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.
Here’s how it works: A hashtag is created for the Twitter Chat. If it is for a particular event, the hashtag would be used extensively to promote it: If for a recurring event, the hashtag might be used every cycle. The recurring chat might be held weekly, monthly or at any other interval your group decides on; for example, every second Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. (There are also streaming, continuous Twitter Chats, but these are rare.)
If yours is a closed group and your Twitter Chat is open only to members, the hashtag would be circulated internally, from within a forum or in a monthly newsletter, perhaps.
On the other hand, if your hashtag is being used to promote a specific, one-time event (or a course, book launch, product launch or workshop series) you want to get it out there and spread it as far and wide as possible.
That’s where Twitter Chats come into their own…
Why Hold a Twitter Chat?
Twitter Party, Tweet Chat, Twitter Chat…it doesn’t matter what you call it, each of these terms means people getting together online at a specific time or on a specific day or week; and talking about your hashtag topic – in real-time.
It’s the “real time” element that gives Twitter Chats their sparkle, bonding people together as a unique, exclusive group.
A great Twitter Chat leaves people feeling connected to each other, much as if you were to meet someone in person at a weekend conference in Toronto, Canada. The feeling is: “Oh, I know her. We were at that conference together – we sat together at dinner every night.” Or if you went to boarding school together.
Your Twitter Chat also has the potential to generate a trending hashtag on Twitter.
Once you’ve participated in a great Twitter Chat, you’re now forever part of the same “club”. You start following the people you met at the Twitter Chat; and whenever you see a new tweet from that person, you read it and pay attention… because you know that person.
Real-time interaction on a common topic not only creates bonding, it can also generate two emotions vital to group event success:
It also firmly cements both the event and its date firmly in the forefront of people’s minds, as well as generating new followers for your Twitter account.
Step 1. Say Hello to TweetChat
Before we go any further: You don’t need to think solely in terms of creating and running a Twitter Chat, however – you can also join Twitter Chats strictly as a networking tactic to gain visibility and strengthen your personal branding by finding and participating in multiple Twitter Chats around a single topic.
TweetChat provides a calendar of ongoing or upcoming, official Tweet Chats. You can select a topic and follow it, participating at the appointed time.
To join TweetChat:
- Go to the TweetChat calendar
- Select a topic and note the hashtag.
- Click on it
- Schedule and set notification to your preferences, and start tweeting and searching the hashtag.
(Note: You can also check out the online “room” it will take place in, if it’s a specific-time event.) This would be the website URL (where you can find out more about the event – before or after joining), webinar link or chat room.
You can also find Twitter Chats at:
And if you search, you’ll also find that various interest groups, or government groups like the National Institute of Health, will often provide a schedule of Twitter Chats for the year, month or season.