Twitter Q&A Best Practices

Social media has opened up a whole new way for businesses to communicate with their current fans and to gain new ones. It allows for two-way communication between a brand and its followers, since followers can respond and react to the content their favorite brands post.


One of the most popular ways to have a conversation with followers is a Twitter Question & Answer Session. Here we’ve broken down some of the best practices and how to determine if a Q&A is best for you and your company.


Twitter Q&A sessions are like an open press conference or round table discussion held on Twitter. Users can ask questions live and hosts can answer directly via a company or individual Twitter account. A Q&A’s direct communication is a great way to engage with followers.


First, you need to decide on your topic. Maybe you want to answer questions about a new product launch or introduce followers to a new leader or CEO. Next, figure out who is going to be answering on your Q&A. It happens in real time, so they should be able to respond quickly to any questions.


From there, you’ll need to decide on a time. Check your account’s Twitter analytics to see who is normally engaging with your account and when. Pick a time when the most people from your target audience will be online and able to participate.


You’ll also need to decide on a hashtag for your Q&A. Hashtags group all tweets marked with that specific phrase easy to find so you can get questions and answer them. When promoting your Q&A to your followers, let them know the hashtag so they don’t miss out.


Spend a few weeks promoting you’re Q&A session to your followers and other social media influencers. Use other social channels and pages to encourage followers to log on to Twitter at that time. Once your Twitter Q&A is over, type up a recap or summary of the questions and answers to post to your blog or website for anyone who couldn’t join the live session.


Twitter Q&A’s are a great way to communicate directly with followers, but you should approach them with caution. Not ever brand, person or situation is well suited to an open online discussion like that. The main problem with Twitter’s Question & Answer sessions is that you have no way to control the attendees’ comments or questions. There are plenty of stories of Twitters sessions gone wrong. E.L. James, author of the Fifty Shades of Grey books, held a Q&A session to discuss a new book, only to receive dozens of questions about her writing style and the series’ questionable content. Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston held a Q&A to discuss FSU football, but was bombarded with questions about his bad behavior off the field.


If you want to give an unpopular person or company a chance to speak to the public, a Twitter Q&A is not the best place to do it. Likewise, if you’re trying to respond to or minimize negative press, stay off social media. Opening the door to unmonitored discussions with an easy-to-find hashtag can be a recipe for disaster that may hurt your brand even more.

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