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How to ask a question on Twitter that gets answered

Twitter is a great place for instant interaction and engagement. Have a question that needs to be answered immediately? Twitter is the right place to ask that question, provided right people follow you and use the right format.

The way you post your question on Twitter can totally change the dynamics of how people respond to it. The timeline over there moves really fast. You update your timeline and 100 messages will scroll down in microseconds if you are following 100s of people. So how do you make sure people not only see your question but also give you an answer, if they have it?

  • Use a shorter question: As it is you can only use 140 characters on Twitter. Make your question as short as possible. It will also help in case people want to retweet your question if they think somebody else might have an answer if they don’t.
  • Use clear language: As already mentioned above, the timeline moves really fast on Twitter. Nobody has time – unless they really know you – to go through your question and make sense out of it in case it is oblique. Use simple language, and be specific what you want.
  • Use a question mark: This must be obvious but many people don’t use a question mark and without a question mark its very difficult to make out whether you are simply stating something or asking.
  • Use specific Twitter handles: This is a very good way of getting the attention of those people who you think might have the answer you are seeking. This can be deemed as intrusion, especially when you haven’t interacted with those people before, so use this method discreetly. The best way of asking questions in this manner is by regularly engaging those people beforehand.
  • Send a direct message: This is also called a DM in Twitter language. Although you can send DMs to only those people who are following you, it may be taken as an intrusion if you don’t interact with those people on a regular basis. So the key here, again, is regular interaction.

It is very important that before you start asking questions on Twitter people know you and are familiar with you. Questions by those Twitter users who rarely post and who don’t interact with their followers normally don’t get answered.