InboxQ: Spread Your Twitter Authority Like Butter

Believe it or not, there are people on Twitter that don’t know you exist.

Eminem Twitter Following
Eminem Twitter Following

Slim Shady doesn't even follow his biggest fan: Stan.


I know, it came as a shock to me and my 300 followers as well. But Twitter is a conversation, and whether you’re a person or a person representing a brand, you can’t converse with anyone who doesn’t know you exist.

Thankfully, that’s where InboxQ comes in. I was introduced to this great tool last month through Ian’s seminar, Social Media Means Business, and I’ve been using it ever since. InboxQ lets you set-up a campaign of keywords, and then pulls in questions from Twitter that contain those keywords. After you’ve found people asking questions on Twitter that you have the answers to, you can start a conversation with your new potential audience.

InboxQ Social Campaign

Download and Installation

  • Chrome, Firefox, Rockmelt: I prefer using the InboxQ app in Rockmelt, and checking for questions a few times throughout the day. Just download it from the InboxQ website.
  • Hootsuite, Seesmic: I’ve never used it with Seesmic, but Hootsuite install is easy. Just go to the App Directory and choose InboxQ. Then make it a tab.
  • iPhone: Find it in the App Store. Of course, this is a great option when you’re on the go – 15 minutes on the bus means you could answer a handful of questions (you’re never going to 3-star level 4-14 of Angry Birds anyway).
Angry Birds Level 4-14

3 Smart Uses for InboxQ

  • Brand management: InboxQ acts as another resource for brands to keep track of what people are saying about them. If you’re tweeting on behalf of a brand, be sure to add your brand’s name as a keyword. Just imagine how easy it would be for Starbucks to respond to potential customers like these:
Starbucks InboxQ
  • Spreading influence: It doesn’t matter if you have 25 followers or 25,000 followers – brands don’t have to wait for the customer, you can bring your brand directly to the customer. Marketers can use InboxQ to spread their influence about the topics in which they’re considered experts. For Portent, that’s meant searching for PPC, SEO and social media questions.
  • Increasing your personal engagement (and raising your Klout score): I’ve tested using InboxQ with my personal Twitter account and have had some encouraging results. Search for questions regarding topics you’re interested in, or even put in your city’s name. Some of the best interactions I’ve had have come from answering questions about Seattle.

The InboxQ Quality Filter: A ‘Friends’-Inspired Warning*

InboxQ’s quality filter is far from perfect. You’ll find yourself wading through tweets, looking for actual questions to answer. Eventually, this process will become second-nature, and you’ll be weeding out tweets without reading them fully. At first though, it’s not so easy, which is why I’ve put together this short guide about tweets to ignore (the example tweets were actually taken from an InboxQ search).

*You might be wondering why I’m using the decade-old sitcom “Friends” to do this. I’ll be honest: I bought the complete series boxset last year, and I’m currently on episode 171 172. That’s a lot of “Friends.” Probably too much. But I better put this important knowledge to good use just in case I ever undergo a brain transplant like Dr. Drake Ramoray.

Ross tweets: Look out for these whiny tweets. They don’t want answers – they’re just using Twitter as a space to complain in 140 characters or less.

Monica tweets: Like her brother Ross, these tweets can be a bit whiny. But they also scream “control freak.” Eventually, your eyes will be trained to skip pass them.

Joey tweets: Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. They’ll often be nonsensical, or they’ll have hearts surrounding the tweet. Ignore.

Phoebe tweets: Have you ever said to yourself, “Why did someone tweet that?” These ones just make you scratch your head.

Chandler tweets: Dripping with sarcasm, and the person is probably answering their own question.

Rachel tweets: Self-obsessed. These people would rather have a conversation with themselves than reply to you.

One Last Helpful Tip

If you’ve got the quality filter to its highest setting and you’re still getting a high level of unwanted tweets, try using negative keywords. When you enter a negative keyword, any tweets with that keyword won’t be shown. This can be effective, say, if you’re searching for social media questions but you don’t want Facebook questions.  Just enter “Facebook” as a negative keyword.

Have you had success with InboxQ or are you excited to try it? Have you found any similar tools to help in your quest to spread your influence on Twitter? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. What a great post Bryden,
    I like your “Friends” tie- in with the different types of twitter posts. It is important to know who your audience is and this new tool inbox q, will help you find out what the trends are, and how you can help those people with questions. I am interested in this new tool, thanks for sharing!

  2. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will definitely check them out when I get the chance. I would definitely love to know which questions are normally being asked so that I’ll be able to engage with my target audience more.

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