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Twitter Chat 3

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.

What Makes a Great Event Hashtag:

Creating successful hashtags can be absurdly simple so don’t re-invent the wheel.

Good Bad
Obvious keywords that everyone instantly thinks of for a product, business or event (e.g. #HollandParkFestival, #RoyalBaby)

Keywords that only make sense to an elite group – providing your event IS for that elite group.   Your hashtag should make them want to “prove” they know what it means. (e.g. #BrassicaWorld)

Fun keywords (e.g. #WhenPushComesTo Shove)

Hashtags that make people want to finish a line (e.g. #YesterdayWe)

Short keywords (e.g. #InkFest)

Keywords that invite engagement (e.g. #AskObama)

Keywords that act as reminders to recurring group events (e.g. #MondaysWithAbi)

Acronyms (e.g. #FVwmsa)

Overly long hashtags (e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)

Obscure hashtags that only make sense to an elite group (e.g. #BrassicaWorld) when you’re promoting an event to the general public

Boring hashtags (e.g. #carboattraingoing)

Hashtags whose actual spelling causes visual confusion to the point of “hiding” the actual meaning (e.g. #carrusttutorial)

Hashtags in all lower case letters (particular if the hashtag is long: e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)


Going for the obvious keyword is often the best strategy, as the Twitter Development team succinctly states here:13-obvious

The trouble is, obvious keywords (e.g. #love) are often already “taken”.

That’s when you have to get creative.

Step 4. Tracking Your Twitter Chat Hashtag

Once your own unique, custom hashtag has been created, you can search it in Hashtags.org also; this will show you:

  • How it’s behaving – or trending
  • Who has tweeted it
  • Your hashtag’s most “Prolific Users”
  • Estimated tweets per hour
  • Related hashtags

In particular, checking its usage over a 24-hour period can tell you which times are best to promote it. Seeing actual usage also tells you not just the times, but when your target audience is online.14-24-hr-graph

You can also use other apps and tracking sites, such as Tagboard.16-tagboard

On the down side, Tagboard has no analytics, but it is a fast, simple interface that instantly shows you a Pinterest-type display of search results, if you type in your hashtag.16-tagboard-results


Keyhole is definitely another tracking choice you should explore further: For one thing, it provides a special tab for promoting and finding Twitter Chats!17-keyholetwitter

Tracking is important – but it’s only helpful if you learn from it and apply what you learned to your next Twitter Chat.


The really important take-aways to note are:

  1. Choose your hashtag and event to suit your audience
  2. Check to make sure it is not related to an offensive hashtag or already being used
  3. Actively promote your hashtag and event (and ask others to do so too)
  4. Don’t spam (no multiple tweets from one person, five times an hour)
  5. Track your hashtag and learn from its peaks, lows and performance

But there’s one more important step to take…

  • Create your next Twitter Chat!



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