Years ago, I worked at a radio station that put on an annual event in the middle of the town mall. Account Execs hustled for months to get all of the booth space booked.
After the event, the team from the radio station asked the vendors for feedback. Almost everyone I encountered was enthusiastic and happy with the results. All except one: A clinic specializing in hair loss solutions.
Balding is embarrassing to talk about. It is not a subject that you want to discuss with a sales rep in the middle of your town mall, where you might run into your daughter’s soccer coach or your pastor.
A public event is not the best place for every business to be. And a public space is not the best place for every conversation to happen.
The same is true for certain posts on social media.
The other day, I saw this tweet from Money magazine:
Is it wise to publicly broadcast my salary tip(s) for everyone, including my boss and colleagues, and potential future employers to see?
It is awesome that Money magazine wants to engage with their audience and gain insight and wisdom from their followers for an upcoming issue. How cool would it be for your Twitter handle and name to appear in an upcoming issue?
This question got me thinking about engagement in general. If you are seeing low, or no, engagement on your posts, maybe you aren’t asking the right questions. Here are some questions to ask yourself before posing it to the crowd:
- Is it a question that someone would feel comfortable answering in a public space? I’m curious to know if Money magazine sees lower engagement on this post than for similar questions posed in the past.
- Does the question require a simple yes/no, or could you broaden the question so that you get a more in-depth response?Many times I ignore questions that could be answered with a single word, especially if a lot of other people have already responded. A yes-no question is better suited for a poll.
- What will they (the reader) get out of responding? Again, it is awesome how Money magazine tells their followers that they have a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue. That is a clear bonus. Additionally, people like to showing off their expertise, so even something as simple as asking an open-ended question could be a motivator. I have also seen contests for the most-active users or giveaways for the best responses. See below for a great example from Panda Express.
Of courses, there are other barriers involved in building engagement, but that’s a story for another time.
Just think about it before you post. If roles were reversed, would you be comfortable answering the question you are asking your audience?
Tell me, what makes you respond to questions asked on social media? Give us an example of something you responded to recently.