Ask open-ended, opinion-based questions about users' opinions on current events and trending topics. Do your best to provide questions that are thought-provoking and drive the user to not only vote but also comment.
Sample question types:
Ask questions related to what’s going on in the world - upcoming sporting events, new seasons starting, current events are all great conversation starters.
Get to Know You Questions
Ask readers questions about themselves! They will be happy to share and you will gain valuable audience insights.
If you're a publisher, create questions based on recent content posted. Questions based on articles add context, creating more informed engagement. Use defenses to link back to original submission.
- Should #fracking be banned? Yes vs. No
- Should corporate donations to political campaigns be more restricted? Definitely vs. Leave It Be
- Will the United States Men’s Soccer Team win the World Cup? Yes vs. No
- Is the end near for ISIS in Syria? Yes vs. No
- Is the #Tesla stock price too high? Absolutely vs. Not a Chance
- Will the market close up or down on Friday? Up vs. Down
Would you rather?
- What team nickname do you prefer: Huskers or Cornhuskers? Huskers vs. Cornhuskers
- Which would you rather see fixed first? Immigration vs. Health Care
Have some fun!
Every question doesn’t have to be oh so serious. Ask something goofy or quirky, allowing your readers to channel their inner creativity on topics they don’t normally think about.
- Who do you think is a better cook? Charles Barkley vs. Shaquille O’Neal
- Who would you rather have as a roommate? R2D2 vs. Chewbacca
Keep it positive
SquareOffs is not meant to facilitate flamewars. It is meant for social polling and healthy discourse. Feel free to structure questions in a manner that promote a positive or constructive angle. Example -
- "Which quality are you most looking forward to ... ?
- "What's your favorite part about ... ?"
Spice it up once in a while — change a simple “Yes vs. No” to “Absolutely! vs. No way!”
If your choices are a little vague, or your SquareOff is on a topic so new that your audience may not know much about it, you may want to add some background information, like relevant statistics, to help your users make their decisions.
For “evergreen” topics, those that will be relevant for quite a while, set the duration as long as possible or, better yet, don't set an end date at all. You may see votes on these SquareOffs years later. These topics are popular in the lifestyle category. They also tend to be great for SEO (search engine optimization).
For prediction SquareOffs, which are popular in the sports category, keep in mind that it will not make sense to have a SquareOff run past the date of the event being discussed.
Include relevant images whenever possible. Add images to each side to grab the user’s attention and add a visual element. Add a cover image, which will also be displayed as the thumbnail for the SquareOff in feeds. Be sure not to infringe on copyright law, and cite your image source when appropriate. The image file size must be less than 5 MB.
Other Publisher & Brand Use Cases
Use SquareOffs for A/B testing and lead generation:
- Would you like to see more posts about SEO or Social Media?
- Do you like this product vs. that product?
- Do you like this book title vs. that book title?
- Do you use the 5 keys to successful marketing?
- Does your company struggle with executing social media?
- Do you see your company using this method of marketing?
Get into a routine
Your readers will begin to expect and look forward to SquareOffs. Create a routine such as:
- Adding one SquareOffs article per day or week
- Adding one SquareOff inline in an article per day or per post
What can I do with the SquareOffs I've created?
Use these best practices to take your engagement to the next level. Let us know if you have any questions or if you have other best practices you think we should add!