Our Answers to Facebook’s Questions
I can almost hear my dad’s voice echoing in my head: “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off after them?” Did anyone really do that? Facebook did, recently plunging headlong into the world of user-generated Q&A activity to challenge popular sites such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers.
But the newest kid on the block, Facebook Questions, has pros and cons depending on your company and target audience. Here are a few:
Facebook Questions lets companies engage directly with their target audience – for example: user questions can be answered by Dominos’ branded page, not an internal PR person affiliated with Dominos. Brand consistency is paramount to a well-rounded B2B social media strategy – you want your target audience to be able to find you easily.
Answers to Facebook Questions are automatically posted to the user’s wall and included in their friends’ newsfeed. With two different ways for users to engage – voting for an existing answer or creating a new answer – a well-planned question has the ability to spread like wildfire.
Lack of Control
Companies want message control in their online media strategy, and while FB does provide a company with the ability to moderate their own page (see this great post from Jessica Carlson), Facebook Questions does not yet have a similar option. At this point, the current recourse is to remove the entire question, leaving your company with egg on its face.
Protecting Your Company
Would you trust medical advice given over FB? Probably not, but people who do act on the information can potentially create a legal nightmare for your company should something go wrong. However, Quora has recently moved to protect licensed legal and medical professionals who offer advice through its website. While FB currently does not have any type of legal protections like Quora, it is something to keep an eye on as Facebook Questions continues to grow.
Should You Make the Jump?
Ask yourself these three questions to make sure user generated Q&A platforms fit the goals of your social media strategy before jumping in:
- What does your company value more – the brand or the individual?
- Does the company have an established Facebook presence?
- What type of target audience are you trying to reaching using Q&As?
What other factors influence whether you should make the jump?
To reach Peter: