I decided earlier this week to ask my Twitter friends a question. In the process I’ve learned a lot of what works, doesn’t work, and that you can hit a Direct Message Limit on Twitter (who knew??) What Works:

Direct Messages (w/Personal Feel)- I liked adding the person’s actual name (even if I had to search around to find it.) Ask The Question – Get to the point, and ask the direct question.  After all, it is called “Direct” Message.

Tell ’em Why You’re Asking – I made the mistake of sending out a number of questions without saying what my purpose was.  I had a lot of “why are you asking” responses.
Follow-up When Needed – Look for follow-up questions, and quickly respond.
What Doesn’t Work:
Survey Monkey – I thought I’d “make it easy” and create a link to a survey monkey survey with a quick and easy form to fill out.  Got about one response from Twitter folks, and a couple from my library list serv community.  So, that lead balloon didn’t fly at all!!
Badly Worded Question – The initial idea was to get people to promote a blog entry that they wrote, that they felt more people should have read.  So, I initially posted this:  “What Was the Best Blog Post of 2008 That No One Read?” — Cue Crickets!! [chirp — chirp]
Generic Question to My Entire Twitter Followers – Again, cue the crickets!!  Very little response to this one.
You often hear that Twitter is a “Social Networking Tool” – Well, I’m here today to say that it truly is.  What a great resource for surveying good people in the professional realm.
I’m compiling the results now, and will likely have it posted here on Friday.
If you have a great blog post you wrote (or read) in 2008, and you think others would also enjoy reading it, please let me know either via Twitter (@glambert) or at the 3 Geeks new email address (3geeksblog@gmail.com
  • Hi Greg,

    My experiences have been similar to yours on the occasions I’ve put a call out.

    Like you, I’ve found it best to communicate with folks one on one. That way they know we’re talking to them and feel like we actually want THEIR response. And really, I think that’s what all social media is about — making things personal.

    We wouldn’t go into a party and take the mic to try to get to know everyone all at once; we’d talk to folks one at a time and shake their hands. It took me a while on twitter to go “Oh yeah, that could work here too.” (Sometimes I’m a little slow!) 😉

    Looking forward to your post.