#TipTuesday: Encouraging Quality Engagement

PiperWilson HLV Staff
edited February 7 in Talk Community #1

We pose and respond to queries in the belief that the magic of a conversation will produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Quality engagement from our members is the holy grail of community managers. Everything stems from that – ROI, sales, brand loyalty, ticket reduction, etc. When members are largely silent, asking questions is one way to get things moving. 

However, it's not just about asking questions; it's about asking the right ones. To get that magic flowing, open-ended questions are better for this than closed-ended questions. 

Closed-ended questions can be answered in one or two words. There is no opportunity to discuss the topic. You might ask a closed-ended question and get a lot of one-word responses. On paper, that looks good for metrics, but it doesn’t add quality to the community or bring members together toward a shared purpose. 

Open-ended questions, on the other hand, encourage deeper responses. They are designed to get the other person talking so that you can trade ideas, thoughts, or feelings; they usually start with one of the five W’s – who, when, what, where, or why.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions:

  • What is your favorite color and why? 
  • What do you need to have to achieve a goal? 
  • How do you feel about…? or… What do you think about...?
  • How do you measure…?

And here are a couple of questions for you. What do you think about open-ended questions? Can you tell me about a place or time when a closed-ended question is better? 


Image credit: Photo by Danilo D'Agostino on Unsplash