Twitter for Business Using Chat
How to Run a Twitter Chat that Benefits your Business
One phenomenon that has sprung up since the advent of Twitter is the Twitter Chat. Based around a hashtag, Twitter Chats are most often used to promote an event as a one-time Chat; or to enjoy a group discussion around a niche topic or interest on a regular, recurring basis – for example, a weekly meeting of the South Dakota Bird Watching Society.
The Steps For Using Twitter Chat (continued)
Step 2. Deciding on Your Own Twitter Chat
Before you can plan a successful Twitter Chat for yourself, you need to decide on:
- The topic
- The date, time and time zone
- The Twitter Chat frequency (will this be recurring or will it be a one-time event?)
- The Twitter Chat’s unique hashtag
- The location
Selecting the actual hashtag is the most vital part of this process. You don’t want to choose a hashtag that anyone else is using – particularly if it is already associated with something negative.
Make sure you search Twitter for your proposed hashtag, to ensure it is unique.
Also search Hashtags.org to see if your hashtag already exists.
But as the Twitter Chat host or moderator, you will have other responsibilities and tasks to perform:
- Deciding on and creating an agenda
- Deciding on the event format
- Booking an online chat room or webinar room, if you need to
- Promoting your event/Twitter Chat
- Asking others to promote your Twitter Chat
Twitter Chats can be highly flexible in format, so choose the type that best suits your target audience and your business branding.
Typical Twitter Chat event formats include:
- Open discussion Q & A
- Discussion with Q & A afterwards
- Webinar or teleseminar
- Weekly or monthly group meeting, with the moderator introducing the topic and others providing input
- Continuously streaming Chat (e.g. creating hashtags like “#AskMeAbout” and letting your target audience know you’ll be available to answer questions; or using that hashtag to find topic material for your next fixed Twitter Chat)
The only hard and fixed rule is: “Decide on the format your target audience would find most comfortable.
And also decide whether you want your Twitter chat to be:
- A continuous Live Twitter stream
- A one-time event, with pre- and post- promotion and follow up
- A regular recurring event
That brings us to Rule # 2: Choose the Chat type that will best increase your business branding and keep you in touch with your target audience.