Twitter chats continue to gain popularity and are available for nearly every industry imaginable. These live social media events offer a valuable networking opportunity that can help establish authority and build new relationships.
Twitter Chat Defined
A Twitter chat is comprised of a group of Twitter users who meet at a pre-determined time on Twitter to discuss a specific topic (or group of related topics) based upon a shared interest. These sessions are moderated by one or more individuals, and in order to monitor and effectively contribute to the chat, it is necessary for participants use a designated hashtag (#).
The Host With The Most
Choosing Your Hashtag
Given the growing number of Twitter chats, picking the ideal hashtag can be difficult. Aim to make your Twitter chat hashtag memorable and relatable to your business. As well, because it will be attached to each Tweet, the shorter the better.Aim to make your Twitter chat hashtag memorable and relatable to your business.Click To Tweet
To encourage people to discover your event and learn more about your chat and/or topics, and hopefully participate in the conversation, register your chat’s hashtag on Twubs.
Leading The Discussion
As the host or moderator of the Twitter chat you are expected to pose questions (often designated with Q1, Q2, etc.) to prompt detailed responses from participants (in turn using A1, A2, etc.) and encourage deep thought and interaction among chat members.
Make sure you have questions to engage the audience in a format like ‘Q1 How has [topic] impacted you in your own life? #tweetchat’ The questions help keep the conversation moving along and also give you opportunities to introduce relevant content to the audience when it makes sense. The chat may meander, but a question outline will help you keep it on track and on time. – Jen Lilienstein, Touring & Tasting [Forbes]
Brainstorm possible chat topics well in advance. Choose 5 to 8 questions to lead the discussion and be certain to share your questions ahead of time, so that your guest host and audience members can appropriately prepare for the lesson and discussion.
A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson. – John Henrik Clarke
Be The Best Guest
Before participating, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the the theme of the Twitter chat and if/when possible review the prepared questions. This will ensure that you are well informed and able to make meaningful contributions to the upcoming conversation.
When engaging the conversation, be cordial, and be professional. Retweet answers and insightful discussions for other participants in the chat who may have missed them, as well as for the benefit of your own Twitter followers.
If during the course of the Twitter chat you discover others who share your passion and you enjoy insightful conversations with them, follow them on Twitter and make an effort to continue to build upon the relationship you have established.
Paving The Road to Success
When choosing the topic for your Twitter chat, be certain to identify what the goal of each session is. Common goals include:
- gaining a better understanding of a subject,
- building relationships,
- expanding the reach of your message, and/or
- establishing yourself as an authority.
Share The Spotlight
To help you achieve your goals, and provide a learning experience for participants, introduce special guests who can share their insight and experience to address a topic’s more advanced questions; and who can also help you reach new audiences.Including special guests will offer insight and experience, as well as help your Twitter chat reach new audiences.Click To Tweet
Promoting Your Twitter Chat
Aside from creating a schedule where upcoming chats can be reviewed, consider adding your Twitter chat to a few of the leading Twitter chat lists and directories, such as:
- http://www.gnosisarts.com/index.php?title=Tweetchat_Wiki/By_Day ($5.00 fee)
Also, if your Twitter chat is a weekly event, remind participants of upcoming dates and times; at the close of each chat.
The Most Important Piece of Advice
I have saved this point for the last, simply because, whether you are a guest or host, this is the most important piece of advice I can offer … Twitter chats are about connecting with like-minded individuals and learning from one another. It is not an opportunity for you to sell your product and/or services. Use the time to provide as much value on the given topic as possible and demonstrate your expertise without being intrusive.
One More Thing …
I would like to extend a personal invitation for you to join us on Monday’s at 3:00 pm EST for #WealCHAT. We will be discussing a wide-range of Internet marketing information, including tips, advice, strategies, and industry-related news. I look forward to seeing you there. 😉