If you happen to be on Facebook, like the millions of other people, you may have noticed a little something different coming through your news feed as of March 24, 2011. This new line item is the brand spanking new Facebook Questions, and it is taking off like wildfire. So what is this and how does it affect your daily farming chores in Farmville?
In short, Facebook Questions are small surveys that are restrained to simple multiple choice questions. A very popular example of this is the “What do you like more: Coke or Pepsi” question that thousands of people have participated in already. Any individual or page can start these types of questions, and then let the magic of social networking take over from there. It is simple, yet there is more to this than meets the eye.
For starters, a well thought out question taps into the power of crowd-sourcing. What I mean is a popular question, like the one above, runs rampant on Facebook due to mechanics of how these little queries spread. Let’s say you have 50 friends. One person answers the poll with Pepsi, but when they do, it posts a status update with the poll and their answer. Now you see this poll, you click your favorite, and now your 50 friends see this. If the poll is interesting enough, your friends answer the same question and the process repeats. Thus, you have just tapped into millions of people’s opinions with one short and sweet multiple choice question.
This brings up yet another point, the short and sweet aspect of how all this works. Let’s face it, there are going to be polls that stream across your news feed that you will eventually click on to provide your answer. However, that is it. These polls are not all up in your face, stopping you from getting to your games or checking on friends. You can discuss these polls further if you like by commenting on them, but it is not necessary. It may take you all of two seconds to voice your opinion, yet you just contributed in a big way.
Finally, this feature is already making waves with fan pages and companies. Big companies like Microsoft and Sony can now, and do, run polls on their brands. This is risky business, but it can go a long way to increasing brand recognition, along with adding in a bit of free advertising. This also adds a tool for fan pages to interact with your fans, clients, and potential users. There is real power here for those willing to tap into it.
There is a downside to these little polls, and that is the fact that they are currently not getting indexed by search engines. So if you are looking to use these to boost SEO, you will need to stick to companies like Quora to do this. However, just like a tool bag contains an abundance of tools to get jobs done, these polls should not be overlooked when you are developing and honing your social media presence.
We have only had the pleasure to see how this new Q&A feature works for a few days now. So far it is becoming extremely popular with more users tapping into it everyday. If you have yet to check out this feature, you should do so soon!