How do I get my questions answered on Socratic?
Be a genuine person :)
Here are some things that might increase your chance.
E.g if it's a math related question, don't write: 2x^3/4x+3, use hashtags to format equations,
(h.tag) (2x^3)/(4x+3) (h.tag)
Not only does this look way better, but it also helped interpret the equation. If you just read it "2x^3/4x+3" you don't know whethter or not to divide by only 4x or 4x+3.
Providing a few sentences of context never hurt anyone. I've seen unanswered questions consisting of nothing but a screenshot. Even if it's possible to figure out the problem from only a screenshot, it's usually better to add one or two lines describing what is happening.
I don't mean be a grama nazi, but make sure you write understandable sentences. (I don't spell very well myself, and don't know anything about gramma, but it's understandable :)).
I've given a wrong answer before because it was written very poorly.
Some side notes:
Your question about asking questions is actually very good in my opinion :)
I'm guessing you already do all the things I've mentioned, but I feel like those three things are the very core of a good question.
Also I think it's nescesary to remember that there are a handful of very dedicated professors writing as many answers as they can, but there are a lot of questions, and you can't really blame them for picking out the ones they find most interresting. So as you said your self, there is no gaurentee, and to be honest, you should always expect atleast 30-60 min. wait time. Getting an answer within the first 5 min. is rare.
That being said, I think you can also request already asked questions, and thereby make it appear in the top again.
Stating that you are in need of urgent help might increase your chances.
Sending a message to one or more of the socratic heroes, or just someone who is known for giving frequent answers, letting them know you would really like their help.
To add to the previous, writing a short thank you note whenever your questions get answered. This might increase the likelihood of them helping you again in the future.
Perhaps ask "How?" questions
I cannot claim to speak for all contributors here, but I would far rather help others to understand material and empower them to answer questions than simply vend model answers to homework questions.
A "How?" question at least sounds like the questioner is wanting help to learn how to do something, rather than seeking to avoid the effort of engaging with the question themselves.