Stop Asking Stupid Social Media Questions!

Stop Asking Stupid Social Media Questions!

We’re often told that there are no stupid questions. In general, I agree. Sadly though, when it comes to those grasping to wrangle every possible bit of reach and engagement possible, I’m forced to beg to differ.

Please, if you truly want to do what’s right by your audience and by your business, STOP asking ridiculously inept and inarticulate social media questions in a cheap bid to get the easy answer in order to up your numbers and make it look like you’re the king or queen of engagement.

Dare I Share A Stupid Social Media Question?

You bet your sweet bippy I’m going to share several that I’ve seen shamelessly slathered across my various social media feeds.

1. What’s the best social media platform for a beginner just starting out?

Of course this was followed with the expected list of various social platforms. The problem? There’s no context to the question.

What’s the beginner after? Is the beginner going to post as him/herself or as a brand/business? If for a brand, what does that brand do/sell and what types of buyers is the brand looking to reach?

Is the beginner a writer, well versed in the well-used word? Or is the beginner a more visual person, capable of creating and sharing vibrant thoughts and concepts through graphics and photos?

There’s no correct answer to the question posted above. Without the proper context and background information any response is solely based on the preference of those providing the answer. The context is necessary to even begin to come up with an answer that will work to build brand recognition, help create an audience and stay true to the intent and purpose of the brand’s message.

Please, May I Have Some More?

2. What are you using to read this post?

This one seems to crop up at least once a week. I follow a lot of social media marketers. Most of the time, that’s a good thing, as I get to read some great articles and take part in some smart and savvy discussion. It’s not so great, however, when these “gems” get posted in the name of increasing reach and engagement.

Rarely, dare I say never, is the answer to this lamentably lame question ever actually tallied or totaled and presented in a white paper or research article. It’s simply asked in a bid to get a quick answer.

An answer that does little to:

  1. educate/entertain your audience
  2. showcase your expertise
  3. alleviate pain points
  4. create a call to action
  5. lead the way to your sales funnel

Any answer to this question is simply that, an answer. Tick the check box for one comment on your post. Woo hoo, don’t you feel successful? Of course you don’t!

Pointless Doesn’t Pay The Bills!

Trust me, I get the idea behind asking a simple question in a bid to bolster conversation when your reach and engagement rates plummet after an algorithm change.

But simple questions can still stay true to your brand message, your carefully crafted persona, your business intent and purpose.

But, but, but … you ask silly random questions to the guests on your podcast! This is true, but I’ll explain how it’s different.

Those random questions are asked of a single person, our interviewee, to round out our show on a fun note. They’re not a bid to rev up our reach. If you’re listening to the podcast, you’re doing so because you’re interested in what the guest and/or the two hosts have to say.

Now, if on the podcast Facebook page, you saw this:

3. Chocolate or Vanilla?

That right there? Stupid question. A bid for easy engagement. In no way does knowing which of the two flavors you prefer benefit a business. Nor does it benefit your audience.

Will the answers to that question help you with a future article or upcoming product launch? Not unless you’re a baker, ice cream maker or own a candy counter.

Create Engagement That Continues To Create!

You can ask seemingly simple, fun and easy to answer questions that benefit your brand and your audience.

If, for example, I ask my social media audience about their current favorite bands, I am looking for answers that might prompt a future Music & Marketing article.

I could also ask, if one were forced to choose between two TERRIBLE social media titles, diva or guru, which would be chosen and why. And guess what? An article about taking care with titles is born! The answers nurture the topic and allow me to engage in purposeful conversation with my audience. Even while we’re all having a bit of fun.

There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun on Fridays, or keeping things simple on a slow Saturday or Sunday. But when you use the stupid question tactic too often, you’re setting yourself on a dangerous path.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you chase reach, rather than relevance, you’ll lose audience seeking authenticity.” quote=”When you chase reach, rather than relevance, you’ll eventually lose audience that’s looking for authenticity, awareness, education AND entertainment.”]

It’s certainly not easy, but the best brands strike a balance. You can, too.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Send the stupid questions to File 13 and create conversation that converts!” quote=”Send the stupid questions straight into File 13 and start conversations that will help you continue to create engaging content.” theme=”style1″]

And, in case you care, I’m a vanilla kind of girl.

 

 

4 replies
  1. Cendrine Marrouat
    Cendrine Marrouat says:

    Mallie, that was a refreshing article, thank you!

    Reading it reminds me of one social media marketer I used to follow and who often asked irrelevant questions on their page to get engagement.

    I think some people ask because they genuinely don’t know. Others do because they want you to elaborate. And it becomes a “pick-your-brain” session without them directly asking for it.

    So yes, context is key. If you want a good answer, you have to provide enough context to allow us to help you.

    Reply
  2. Mallie Hart
    Mallie Hart says:

    Thanks, Cendrine.

    I tend to see if as a cop out, when it starts happening too often. There are questions you can ask that will both increase engagement and benefit your audience down the road. There’s, to me, a big difference in trying to get to know your audience and chasing reach.

    Reply
  3. Nick Armstrong
    Nick Armstrong says:

    It’s amazing to me that so many small business owners bend over backwards to play 20 questions about ROI (return on investment) when it comes to social media but balk when it comes to paying for quality content and engagement.

    What’s really sad, though – is most of these folks have gotten burned by some huckster into being newly overly cautious and unwilling to pay for the legitimate good stuff because it’s damn-near impossible for a layperson to know the difference between the two.

    Reply
    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I especially hate seeing it when these questions are posed by supposed social media “pros.” It’s so obviously pandering for reach and engagement.

      Reply

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