Tweet chats (or Twitter chats) are a new way for Twitter followers to come together to talk about a particular topic of interest. The primary hosts for Tweet Chats are companies, celebrities, or special interest communities. The purpose of the chats vary depending on the host. They could be Q&A based, informative, a place for fans to connect with their favorite celebrities, or a way for hobbyists to share tips and tricks. Tweet chats provide an opportunity for businesses to find new connections and expand their social media presence.
A successful chat can produce many re-tweets and new followers, increasing your chances of introducing your brand to new audiences. Tweet Chats are growing in popularity and any right-minded business should take advantage of the rising trend. But before you go diving headfirst into the Tweet Chat pool, here are some tips and guidance.
Pick a good #hashtag
Coming up with the right hashtag is an integral part of people being able to actively participate in the Tweet Chat. The hashtag needs to be short in order to not use up too many of your allotted 140 characters, unique so as not to be confused with another topic with the same vocabulary, and easy to remember. If you are an orange enthusiast – that is orange the fruit, not orange the color – you need to differentiate between the two different definitions. Picking #OrangeFruit would be much more beneficial than picking #Orange.
Set a beginning and ending time
Like any good party, you need to set a time for when the festivities will begin. Unlike any good party, having an ending time of “???” will not help generate engaging conversation for the Tweet Chat. By telling your participants when the chat will end, it will help move conversation along and make it easier to wrap-it-up.
Check out Tweet Chats
As any good host knows, preparation is key to a successful event. Check out some other Tweet Chats before you hose your own to get an idea of how conversation flows and how the moderator interacts with the community. Whether the chat you join is successful or not, you will be able to learn from the experience by planning to avoid the unsuccessful tactics and employ the successful ones.
Chose an interesting topic
No one wants to talk about the same mundane topic over and over again. Chose a topic that you are an authority on, allowing the general public access to your wealth of knowledge. Research what is trending on Twitter to have a higher potential of attracting participants. Don’t make it seem as though you are just trying to sell something. Give the people something valuable and useful in exchange for their time.
Promote your Tweet Chat
Nobody likes throwing a party that no one shows up to, so it’s crucial that you promote your Tweet Chat on every available platform. Announce the chat on your blog, mention it in your newsletter, and most definitely promote it on all of your social media pages. Be sure to use your unique hashtag as well as #tweetchat or #twitterchat along with your promotion so anyone looking for Tweet Chats can see yours in the results. Also try to involve your business partners in the conversation and have them spread the word.
Plan conversation topics
To get the chat going, first make an introduction of yourself and encourage open communication. Having a co-host present to start the conversation will help grease the wheels and get the conversation started. Plan ahead and have a list of engaging questions to ask the audience which will help generate conversation, but also provide you opportunities to chime in with your relevant content.
Set your goals ahead of time
Going into the Tweet Chat with specific goals in mind will help you keep the conversation heading in the desired path. Plan ahead as to whether you want to gain more Twitter followers, increase reach, or build connections with particular audiences (just to name a few possible goals).
Establish a schedule for the next chat
Before the Tweet Chat is over, announce to your audience when your next Tweet Chat will be. Let your current participants know if you are going to have regularly scheduled Tweet Chats.
Be sure to reach out to your newly acquired connections and continue the conversation. Not in an aggressive, stalker type way, but in a friendly, nice-to-meet you sort of way.
Don’t waste the chat
So your chat is over, and there was some great content generated as a result. Embed the highlights in your blog, and re-tweet on Twitter. By quoting people on your website (or blog), they are more likely to link back to you from theirs, thus increasing your SEO benefit and expanding your potential audience base.
Analyze the data
The plethora of analytics available from social media interactions are an asset. Analyze the data through tools such as Hashtags.org, which allow you to see how your hashtags spread over time and if they took off at a particular time. This data can tell you when the conversation heated up, allowing you to plan accordingly for the next chat.
Tweet Chats are an easy way to engage your audience, and you have nothing to lose by giving one a try. It is a small investment of time in exchange for the potential to generate long-term connections. So get out there and get the conversation started with a Tweet Chat!