It's not always easy to know how to engage your Facebook fans and keep your page relevant. What do people want to hear? How can you make your page fun, interactive and meaningful?
One of the best ways of getting people involved on Facebook is to ask questions. Questions get people talking, responding and interacting with your brand in ways that mere statements cannot. Asking questions is also a great way to get to know your customers—what they like, what they think about, where they live, who they are. In other words, you don't ask questions just to get them talking; you also ask questions to listen to what they say.
With all that in mind, here are five questions you might want to ask your fans. You can tailor these questions to your particular product, brand or customers, and don't be afraid to vary the wording. The idea is to be authentically conversational, so use these questions as a starting point for your own brainstorming.
Which of our products or services do you most appreciate?
The key to this question is getting customers involved in positively evaluating your products or services. Sure, they might already do this in online reviews, but on Facebook they can use this opportunity to interact with each other and reflect on ways they find your company beneficial. This question will, ideally, be geared toward your specific products or services. For example, a winery might ask something like, "Which do you prefer, our chardonnay or our sauvignon blanc? Why?" This kind of question gets people thinking about your company and what it has to offer. It also might give them ideas about products they would be interested in trying.
What story would you like to share?
This question gets people thinking about the context in which they use your products and the stories that surround them and make them meaningful. People love telling stories about themselves, their lives and their families, and they also love reading the stories of others.
RELATED: 3 Tips for Getting in on the Social Media Game
Ask for stories that are specific to your brand. For example, a pet food company might ask, "How does your dog let you know he's hungry?" or "What's the strangest thing your cat does?" A writing prompt like this makes your Facebook site fun and approachable, while keeping your customers on your page.
What will be your next purchase?
People who have liked your page already know about your company, your brand and your products and services. And most likely, they have ideas about the things they want to buy next. This question gives them a chance to express that intent and formulate a plan. Make sure to word this question so that it's hip, fun and engaging—and doesn't come across as market research. A travel-related company might ask, "Where will you take your next vacation?" Questions like this let people dream out loud, and fostering daydreams is something that Facebook is particularly good at facilitating.
What are you reading, watching or listening to?
This might seem to be a question geared just for media companies—such as those producing books, movies or music. And it can be a great question for them, since their audience is in tune with their offerings. But it can be an equally effective question for all types of businesses–especially when it focuses on that business's key mission.
RELATED: 12 Tips for Engaging on Twitter
For example, an outdoor products company might ask, "What is your favorite outdoor adventure book?" Or a real estate firm might ask, "What real estate shows do you like watching on TV?" People active on Facebook are likely consuming a variety of media, and asking them to reflect on what they're consuming can be enjoyable for them, as well as prove insightful for you.
What would you like to see from our company?
This is a risky kind of question, since it opens up the possibility of negative responses from your customers—something that needs to be monitored carefully in an open social media space like Facebook. On the flip side, however, is the chance for your company to glean some truly valuable information from your Facebook page. A consultant might ask, for instance, "What kind of consulting services do you most need right now?" Wording the question that way gets people thinking honestly about what they need and what you can do for them. And the answers will be valuable as you shape your future business offerings.
Facebook is all about sharing thoughts, ideas and stories, and asking questions of your fans gives them a chance to do just that. With a little creativity, you can come up with daily questions that keep your page lively—and a place your fans will want to visit again and again.
Read more articles on social media.
Vivian Wagner is a freelance writer in New Concord, Ohio.