How to engage on Twitter: Questions & Requests
This article will show you how to engage on one specific tweet category called ‘Questions and Requests’.
It is part of our series of 8 articles ‘how to engage on twitter’ covering the following 8 categories of tweets: Opinion, Emotion, Authored Content, List, Local News, Endorsement, Question & Request, Event.
As we analyze the behavior of Sales Reps and Relationship Managers on Twitter, we are amazed that so few use “questions” as opportunities to engage.
It is however actually that simple: “if someone asks a question, he/she is expecting people to answer and engage in a dialog”.
So, most questions from prospects should be viewed as opportunities for a discussion…. much better than a cold call or a “template email“.
Here are different types of great questions that we frequently spot (ranked by the strength of the opportunity for engagement):
- Direct request/ask for resources: “Do you know of an expert in xyz?”
- Ask for help on behalf of someone else: “My niece is looking for an internship in London, can anyone help?”
- Job posting
- Business questions
- Personal & Casual questions
There are also questions where one should never engage in public :
- Technical questions – If you don’t know about the topic, refrain from answering
- Political questions – Keep in mind your answer will be public
- Financial questions (in regulated industries), like “Should I buy this stock?”
For the last two, you can do a two step engagement or a DM if you already know the author very well.
Here are the tactics to use to engage on the various Tweet questions, using examples:
1. Ask for resources:
This is a dream come true opportunity. A prospect is asking for a resource, a professional, and you/your firm probably have clients that match the profile.
Why not kill two birds with one stone and make the introduction? This way you’ll make an existing client happy while solving a prospect problem.
You should do this carefully though. Never forget that Twitter is public and the people you do not refer will (may) also see the conversation. These might be clients too!
Here is how you should proceed:
- First you should reply: “I know people that can help, do the job/project … , follow me and I’ll DM you their contact details”
- Look up in your CRM for prospective candidates
- DM the contacts to your prospect
Also, put a reminder on your calendar to check in a few weeks to see how things ended up unfolding.
2. Ask for help
Even affluents need help finding internships for their children, job opportunities for people they know, family, former employees, etc..
If the prospect is key and you can hire his/her child or make an introduction to someone who can, you’re clearly scoring points and getting closer to a deal.
If you can’t, you may still know someone who can.
3. Job posting
Employment/Recruitment is one of the key reason people network (see the success of LinkedIn).
Most small businesses broadcast their job opportunities and they will notice if you help them spread the word.
You should definitely retweet and show that you’re here to help.
There is a chance that – thanks to you- one of your follower will see the Tweet and jump into the conversation. So:
- Broadcast the request to your Network, RT and Like or do a quoted Tweet (you want to prospect to notice you are helping him/her)
- If you know specific people who would be a fit. Reply that you can help and make the intro in private.
3. Business questions
You should answer business questions (unless regulations prohibit you from doing so).
Your answers build up your credibility and also help you start a consultative dialog with the prospect.
This is critical to make you the go-to person in the niche you target for your domain of expertise.
I get that this is not an easy one, but let’s say you’re a financial professional helping startups. This is a great opportunity to have a solid dialog.
This takes time. These are the Tweets you should spend the most time on. You should take all the time you need and provide a deep and knowledgeable answer.
In the example, a click on the picture takes you to a Medium.com article.
Our recommendation is that you comment on Medium, then RT and Like the Tweet and also reply to the author asking for feedback on your Medium comment.
Ideally you may have content on hand (from your brand….) but keep in mind that 1.) you need to build credibility with the prospects and 2.) your comment on Medium is out there to see by any of the target’s friends, including *our best friend*: Google.
4. Personal questions & Surveys
People use Twitter to get feedback / answers on a wide range of questions:
Most of the time, the questions are so generic that whatever industry you’re in, you can still answer them.
Many people also use Twitter to perform quick surveys on just about anything.
One click to answer takes just a second of your time. This won’t give you a client, but it keeps you on their radar.
Remember, Twitter 101, that every 5 tweets you should have a cat picture. Well, this counts as your cat picture of the day.