How to Ask Questions on Social Media

  1. KarenRussell offered – “repeat it several times throughout the day to get different time zones”
  2. jpostman suggests – “I like to use hashtags and twemes to gather and display responses on my blog when I ask Twitter questions”
  3. incslinger advises – “Ask the question but also ask members of your Twitter circle to retweet it so it gets more exposure”
  4. wolfcat suggested – “make sure the answer can be done it a single tweet :-) ”
  5. reedracer offered – “I notice Scoble posts a link to the convo. Another trick is to retweet some answers”
  6. Bradinator wrote – “offer a cash prize to winning answer.”
  7. tonyadam suggests – “asking questions at the right times…i’ve tested this ;) …its similar to publishing blog posts during “prime times” ;) ”
  8. BJ wrote – “Don’t be afraid to repost your own questions” – Sometimes there is so much noise, you need to build a taller signal ;) ”
  9. mcawilliams wrote – “I have set a time that I do it but then again its for fun at 6pm GMT on tuesday and Thursday. People have now got used to it!” – he followed it up with – “I call it tuesday/thursday twitter question time, ttqt for short, and its amazing the response that people give, a break away!”
  10. JohnChowDotCom advises – “I get tons of replies to my Twitter question if I say that I’ll post their answers on my blog. :) ”
  11. styletime suggested – “Dont be pissed off in no-one answers you but retweet it a couple of times in a day!”
  12. simontsmall wrote – “giving options in answer’s helps, and adding some controversy or spice gets more passionate answers & debate”
  13. JoshAnstey tweeted – “I find if you start it with: QUESTION: it gets more attention and people respond”
  14. CraneFactory offered – “make it easy (ie a poll) so they don’t need to write out long answers, or offer enticements (ie a prize draw) to get answers”
  15. misosouper suggests – “Give and you shall receive: the more questions you answer (the more helpful the better), the more likely you get answers back.”
  16. BtotheEtotheN wrote – “I think it has to do w/ asking questions and then twittering back about the answer or where we can find the research and results”
  17. diablogue_chat wrote – “Timing of Twuestions counts. Lead up to question helps. And asking for help never hurts.”
  18. scottbird suggested – “consistency. If people are used to answering your questions, they’ll expect them and look for them.”
  19. cyberpunkdreams tweeted – “I ask questions that are direct and succinct, to get a focused answer that can be written in the twitter limit. Nothing fluffy!”
  20. YuliZ offered – “one great trick is asking your tweeps to finish the sentence, example: “I’m still twittering at 2am because…”

Asking questions of your followers is one of the best ways to engage them, and the question mark is something of the unofficial Twitter tool. Here are a few types of questions that work well on Twitter.

  • The Feelings Question:

The feelings question is a question about, you guessed it, your feelings. Why do you support Palin? Do “good” moms use formula? Is is OK to have help? Get someone to think for a moment and express everything that is genuine to them. They’re sure to remember you for it;)

  • The Numbers Question:

It’s the guessing game on steroids. How many tons does a car weigh? What year did Hawaii become a US state? How many eggs are in a dozen? (Okay, maybe not that one.) People love showing their (trivia and sometimes trivial) knowledge. Give them a platform to do so. They just might learn something along the way.

  • The Opinion Question:

Is the death penalty wrong? Why is MSG still allowed in some countries? Is poverty tourism ever useful? Controversial questions that push a follower to think, and defend, their positions is a great way to get people to respond to you. Furthermore, getting a follower animated increase the likelihood they will want to spread your message (and their opinion).

  • The Yes/No Question:
The Yes/No question may be passe offline, but on Twitter it is an extremely effective way of getting immediate (if boring) responses. When all a follower has to do is respond with two or three letters (or even one, as “Y” or “N” also works!), you’re likely to engage. How engaged a follower is with such a quick question, though, is a different matter.