How to earn tweet-cred with questions

By June 10, 2011Social Media, Suggestions

“How can I get more followers on Twitter?” This is a question nearly all brands’ social media managers ask themselves everyday.

It’s a tough question, especially for less well-known brands. People are generally interested in using twitter to keep up with their friends and people who provide relevant information. So what interest would they have in following your brand?

Using Questions

I came across this interesting infographic from the good people at indexQ recently. It focused on the role of questions and answers in twitter.

It has some interesting information about what types of questions people are asking and who’s answering (if anyone). The part that stood out to me, though, was at the very bottom.

The lower 3rd or so of the infographic focuses on business’s answering questions. Here’s a quick overview of how the average twitter user views answers from businesses:

  • 80% trust an answer from a business just as much or more than an answer from one of their followers.
  • About 58% of twitter users are open to receiving answers from businesses
  • 59% of twitter users are more likely to follow after a brand responds to their question
  • 64% of Twitter users are more likely to make a purchase when a brand responds to their question

Basically, answering users’ questions on twitter is a fast way to get a high ROI from social media.

Where are the questions?

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that answering questions can benefit your social media strategy. So where do you find those questions?

One approach is to passively wait until people direct questions your way. It’s certainly good to keep an eye out for those questions, but its not the fastest way to get in the conversation. The truth is, people are asking questions, but not all of them have an intended audience. Its up to you to find those questions that you can answer.

Easier said than done, right? Luckily, there are several tools out there to help you find Twitter questions.

1. Twitter:

Twitter has a helpful search bar at the top of the screen. This is a great way to see what people are saying about a certain word or phrase. But, it can also be a great tool for finding questions. Simply type in a key word or phrase that you think pertains to your brand, follow it with a comma, and type in a question mark.

This will bring up all of the recent tweets with that word or phrase and a question mark. Of course, not all of them will actually be questions, and of the ones that are questions, not all will pertain to your brand. Still, this is a quick to scan for questions you might be able to answer.

2. InboxQ:

That’s right, InboxQ, the same great people that brought us the infographic has an awesome tool for tracking questions on Twitter. Like Twitter, InboxQ tracks tweets with designated keywords or phrases. Unlike Twitter, though, it can track several words or phrases at a time, throw out tweets that look irrelevant, and notify you when a question is posted. Essentially, it takes the grunt work out of finding questions.

These are just a couple ways to find questions on Twitter. So now I have a question for you: How are you finding and answering questions on Twitter? Let us know!

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