Social media is a game all about interactions:

What you’re saying – When you’re saying it – Who’s hearing it – and finally, who’s responding?

Any brand manager will stress the importance of taking the first steps to interact with your audience simply by asking a question. Now, it’s how this question is approached that’s tricky.

You can go with the simple approach:

How was everyone’s weekend?

This is sure to capture some responses. Fans want to interact with brand pages on a personal level. They are ready and willing to answer.

You can touch on slightly more detail:

Did anyone watch the Super Bowl?

Again, you are sure to get a few responses, maybe even a few opinions on the game’s result.

And finally, the most specific:

If you could take one electronic device on to a deserted island, what would it be?

This question’s responses can range from harmless to harmful. Let’s say you’re the brand manager for a local bakery. You ask this question and get a few responses that tally up to show that the iPhone 5 is the most popular electronic device in your area. But if you’re the brand manager of a major electronic device vendor, you might have a problem if those interactions are putting the competitor on top.

This just so happens to be the same exact question posted on Samsung Mobile USA’s Facebook page on September 6th. Almost 20 days later, users are still commenting, sharing and liking the photo; opening up “fans” and non fans of Samsung to see an overwhelming loyalty to the iPhone and Apple products, among other competitors. Only here and there by clicking “View previous comments” do you see the Samsung name sprinkled in as the go-to phone when in crisis, a.k.a. on a deserted island.

With the notion that any press is good press, did Samsung post this question knowing it might highlight the competition? Conventional wisdom says never ever bring attention to your competitor – are the rules the same on social media?

Are 46,576 likes, 2,445 shares and 19,097 comments, and counting, worth the publicity?

Tell us what you think.