Your Social Network Likes To Answer Questions

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago we looked at some of the largest Facebook pages to see how administrators are using them for their brands.

This week we developed some simple stats to see how the type of post affects engagement. We started with posts from each page that were at least 24 hours old and looked for the number of comments and the number of likes as indications of engagement. Finally we divided the total of comments and likes by the total number of members of the page to get an engagement percentage.

We also classified each post by type (question, promo, etc.). For this analysis we just compare engagement percentages for questions versus all other types of posts.

Is anybody surprised that engagement seems to be much higher for posts that ask the community to answer a question? Engagement rates were less than 1% for all of the posts we tested. Here are the engagement percentages for the ten pages we looked at…

  • .04% for non-question posts
  • .10% for question posts

Just for comparison purposes, we checked a page that we know gets good engagement –’s Facebook page at and find that they get .09% engagement from questions that they post quite frequently. Despite the low numbers, it looks like questions get about two times as much participation as other types of Facebook posts.

What is your page’s engagement percentage? Which types of questions get the best response?

Sentiment Analysis

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lots of engineers around me are talking about sentiment analysis. Most of the market researchers I know are more than skeptical about it. I can see the allure of some sort of magical box that will automatically make sense of all of these verbatim comments, but for me it doesn’t really matter. Just give me the handful of comments that resonate with most of the respondents and I’ll read them myself – sentiment and all. That is what is so exciting about some of CloudMR’s early testing of their proprietary algorithm. It doesn’t include fancy text analyzers or extra complexity. It quickly generates a score for each comment and sorts them. Interestingly the early models stratify the comments and group like ideas all together. Since I can easily see that grouping, the algorithm is clearly doing something right and producing the top ideas. It will be fun to see this implemented over the next few weeks. Jeffrey Henning has an interesting post about this same issue from last summer.

Half of Top-Ten Facebook Pages Ask Questions

February 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

We are looking at Facebook pages to see how leading brands use them. Initially, I looked at just the top 10 pages based on number of fans to see what they are doing. I got the list from Ignite Social Media‘s blog. The pages I looked at today…

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Coca Cola
  • Starbucks
  • Oreo
  • Disney
  • Red Bull
  • Skittles
  • MTV
  • Converse All Stars

This is not a scientific poll (yet), just reading the first page to see what Facebook administrators have done recently.

Not surprisingly, all ten of these pages include some sort of self promotion including offers and positive statements about the brand. Several do a pretty good job of including other useful information such as announcements (Facebook), clever and fun conversation (Starbucks, Oreo, Disney, Skittles, MTV, and Converse All Stars).

Five of the top ten involve their communities by asking questions. Only Facebook asked a question designed at really getting input (via a poll). YouTube, Coca Cola, Disney, Skittles and MTV asked a question in a conversational way, sometimes not even expecting a response.

Smaller brands are getting much more out of their Facebook communities by asking fans for feedback and input on their products and services similar to market research, but not as rigorous. Even the market researcher in me can recognize the value in learning about issues from my brand’s Facebook community for follow up among a representative sample by my research vendor or internal department.

More details as they emerge over the next few days…

Happy Friday!

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

There are lots of ways to engage with fans on your Facebook page besides talking about the weather. Lots of Facebook administrators ask about holidays, events (like the Super Bowl) and almost anything that is current. In this example, the Google Facebook administrator asked a question that lots of people ask on the way out the office door, “Any fun plans for the weekend?” Here are the results courtesy of CloudMR.

Asking Closed-Ended Questions on Facebook

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Closed-ended questions are surprisingly easy to post on Facebook.

Lowepro uses an informal style with the answers they expect listed after the question.

Mint has standardized its approach with the answer list presented up front followed by the question and many times accompanied by an interesting video or article carefully matched to the question.

What about “other specifys”? Facebook is a natural since respondents can enter any comment they like. No matter what you ask, questions posed on Facebook don’t look like traditional surveys at all – from a respondent perspective they are invisible.

Asking Open-Ended Questions on Facebook

January 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Facebook communities are ideal for gathering open-ended responses to posted questions. has an ongoing (and fun) conversation with members of their Facebook Community.

This activity drives further engagement among Mint fans and allows Mint to occasionally pitch a new feature without seeming like spammers.

TurboTax has a smaller, but very active Facebook community and used a fill-in-the-blank format for this question.

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