Getting Engaged with Your Social Audience

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Social media marketing is all about reaching people.

All it takes, sometimes, to change a person’s buying decision is just seeing a logo on Facebook. Thus, our mission is to inflate our reach and impressions metrics with every photo, video, and link we post on social networks. Each time a user engages with a post, reach increases exponentially, and that makes engagement the name of the game.

With that said, not all engagement actions are created equally. Take Facebook for example. Likes are great, and they can be a huge indicator of whether or not you’re on track with your followers’ interests. But, a like has only a fraction of the weight of a share or comment where your social influence is considered. These actions are signs that your posts are interesting and compelling, which is what we all aim for.Comments and shares can be tough to get, though. I feel like shares are pretty unpredictable, so I’ll take any share, re-post, or retweet I can get— let’s not question it (for today). And where Facebook is concerned, people have gone the way of Instagram and started sharing posts with other users by tagging them in a comment, ignoring the share button altogether. So, let’s set shares aside for now and focus on those comments.

By far, the best way to encourage people to comment on a post is by asking a question.

You can ask questions that are business-related, lifestyle-related, or just plain silly. They could be about practically anything, as long as they tempt your followers to chime in.Here are some ideas for your engaging questions

Customer Feedback

When you ask your followers for feedback about your business, your campaigns, or your website, you’re really killing two birds with one stone. Not only will you be getting those comments, but what they say can be really helpful for developing your strategies. Ask them what they would like to read about on your blog and they might respond with a year’s worth of topics that are guaranteed to be popular. WIN-WIN.However, when asking questions related to your business, be absolutely sure you’re ready to receive the answers. One thing you can almost always count on from social media is honesty, and it can be brutal, so brace yourself for the unexpected. Make a habit of replying to comments, positive or negative, and you’ll be putting your customer service hat on too— TRIPLE-WIN.

Related: Why Brands Should Tread Lightly When Tweeting What’s Trending

Simple

These next suggestions are less about the topic of your questions and more about the way you formulate them.  When asking a simple question— no multiple choice options, no fill in the blank, just the regular format— it’s usually worth considering the depth of said question. A relatively vague question may only garner a few likes instead of real answers, so it might help to get more specific. Finding out whether your audience is more casual or fanatic may take some trial and error.

Multiple Choice

When you give people a few possible answers to choose from along with your question, it makes answering easier, and thus, makes people more likely to engage. Facebook removed the polling feature a little over a year ago, which I happened to like. But, this means that answering a multiple choice question now requires a comment instead of click, so it’s really better this way.

This is the perfect opportunity to entertain your followers with trivia. Everyone loves trivia, right? You can also make them laugh by including one or two answer options that are ironic or out of left field.

Fill In The Blank

Fill-in-the-blank questions are always fun. Many people simply cannot resist commenting, and you’ll be delighted by the creativity of your followers. As a brand-related question, for example, you could ask, “The product that got me hooked on was __________.” Or as a random question you could ask, “The best word to describe my workday today is ___________.”

You could get some valuable information for your marketing strategy, and your followers might enjoy showing off their Cards-of-Humanity wit in a (hopefully) safe-for-work way.

Jeopardy! Style

Lastly, channel you inner Alex Trebek and ask your question in the form of an answer. Since these can be slightly more complicated, it helps to post them along with a photo. Let’s say you’re a realtor, for example. You could ask, “This man developed the concept of the urban ‘Usonian’ home and is considered the greatest American architect of all time. Who is he?” and post a photo of Frank Lloyd Wright. Jeopardy-style questions are sure to tempt the gameshow lovers in your audience, and they’re a great way to connect those consumers with your brand.

What are you favorite questions to ask your followers? Let’s talk in the comments!

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