If your Twitter timeline looks anything like mine, you probably see someone posing a question to their followers at least once or twice each day. Maybe you offer an answer or maybe you just scroll past because it’s a topic you’re unfamiliar with. Maybe you’re just too busy to find the answer or maybe you don’t know. Regardless, I think we should all strive to be more helpful to the folks in our timeline and give them a greater opportunity to find the answer they’re looking for.
I made a rule for myself a few years ago that I try my best to stick to:
Always answer if I can and retweet if I can’t.
I only have about four hundred followers on Twitter, but I can’t tell you how many times a retweet to my relatively small number of followers resulted in the surfacing of an answer. And I can’t tell you how appreciative I’ve been when someone retweeted my question to amplify its visibility.
We have the Internet at our fingertips — more information than you could ever imagine. But finding the correct answer to some obscure or specific questions are still far more difficult than you’d expect. That’s why people ask questions on social networks. Many of these tweets are a last resort after countless Google searches and YouTube videos that are unable to provide them with enough information.
Twitter users that have massive followings can probably get an answer to just about any question within a few minutes. But for everyone else, a retweet goes a long way to get an unanswered question to someone that can help.