A little while ago I wrote about the question and answer service called Quora, but one of the biggest downfalls of that service was that it had yet to be adopted by mainstream web users. There was a large amount of folks from the tech community, and invariably you can get your questions answered there even if they're not tech-related, but ultimately not very many of your real-world friends have heard about it yet.
There's a pretty good chance your friends have heard of the social networking juggernaut Facebook, however. This past week Facebook released a new feature to users and business page owners called Facebook Questions. Although not identical to Quora in functionality, this is a huge opportunity for small businesses to reach out to current and prospect customers. Essentially Facebook Questions is a way to poll your audience - answer a question, set a list of potential answers, and then see who answered with what. Simple, right? But it's a great new way to engage with your audience and get information about their likes and dislikes.
The absolute best part about Facebook Questions is that, unlike Quora, everyday folks are already using it. In fact, I was late to the game with Facebook Questions - by the time I added it to my personal profile many of my friends were already asking and answering questions!
Getting Started With Facebook Questions
In order to actually start asking and answering questions you need to add it to your profile or business page. Head on over to the Questions page on Facebook and click the Get Questions Now button noted in the image above. This'll also unlock a quick little walkthrough that'll explain a bit about how Questions work. When you visit your business page, you'll now have a new tab in the main navigation labeled, you guessed it, Questions.
Click it to ask a question - it works just like posting anything else to your wall. If you want to add answer options click the Add Poll Options button. From here you can provide potential answers and set options like whether or not a fan can provide their own answer. When you're all set just click the Ask Question button and your question will be sent out to the masses.
If you want to keep track of the questions you asked you can use a separate link in the left-hand navigation of your page. Click it to see all of your Facebook Questions activity - you can see what questions you've already asked, who answered those questions and what their specific answer was. This is a great way to gain insight into what your customers or potential customers are thinking about and what they like. For instance, I just asked what our followers' favorite mobile device platform was - this would be huge if I were to develop a mobile application down the line. By asking, I'd know the most-popular platform that should be addressed first.
There are many other applications and questions to be asked in YOUR field. Think about it, if you were your customer, what sort of questions would you have? Better yet, if you could easily poll your client base on one specific subject, what would it be? Post it with Facebook Questions and start getting feedback right now!