Facebook has rolled out a free new tool called Questions. Anyone—an individual user or a Page admin—can use the tool to ask a specific question or to create a poll with multiple options. To download the tool to your personal profile or Page, click here.

How Facebook Questions works

What’s different is that the Question does not act like a status update. When you post a status update (or share a link, photo or video), that update lives on your Wall.

A Question does not live on your Wall. Instead, it becomes a hyperlink that converts into a pop-up box when clicked. The hyperlink to the Question then appears on the Wall of every person that answered it. What’s more, anyone can answer a Question– even if they’re not friends with or fans of the Question’s creator.

So, let’s say you see a funny Question that your Facebook friend just answered. You can simply click on the link to the same Question and answer it yourself. The hyperlink to the Question will then appear on your own wall. Now all of your friends can see it and, if interested, they can also answer it.

How Facebook Questions will help your business

For a business, Facebook Questions can have a huge impact on your Page. Why? Because if you asks the right Question, the Question can quickly spread beyond your Page’s own fans.

What’s more, Facebook Questions gives your business the chance to test ideas and to learn directly from your customers via Facebook.

Mashable.com has an excellent analysis, “Why Facebook’s New Questions Tool Is Good For Brands & Business.” For the post, Mashable talked with communications strategist Ben Grossman, who offered several ways businesses can take advantage of Questions. His ideas included:

  • Ice cream parlors can find out what the flavor of the week should be.
  • A gym can find out what time is best for its new hip-hop yoga class.
  • Radio stations can determine the hottest concerts for the summer.
  • Manufacturers can do a pulse check on fans’ holiday shopping plans.

“The best part about this is that it’s in a trusting, social and real-time setting,” Grossman told Mashable. ‘The opportunity to gain instant feedback from a brand’s biggest fans is amazing.'”

How to post a Facebook Question to your Page


435 Digital’s tips for asking a Question on your Facebook Page

1. Be sure to include your business’ name in your actual Question. Because a Facebook Question is a hyperlink, you absolutely want your business’ name to appear in the hyperlink. Every time that hyperlink shows up on a user’s profile, so will your business’ name.

2. Post your Question when your Fans are most likely to be on Facebook. The best time is between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. when people are commuting and just settling in at work. You could also consider posting a Question when people are at home in the evening, ideally between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. That Question might be more “fun” and something they’d likely forward to friends.

3. Ask a mix of Questions. Your Questions shouldn’t all be about your own Business. That gets boring and can quickly seem like spam. Instead, ask a mix of questions–a few that are related to your field, a few about your specific business, and perhaps a few water cooler topics.

4. Don’t over-ask. I suspect a lot of users and brands will be asking Questions in the weeks ahead.  Go slow to start. Ask a couple of questions a week. If your response is high, ask a third question per week.  The goal, of course, is to keep people engaged without seeming like a spammer.

Questions?  Feedback? We’d love to hear it–either in the comments below or on Twitter via @435Digital.