Conventional wisdom says that if you want to encourage customers or fans to engage with you by leaving comments on your Facebook Page, you should ask questions that encourage discussion. It turns out that’s not always the best approach, according to a study by Momentus Media analyzing 10,000 Facebook status updates.

Ending updates with a question mark tended to result in lower engagement than ending updates with a non-question mark. The most effective method was actually directly soliciting a comment by saying something like, “Leave a comment and let us know what you think.”

Momentus Media also found that asking people to “like” a post generates more likes than simply publishing the post on its own. However, we’d take that with a grain of salt if we were you. Being human and approachable should be your first priority, and asking for a comment or like on every update may come across as robotic.

Whatever you do, make sure it fits the content and that it feels natural. The lesson we’re learning from this study is that phrasing every update as a question (as some social media and community managers do) is simply not the most effective way to connect with customers and fans.

[Source: Momentus Media, Image credit: Roger Price]