How to engage on Twitter: Questions & Requests
Another category of Tweets that are gold nuggets for engagement are: direct questions.
As we analyzed the behavior of many Sales Rep and Relationship Managers on Twitter, we are amazed that so few use “questions ” as opportunities to engage.
It’s however 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 for someone else like “My niece is looking for an internship in London, anyone can 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 engagements 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 dream come true opportunity. A prospect is asking for a resource, a professional and you /your firm probably have clients that matches the profile.
Why not killing 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 don’t 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 in your calendar to check in a few weeks how things end up unfolding.
2. Ask for help
Even affluents need help finding internships for their children, job opportunity for people they know, family, former employees …
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 business broadcast their job opportunities and they will notice if you help them spreading 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 in 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 the regulation prohibits you to do 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 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.
Hopefully you may have content in stock (from your brand….) but keep in mind that 1) you need to build credibility with the prospects and 2) your comment on Medium is here 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 answer them.
Many people also use Twitter to perform quick surveys on… about anything.
One click to answer, a split of a second. This won’t give you a client but participates in keeping you on the map.
Remember (Twitter 101) that every 5 tweets you should have a cat picture. Well, this counts as your cat picture of the day.