As I’ve said repeatedly, “It’s called social media for a reason.” How do you gain traction with people on social media? Not by telling them things, but by asking them questions.
When you make a post, go ahead and finish it with an open-ended question, something like “What do you think about the topic? Post your thoughts below.” BTW, and open-ended question is one that doesn’t automatically elicit a short, one or two word answer like “Yes” or “No,” “red” or “blue.” It asks people to express their inner views on a subject, to answer expansively.
Of course, the other part of the social media equation is interacting on other people’s posts. In order for you to be seen, you need to do more than write your own posts. Of course, other people are asking questions on their social media posts. Some of them are asking closed questions, to be sure. “Am I right – yes or no?” A few people will be asking open-ended questions. Either way, when you reply, your voice is added to the conversation. More importantly, your on-line name or handle is added to the stream of information flowing past the eyeballs of others.
If you look for advice on marketing, a metric crap-ton of people will shout a single-word piece of advice at you – “Content!” What they mean is that you should be creating unique information to put in front of others to grab their attention.
But here’s a bit of content the so-called experts tend to overlook: asking your own questions on other people’s social media posts.
Let’s say, someone makes a post about carpet cleaning. Yes, I use that industry in a lot of examples. So let’s say a person posts that you should steam clean your carpets at least every six months. Go ahead and ask your own question! Like with your own posts, open-ended is best. “In addition to the 6-month cleanings, should I also clean before a holiday gathering?” You could switch that to a closed-ended question: “Which is best, cleaning before or after a holiday gathering?”
If you can’t think of a relevant question, it’s okay to ask for examples and clarification. I can guarantee there are plenty of other folks out there who would like additional examples or a different explanation. “Is there a different schedule you’d recommend for a carpet in the reception area of a business?” “Can you give an example of a hotel lobby carpet cleaning process?”
Asking relevant questions, ones that dig deeper into the subject of the post, are often nearly as good as – and sometimes better than – the original informational posts, and will get your name out there as someone who knows what they’re talking about.