When you post questions on Instagram, you open up the door to more engagement, which leads to more people seeing your posts.
One of the best reasons to use questions on Instagram? They are one of the most underutilized types of posts. Most businesses treat Instagram like a photo journal, instead of an opportunity to engage with their followers. You can stand apart by connecting with your audience through your posts.
Ready to get started? Here are some questions you can ask. Each of these examples is just a beginning– get creative and transform these into dozens more questions to post on Instagram!
1. What Are You Working On?
In real life, this is a standard ice-breaker question. Yet, we rarely think to ask it online. One of the primary reasons that social media even exists is because people, in general, like to share their lives. When you ask questions that give an opportunity for them to open up, you start the conversation.
These types of questions can be asked in a lot of ways. For example:
- Remodeling or crafting related business. What project are you creating right now?
- Life or business coach. What is your biggest goal right now?
- Theatre. What movie are you excited to see next?
- Restaurant. When is your next date night?
You will notice that all of these questions have a time-related word, such as “now” or “next.” This helps prompt a response. The questions are also limited in scope and easy to answer. They are customized to the type of business asking them and related to something that their ideal customer deeply cares about.
Ask yourself what types of things your ideal client is doing right now that they’d like to share and ask them about it! Then they don’t feel like they have to do an awkward humble brag instead, because you brought it up in the first place.
2. How Do You Use Our Product?
Another question to post on Instagram is about how your audience uses your product. This is a two for one win for you, because not only do you engage with your ideal client, but you gain some useful information in the process. You can use what you learn to make better products and services.
But simply asking “How do you use our product?” is boring, and will quickly become repetitive.
Think like a reporter: Who, What, When, Why, and Where. Here are some examples:
- Who is your favorite person to use/share (product or service) with? Tag them!
- Who first told you about (product or service)?
- What are your favorite recipes to make with our (food or beverage product)?
- When was the last time you had a (product or service)?
- What is your favorite thing about (product or service)?
- What is your favorite (complementary product or service) to have with (product or service)?
- When is your favorite time to use (product or service)?
- Why did you first start using (product or service)?
- Where do you usually use (product or service)?
- What is the most unexpected place (product or service) has come in handy?
- Where are you enjoying (product or service)? Send us a picture!
Once you start thinking this way, you’ll be able to come up with lots of questions.
Sometimes, when you post a question on Instagram, follow up with a call to action such as tagging a friend. Don’t do this too often, but it’s good to add from time to time.
3. What Makes You Inspired?
There’s a reason that inspirational memes and quotes float around on a daily basis. People want to feel good. We crave inspiration.
The next time you post an inspirational quote or picture though, don’t leave it there. Add a question. Which question works best depends somewhat on the picture, but here are some ideas as a starting point:
- What would you do if you could not fail?
- Who is the most important person in your life?
- Who is your hero?
- What are you doing to change the world?
- How are you shining your light today?
Give people an opportunity to join in the goodness, without asking something that is too personal or revealing, and you will see lots of replies on your Instagram feed.
4. What Is Your Favorite?
Think about the last time someone made an effort to remember something that was important to you– a favorite food, or band, or coffee order. How did it make you feel?
There are almost limitless ways to use this question such as:
- Seasonal. What is your Christmas carol, Thanksgiving dish, or summer activity?
- Evergreen. What is your favorite band, movie, celebrity?
- Product-related. What is your favorite of our products/services?
- Related to someone they love. What is your kids’, spouse, best friends’ favorite X?
- Location-specific. What is your favorite restaurant, park to play in, beach to swim at?
- Date oriented. What is your favorite way to wake up in the morning, face a Monday, or celebrate a Friday afternoon?
- Activity related. What is your favorite hobby, type of sport, sports team?
The list goes on. Use a good mix of questions that are related to your product or service or of interest to your target audience and watch your engagement go up.
5. Which One Do You Like?
My kids are obsessed with playing “would you rather.” They love discussing the finer points of whether they would rather only eat pizza or eat ice cream for the rest of their lives. But what they are showing is how much we want to be understood. This type of question triggers a different feeling and response than just asking “what’s your favorite X?”
Not everyone will have a favorite sports team (me for example). But if you give them two options and ask them to choose either or, almost everyone will have an opinion. It triggers an instant response because it’s a straightforward question.
Some companies use this in the product development phase to decide which products to invest in making in the first place. But you can go in a lot of different directions with this:
- Product or service questions. Do you prefer X or Y?
- General preference questions. Are you a coffee drinker or a tea drinker?
- Aesthetic questions. Which of these dresses should I wear to my big event?
Start paying attention to the types of situations you ask someone in real life an either or question, and then see how you can apply this online.
6. Did You Know?
Social media is used for a lot of things– to inspire, to connect, to sell. It’s also used to educate. Don’t forget about this when you are thinking of questions to post on Instagram.
No matter what type of business you’re in, you have opportunities to share valuable information. Here are some ideas:
- Best practices for your area of expertise.
- Definitions of important industry lingo your clients should know.
- Tricks for being more successful in any area– for example, a crafter could show the best way to thread a needle.
- Facts about the process or origins of your products or services.
- Answers to commonly asked questions.
You want to provide enough information to create an “ah-ha” moment for your audience. This builds trust, and helps them know that you are a valuable resource on the topic you are an expert in.
Well, that is one side of a “Did You Know…” question. You don’t have to be serious all the time. This is a fun format to share a joke, or humorous meme– just make sure that you really know your audience and don’t cross a line. If you are unsure, or work in an agency setting, make sure that you have a clearly defined social media policy.
7. Who Are You?
This is the least defined of the question types but can be incredibly valuable when you do it right. These types of questions are not surface level– they get down to what we deeply care about and who we identify as.
Think about self-identifying statements such as:
- coffee drinker
- Tiger’s fan
What questions can you ask that let your audience show off their cred as in the example above or give them an opportunity to share something they love? If anyone asks a question about Wonder Woman, Star Trek, or Mr. Rogers, I’ll definitely answer it.
Obviously, for some lucky people, your fans are obsessed with your product or service directly (Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.). Even if you don’t tap into that level of fandom, you can still bring out people’s inner geek with well-focused questions.
For example, a coffee shop might ask a question about “what kind of coffee drinker are you?” and include pictures of various roasts and blends. A bookstore could also use a coffee picture but change up the question to be “what is your book reading coffee strength?”
Get creative with this one. Start by asking how your ideal customer or client would describe themselves to others, and discover the points of connection.
Don’t Forget the Hashtags!
Whatever questions you use, don’t forget that on Instagram having a quality picture and relevant hashtags are crucial to success. A great question without both of these things will still be mostly ignored.
What about you? What was the best question you ever asked on Instagram, and what kind of response did it get?