Photo by Macarena C.
If I had to list my top 10 ways that I’ve grown my own Twitter network – somewhere towards the top of that list I would share this simple – yet powerful tip.
The act of consistently asking quality questions on Twitter can have a massive impact upon your network. Here’s 6 reasons why questions are so powerful:
1. Questions Signal to Followers that you are Interested
So many people use Twitter purely to ’shout’ at their followers. They rarely make space for people to interact. Questions send a signal to your followers (and potential followers) that you’re not just on Twitter to have a monologue – but that you’re interested in dialogue and conversation.
2. Questions Prompt Conversation
I find Twitter to be most effective when conversations evolve on it. One of the best ways to ‘get people talking’ is to ask them a question – particularly if it’s about themselves and their experience.
3. Questions Stimulate @Replies
When you ask a question and someone replies to you publicly not only you see their answer – but so do all of their followers. This can stimulate their followers to check you out. If people who are yet to follow you see others who they respect interacting with you and having good conversation there’s a good chance they’ll want to be a part of that interaction too.
4. Questions Draw ‘Lurkers’ into Active Engagement
Have you ever looked at the number of people following you and wondered why you only ever hear from a small percentage of them? Some are likely to be just lurking – watching you but not actively responding. This may be because they’re not sure what to say, they might be intimidated, they may not know how to engage you etc. Asking a simple question is a great way to draw people into their first @reply to you. Once they do – they’re more likely to do a 2nd and a 3rd…
5. Questions (and their Answers) Teach You
One of the reasons I love Twitter so much is that it’s teaching me so much. Asking your followers questions not only about themselves but about things you don’t know can be a rewarding experience. Next time you need to know something – don’t Google it – start by Tweeting your question.
6. Questions give you Insight into who is Following you and what their Needs are
Effective Twitter users are in touch with the needs of their followers. They know what kind of information their followers want, they know their needs and problems, they know what gets them excited… etc. One of the best ways to find out this information is simply to ask a question. Over a few weeks find out as much as you can about your followers – in doing so you’ll find you can be a lot more useful in your use of Twitter.
Now that we’ve covered some of the WHY on the topic of Questions on Twitter – tomorrow on TwiTip I want to explore some of the HOW to ask questions effectively. Make sure you’re tuned into the TwiTip RSS feed to catch the next post in this mini-series.