Ask Simple Questions. Share Smart Answers.

“I just don’t have that much to say.” That’s a sentence that’s been said by countless people who know they should actively participate on social media, but don’t. For every blogger or tastemaker who loves opining at the drop of a tweet, there’s a vast majority of lurkers who can’t be bothered—or more likely, suffer from “I’m no expert” syndrome (a topic addressed throughout this book).


Get over it. If you want to ever achieve your best possible online presence and get the all the career- and profile-enhancing benefits it has to offer, you have to add to the conversation in a meaningful way. But just like any gathering, it’s not necessary to have a fully baked, earth-shaking, original idea to share. In fact, the best conversations often start with a really good questions.


I met my friend Diana Pastrana of M&M Office Interiors at a recent 1 Million Cups meeting in Madison, and she shared her absolute joy about an encounter at a coffee shop just minutes before. Seems she was stood up for a coffee date, but stayed around because she couldn’t help eavesdropping in on a fascinating conversation going on between a number of older (possibly retired) gentlemen.


It all started with a simple, but really great question: Who is your favorite romantic male character in literature? Evidently that got everyone talking, and provided Diana with a truly delightful morning coffee experience. BTW: for the record, the consensus appeared to be coalescing around Pride & Prejudice’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. Good choice, IMHO.


You don’t have to have the answer. Your network will.
But you get the credit for helping identify it.


Go to any LinkedIn group, and you’ll see such lively discussions happening many times every day. A recent query in the Social Media Marketing group “What is your favorite social media scheduling/management tool?” was a simple, relevant to the group, and also a little bit of personal promotion for the asker, Hilary Meyerson of Little Candle Media. This sincere question yielded 828 posted answers and 447 likes. All for a ‘what do you guys think?’ question. And get this, even though it was posted for two months ago (as of this writing), it was still generating answers from members of the group. Evidently, that’s a question that continues to drive conversation. Good job, Hilary!


Now imagine if someone collated and analyzed the answers, and provided that intel as part of their personal feeds. That’s valuable information, worth sharing, AGAIN.


One question. Four meaningful posting opportunities.


Post #1: Ask the question.

“What is your favorite social media scheduling/management tool?”


Post #2: Report Interim Findings / Re-ask the question.

“Wow, right now is leading the pack, with 30% of you pointing to it as your favorite. isn’t very far behind, though. Are there any other tools that we should be considering?”


Post #3: Report Final Findings.

“This has been so great—input from over people from ! The final tally as of today is 37% recommend , 26% , and a new tool called appears to be a strong contender with a solid 14% even though they only just launched in January. The rest of the responses mentioned , , , and to account for the full 100%. Looks like these are the tools everyone should be considering. Thanks for the help!”


Pro-Post #4: Blog the results.

Now you have something really worth sharing: actual numbers and expert recommendations, plus first-name access to those experts who can add richness to your findings. Taking these and turning them into a cross-postable blog post paints you as a go-to expert in this area. All because of one simple question.


– D.P. Knudten > Chief Collaborator > COLLABORATOR creative


©2017 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved




D.P. Knudten, the Chief Collaborator at COLLABORATOR creative, is a ~25-year veteran in advertising and marketing. Providing everything from freelance copywriting; content marketing strategy, creation, execution; and his NonFiction Branding™ system, D.P. collaborates creatively to identify, craft, and tell the true brand stories of complicated products, services, and companies throughout the United States.