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Facebook for Business 101: Ask Questions


Increasing Your Facebook Fan Engagement

Your company could have a million fans on social media networks, but if your Facebook page is completely silent, your social media strategy isn't succeeding. Total number of Facebook likes is a vanity metric, and engagement is a much better indicator of your overall success. Inbound Marketing is about building relationships to discover what matters to your real customers, and asking the right questions is key to increasing your Facebook fan engagement.

Not just any question will get a great response from your Facebook fans. Questions that work for increasing your Facebook fan engagement fit a number of criteria:

1. They make your fans feel valued but not like they're part of a focus group. Asking people about their favorite summer recipes will get them talking. Asking people how many calories they tend to consume at a 4th of July barbeque is just too personal and data-driven. 

2. They're not offensive and won't start an argument. Few companies can get away with including religious or political questions, even in the heat of election season. No one wants to be stuck trying to objectively moderate a heated discussion in the comments, either. Ask questions that are engaging without being too heated. 

3. Open ended questions are always better than yes/no topics. If you want to know about your fans' favorite morning beverages, asking "What drink is your favorite way to start the day" will result in better dialogue than just asking "Coffee or tea?"

To find some real-life examples of companies who have hit the sweet spot of asking questions for increasing your Facebook fan engagement, we took a tour of some of the brands we connect with on social media:


Coffee giant Starbucks wins points for their clever question which is enhanced with the perfect image to stand out in a Facebook feed.

starbucks excels at facebook for business
At the time of writing, there were 195 shares and 366 comments on this question. People love talking about frozen desserts, and Starbucks brings attention to their grocery store ice cream line in the image.


Beauty product subscription delivery service Birchbox has gained a lot of attention for their engagement-focused social media strategy. Check out this example of increasing your Facebook fan engagement while simultaneously promoting blog content:

birchbox asks questions and promotes business blog

Birchbox quickly gained 70 comments and nearly 30 shares of the attractive image and attached blog content. While the question they asked has the potential to spark a hot debate about aesthetics, Birchbox is able to simultaneously promote blog content and gain insight into their fan's tastes. Asking your fans to weigh in on topics you're covering on the blog is key to increasing engagement and learning more about their priorities as buyers.


Retailer Macy's asked people to share their thoughts on their favorite pair of shoes. People love weighing in on favorite memories, so this question hit all the right notes. Check out the response it received:

macy's gets people talking

When using Facebook for business, asking your fans to share their memories is key to increasing your Facebook fan engagement. This question is also something that nearly every one of Macy's customers, regardless of budget, pain points or demographics can respond to. Asking questions that aren't too targeted towards any particular segments is best for increasing your Facebook fan engagement.


One of the best examples of questions for increasing your Facebook fan engagement I found was from marketing software Hubspot.

hubspot promotes and engages

Hubspot's question is really centered around promoting their highly relevant blog content. Their example is particularly good because it starts with a leading headline that catches the eye and engages the reader. 

It's Your Turn! What are some of your best questions for increasing Facebook fan engagement?





A big key to the success of a business, regardless of size, is the customer base's familiarity with the product. Facebook can be a powerful tool to achieve this. Facebook fan pages not only spark conversations and bring attention to certain products. Facebook Likes can generate buzz about a small business if people in one's friends network are checking into the place. Finally, Facebook is a great place for promotions and advertisements for the business.
Posted @ Monday, July 30, 2012 4:58 PM by Rees Curtis
You bring up an excellent point, Rees! I recently purchased a product because my sister had "liked" the brand on Facebook and her interaction showed up in my news feed. That is a real-life example of a new company generating buzz right there!
Posted @ Monday, July 30, 2012 5:34 PM by Jasmine Henry
Great Article. These examples and ideas are still pertinent today. Thank you.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 28, 2012 6:14 PM by Calli
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