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.
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
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.
Your Role as Moderator:
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
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)
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.
Step 3. Promoting Your Twitter Chat
After you have decided on your event type and hashtag, it’s time to start promoting it.
- Submit your event to Hashtags.org for their Events Directory
It will then appear in Hashtag.org’s Event Calendar. (Note you can also instantly share your event from this location across several social networking platforms, once your event populates in the calendar.)
- Tell your Followers about your event in your Twitter feed.
- Ask them to share your Hashtag – either publicly, if all are welcome; or within a certain group, if it is a closed Twitter chat.
- Blog about it. Talk about what people will learn or gain; create a contest around it; show why it’s going to be priceless and unique.
- Create a buzz. Share it across all your social platforms – not randomly: Create a Sharing Campaign!
What your Twitter Chat will do is indelibly stamp you as an authority figure in your niche… if your event is well-run and delivers on its promises.
And you can use Twitter Chats to promote paid as well as free events too.
The important thing is to get the conversation going. Don’t spam – but don’t be shy about asking others to use your hashtag.
Do your best to ensure it’s a fun hashtag to use!