question social mediaThe provocative question, “What would you do with three months off?,” was at the center of our strategy to gain visibility for and generate conversation about Creative Disruption.

Creative Disruption centered on sabbaticals as tool for nonprofit leadership development and capacity building, so it was a natural to point people’s attention (and unleash their cubicle-bound imaginations) toward the potential of a few months away from the daily grind. LightBox Collaborative helped get the word out about the report through both social media and more traditional communications outreach.

Using the power of questions is a powerful trick to perk up your social media strategy. We used the above question as the subject line of an email got a 31% open rate, and a 22% click-through rate—pretty darn high, right?

(Of course it helped that Creative Disruption was was put together in 2010 by a very credible, compelling group of partners: report authors from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Third Sector New England had support from funders Durfee Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and the Alston Bannerman Fellowship Program.)

Questions are part of a winning social media strategy because they are the perfect tool for engagement, which is exactly what we seek to generate across our social media platforms. Questions automatically get our brains noodling on answers. Questions spark conversation. By setting the tone and suggesting the content, questions allow us to direct the conversation.

Nonprofit social media guru Beth Kanter wrote about the power and effectiveness of questions in her social media strategy. In particular she highlighted questions that encourage:

  • people to share wisdom
  • people to share resources
  • healthy debate
  • sharing of stories

So how about you? What’s the powerful question that will spark positive conversation about your issue?
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Holly Minch is LightBox Collaborative’s chief engineer and founder. With three months off, she’d read up on game theory (and her collaborators know she’d come back with an enormous number of new ideas!).

(image courtesy Flickr user cristinacosta, Creative Commons)