Using this technique we had increased our Twitter engagement by 1000% the third day after we began and averaged 300% higher than the previous week during this campaign. We also increased our average daily impressions by nearly 100% and more than doubled our follower acquisition rate.
The eCommerce site we tested this on has been running for less than 4 months with approximately 120 Twitter followers.
This is the easiest social technique we’ve ever tried, and it’s giving us more success than we’ve ever had before on social media. I wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible, but check back in a month to see the results of our link building efforts.
There is nothing easy about this approach, which is why I know it’ll continue to work. But it is simple to follow.
You have to determine a question that people want to and are able to answer on Twitter (This is the hardest part of this technique and the most likely point of failure). Take a close look at your audience and figure out what they need to know. Your questions need to be:
- Either: something with utility
- e.g. “What are the two most important tools for internet marketing?”
- Or: something that provides entertainment
- e.g. “What is the strangest email response you’ve ever received?”
- Both is also an option
- e.g. “What social media management tool would you give up your left arm to keep/get?”
- You only have 140 characters for your question and part of that is going to your targets’ twitter handles.
Easy to answer via tweet
- Just because you can ask the question in less than 140 characters doesn’t mean someone can answer it in the same.
Something that will lead to varied responses
- The more varied the responses the more value your content will have. You don’t want to pick a question where everyone is going to give the same answer -- you’re not doing a survey.
- e.g. “What’s a small change you made to your business that produced big results?” -73 characters, and a lot of room for varied and useful answers
Aim to include something personal
- We like to talk about ourselves, so your results will be better if you give someone that opportunity. Just including “you” can make the difference between getting an answer or getting ignored.
- e.g. “@expertperson What do you think is the most important skill for an inbound marketer? Tell us your answer and be featured in our next guide.”
Once you have your question worked out you need to start getting answers. There are a couple ways you’ll go about this, but the most effective is going to be the direct tweets you send. You’ll want to warm up your experts though before dropping a question in their lap. One of your goals here is to raise your engagement - to do that you need to show that you’ll engage with others first.
Engage with active experts
- Experts, not necessarily influencers - they don’t need a huge following to be useful.
- Avoid making this mechanical - you want to truly engage if you expect the same in return.
Direct tweet them your question
- Do not ask them to RT, you’re talking directly to the person you want an answer from here - you’re not trying to have them spread your question to the masses.
Tweet your question to your entire following
- Do this several times over a week or two. The success rate on this depends on your social following and the question you ask, but it can produce some results.
- You can ask them to “Please RT.”
Reply to any answers
- Thank everyone who responds individually.
- Ask if you can feature their answer in a guide you’re putting together.
- Ask any follow up questions for clarification or to better target the information you’re looking for for your guide.
- Remember - your goal is engagement. If you don’t show that you’re going to engage back this isn’t going to help much.
Collect each of the answer in a spreadsheet
- Make sure you include the answer, and the name, twitter handle, website, and profile picture of the expert.
You should aim for at least 10 good responses. More is obviously better, but 10 is enough to start.
Once you have your responses your job is to collect them into a guide on your topic. You have two options here.
You can feature each response on its own
- This highlights your experts. Use their profile image and Twitter handle next to their response.
Or you can craft the responses into a narration
- This highlights the information itself.
- Group your experts together on the page at the end of the post, again still use their profile image and Twitter handle.
Sort your guide contextually and provide subject headers
- Remember, this isn't just a survey. Arrange the information you received categorically to make it the most useful for your readers.
- Write an introduction, thank you section, and subject introductions (if needed).
Direct tweet the link to contributors
- Make certain you thank them for their contribution and make it clear that they’re featured on the guide.
- Ask for a critique, feedback, or what they think of the other responses.
Make sure you promote this piece of content
- Use your regular channels as well and tweet the link to your followers again to give them another chance to contribute.
- Send it out to your email list or friends in the industry. You have a great piece of content, you should get some backlinks out of it as well.
Consider expanding the guide
- Find more experts to reach out to. Repeat parts 2 and 3 as desired.
You now have a rock star piece of content that your followers and influencers are invested in and you have an active Twitter profile, great job. This engagement will drop after your big push here. But keep engaging! If you continue to interact with replies, direct tweets, and questions your followers are more likely to continue engaging with you. What you’re seeing is similar to the Linkbait Bump (check out Rand Fishkin’s recent Whiteboad Friday on the topic) - a peak in your traffic and engagement that’ll drop after you finish, but when it works correctly it doesn’t drop all the way back down to where it was. Instead you should find you’ll have a new standard when it comes to your engagement and traffic.
Good luck and let us know how this works for you!