb_questions-560
Infographic by Hubspot – Click for full size image.

Facebook Tweetables

Share these testing tips with your followers. And remember that you can change the tweet text before it goes out.

  • Facebook posts that include ‘Should,’ ‘would’ and ‘who’ get more comments
    » Tweet This «
  • Facebook posts that include questions tend to get more comments, but fewer shares and likes
    » Tweet This «
  • Facebook comments that include ‘why’ and ‘how’ get the least amount of comments
    » Tweet This «

– Oli Gardner


About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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Comments

  1. I think the Wailing wall in Jerusalem also applies to acceptable place to talk to a wall.. :P

  2. Chris says:

    So, which is more important in social media: shares/likes, or comments?

    In a personal account, engagement is much more entertaining and gratifying, but from a business perspective, isn’t the main point of social media to spread your brand to as large an audience as possible? Therefore wouldn’t it make more sense to go for the shares rather than the comments? (assuming the should/would/who question hasn’t been posed for market research purposes)

  3. I haven’t had any luck with Facebook questions, people used too fill out surveys all the time on Facebook, but not anymore, I do think that contests work better.

  4. Weight Loss says:

    I’ve used Yahoo Answers many a time, and I can’t see how Facebook could improve on that. The large, ever-present base of Yahoo users is what makes it a success, and the quality of the answers. It is a separate entity from the rest of Yahoo, it appears, but it is included in Yahoo searches. Facebook doesn’t have a good way to separate it from the rest of its platform, a necessity for its success.