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Using the New Facebook Questions for Fan Pages

Lisa Braziel.
By: Lisa Braziel  |   March 25, 2011  |   View Comments

After a year of "beta testing", a new version of Facebook questions rolled out yesterday.  Naturally, I had a ton of questions on how questions works and how brands may use questions on fan pages, which I'll uncover below.

How to Post a Question on Facebook?

Now fan pages have "Question" added for potential status updates. From here, the fan page can create a question and up to 10 poll options.

Before asking the question, fan page admins should take a moment to consider the small understated box that says "Allow anyone to add options".  Leaving this default box checked will allow anybody to add options to the question after the question is asked, which could be a moderation nightmare.

If this is left checked, the admin will have the ability to monitor and delete any offensive or off-topic options by selecting "edit options" on the poll itself (see screenshot below).  However, the question cannot be changed to restrict users from adding options after it is published with that setting.  Currently, the only way I see to reverse this default is to delete the question. So think before you ask the question.

What about Newsfeed Inclusions?

When a brand posts a question, it will show up on the fan page wall and fan newsfeeds like the following:

When a fan answers that question, this activity can show up in their friend's newsfeed in one of two ways (likely because Facebook is still testing). The first way it can appear is as an expanded poll:

The other way it is showing up within newsfeeds is a more concise version like the following:

How Else are Questions Promoted?

After a user has answered a question, a small notification will be updated within the "Recent Activity" portion of that user's wall.

If a user uses the "Ask Friends" call out to invite other friends to weigh in on the question, those friends will see a notification of the question in the following way:

And, if I am that friend that asks my friend a question, I am reminded with yet another notification when they answer.

Why Should Brands Care?

The virality of questions and the prominence Facebook is placing within newsfeeds and notifications should capture the attention of brands with fan pages.  Questions are a utility specifically built not just to facilitate a fan page to ask a question to a base of their fans, but for that question to go a network beyond, and further if possible. This is an exciting engagement opportunity for branded pages to utilize.

This said, brands should approach questions with some degree of caution.  Before developing a question, the brand must consider if the message is appropriate not just for their fans, but more importantly their fans friends. In my opinion, this makes Questions more fitting for light hearted engagement opportunities than for more serious brand questions like "What could we improve about our product?".

What do you think of the new and improved Questions?  Please share how you see brands using Questions in the comments below.


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Comments
  • Rcstern415

    So when will all Pages have this ability? Mine does not have it yet but my personal profile does.

  • http://flavors.me/_faith Faith Chihil

    I've started using it with my brand pages with limited success-- it'll be great when Facebook includes an option for poll to auto-expand/contract.

  • http://flavors.me/_faith Faith Chihil

    I've started using it with my brand pages with limited success-- it'll be great when Facebook includes an option for poll to auto-expand/contract.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2P7WRH76XCPPXQF2IQA7PZKXZY Spencer Tee

    I have found this to be nothing but the most annoying inane bit of crap Facebook has EVER implemented. I am certain it is not being used in any manner anywhere near their initial grandiose expectations. I have seen nothing but stupid annoying childish CRAP from this... I mean really.... coke or pepsi? do you sleep with your dog or cat?... come ON. This is just more ridiculous garbage they have foisted on it's members and the worst part is, they have LITERALLY FORCED it on us because they give us NO option to block or ignore it. It is so bad that I am ready to start removing people from my friends list for continuing to post it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2P7WRH76XCPPXQF2IQA7PZKXZY Spencer Tee

    I have found this to be nothing but the most annoying inane bit of crap Facebook has EVER implemented. I am certain it is not being used in any manner anywhere near their initial grandiose expectations. I have seen nothing but stupid annoying childish CRAP from this... I mean really.... coke or pepsi? do you sleep with your dog or cat?... come ON. This is just more ridiculous garbage they have foisted on it's members and the worst part is, they have LITERALLY FORCED it on us because they give us NO option to block or ignore it. It is so bad that I am ready to start removing people from my friends list for continuing to post it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2P7WRH76XCPPXQF2IQA7PZKXZY Spencer Tee

    It will be even greater when Facebook offers the option to BLOCK this garbage. I am not on Facebook to allow my friends more opportunity to spam me with commercial advertising or anything else of the sort. I routinely put commercial apps on ignore as they show up. Brands who think this is a great way to get some free advertising via WOM or whatever, should think again. I don't read it, I don't pass it along, and I don't like it showing up on my one good way of keeping up with my family and friends.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2P7WRH76XCPPXQF2IQA7PZKXZY Spencer Tee

    It will be even greater when Facebook offers the option to BLOCK this garbage. I am not on Facebook to allow my friends more opportunity to spam me with commercial advertising or anything else of the sort. I routinely put commercial apps on ignore as they show up. Brands who think this is a great way to get some free advertising via WOM or whatever, should think again. I don't read it, I don't pass it along, and I don't like it showing up on my one good way of keeping up with my family and friends.

  • Charlie

    Can i use it as an app on my fan page and if so, how do I install it on my fan page?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bogdanch Bogdan Ch

    Any idea why a question which was published "public" on a fan page wouldn't appear  in the fan newsfeeds?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bogdanch Bogdan Ch

    Any idea why a question which was published "public" on a fan page wouldn't appear  in the fan newsfeeds?

  • joe

    i have the same issue.  i can see from my page insights that questions have about half as many impressions as a normal posting.  i have some fans commenting that they see answers to questions (which are posted as an update) but never the original question.