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Monday, March 28, 2011

Facebook Questions Allows for Even More Interaction

It seems like Facebook is releasing a lot of business-oriented features lately.  Well, Questions may not be strictly biz related, but it definitely has potential to help you engage with your followers and others.  For details from Facebook, check out this site.  I have been toying with it and can share the highlights.

Essentially, Questions allows you to ask a question of your followers.  (What did you expect?)  You can ask an open-ended question (one that can be answered in any way) or a poll question (one that has multiple responses that can be chosen).  If you ask a poll question, you have the option of allowing people to add responses or to be limited to those you have provided.  Additionally, a person can add a "post" about a question.  That is, they can leave a comment of any sort, similar to comments that can be added to status updates, pictures, or other types of content.

Once asked, the question goes first to your friends.  They can, of course, ignore it completely (and most probably will).  However, they have a few other options.  They could answer it, "follow" it, and/or "Ask a Friend."  If they answer it, then their friends can see that activity in their feed.  In that way, your question could go "viral" by spreading to others who also have the opportunity to answer the question.  If they follow it, it is also pushed out to their friends' feeds.  However, this also means that they will be able to see how their friends respond to the question.  If they "Ask a Friend," then the question is sent to those friends as a notification.

As a user, you can manage your questions by clicking on Questions in the left-hand menu.

So, how might this help a farm or food business?
  • Ask who may be coming to an upcoming event.
  • Ask what sorts of foods they like to buy from you.
  • Ask how often they use your product.  For example, a winery may want to know how frequently their customers drink wine.
  • Ask about how general economic conditions are affecting their purchasing.
Really, you could use this for anything you might want feedback about.  But, like most things, you should follow a few simple rules.

  1. Ask clear, concise questions.  Make sure the reader can understand what you're asking.
  2. Don't asking anything too personal.
  3. Don't be a pest by asking too many questions.
  4. Because it's SOCIAL media, be sure to respond to posts made about your question, if appropriate.
So, while Questions isn't earth-shaking, I think it does have some potential to enhance your ability to listen to your customers and their friends, and their friends, and...

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