Facebook tip #413: Start with a question

Screen shot 2010-09-12 at 12.11.54 PM Everyone and their brother has built a Facebook Fan page or has a Facebook account.  And the ultimate goal is to get more LIKES and more interaction.  

It makes sense — no one is going to buy from you until they know who you are.

Sadly, most people approach this "new" media with the same methodology as they've used in traditional media.  I call it the "Let me tell you all about me" method.

Imagine being at a party (because social media is a lot like a cocktail party) and a stranger or someone you barely know walks up to you and says…

"Hi, aren't you glad to see me?  I'm quite fascinating, aren't I?  Let me tell you a little about me.  I graduated from college in 1994 and began an illustrious career as a physician.  And I must tell you, my bedside manner is the buzz around around the hospital."

When you see it illustrated like that — it's clearly insane.  And yet, pay attention to what shows up in your Facebook NewsFeed and watch the businesses and business people tell you all about themselves.  Yuck. (If you're grimacing right now, it's because YOU do this!)

On the flip side, watch a master communicator like Scott Ginsberg (the nametag guy) demonstrate the way to begin to build relationships.  You ask questions.  Scott is constantly posing relevant, off the wall, sometimes just plan odd questions.  And boy does he get participation.  

Why?  Because people will fall over themselves to talk about… themselves.  How do you make a sale?  Get people to talk about themselves.  

Are you seeing the connection?

If you want to build an active community that knows who you are and what you do — know who they are and what they do.  Learn all about them by asking questions.

What would be a talk-generating question you could ask your online audience today?

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6 comments on “Facebook tip #413: Start with a question

  1. Joe says:

    Good post. hadn’t really thought about FB in that way. But I’ve become a big fan of Scott G. and his name tag site.
    Yes, the best way to start the dialogue, is have the other person start it about themselves answering a question.

    Thanks again.

  2. “Play” works great for engagement, and it is ofter forgotten, instead of other tactics like promotions and contests.

    Here’s another one: Playing hangman!

    H _ _ _ A G _ _ _ T _ _ E E _ E _ D !

  3. Luke says:

    People love talking about themselves, what a valid point you make. It really is not that obvious until someone like you points it out. I’m also now going to be more careful with my facebook posts too!!

  4. Karen says:

    This definitely works. I manage several FB pages (the social games company I work for, the side bakeshop business I run on the weekends and the nonprofit that I do pro bono work for) and just yesterday was tired of looking at a page full of my own posts and very few from my fans.

    I asked a simple question about how people feel about eating blueberries out of season – for my baking business, clearly 🙂 – and the page came alive with people responding! One person even confessed to hating blueberries. I never would have known if I hadn’t asked.

    Thanks for reinforcing this happy experiment, Drew.

  5. Tracy says:

    There have been so many times that I’ve logged on to FB only to find multiple status updates from the same exact person over a very short period of time. There is absolutely nothing that I hate more than having to unwillingly know every single move that someone makes through Facebook. With that being said, I really like the point that this article makes: it’s not always about YOU. I think that if more companies take this little piece of advice to heart, they will see much more customer participation, which in turn could potentially lead to more customers.

  6. Good point, Drew. If you don’t ask a question, how does the other party know it’s their turn to talk?

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