Twitter chats are an increasingly useful tool when it comes to opening discussions with influencers and industry professionals. As well as achieving more social traction, they’re also a platform to show off your client as a trusted voice and an expert in their field.
But don’t worry if you’re scratching your head and asking yourself ‘what on earth is a Twitter chat?’ We’re here to help.
First off, the basics: A Twitter chat is a public discussion held on Twitter that is centered on a specific topic and led by a designated moderator who asks questions to drive the conversation. All tweets are tagged with a hashtag specific to the Twitter chat (for example #CommsCoChat). This means that if you search on this hashtag, you’ll be able to find the conversation and can follow the thread.
For first-times, here are five tips for running a successful Twitter chat:
- Preparation, preparation, preparation
What are you trying to achieve? Having a basic plan in place for how your Twitter chat should go is very important—it will ensure that you’re not caught unawares should any issues arise. Have some questions written down that will launch and continue the discussion, but make sure there is time for questions and ideas that spontaneously pop up too.
- Choose a hot topic
Pick a topic to talk about that will generate excitement among your existing audience and engage those that haven’t been a part of your audience before. Try to pick something that is recent and will pique the interests of the Twitter-sphere at large.
- Pick a trusted host
While some choose to host Twitter chats from a brand account, these chats tend to be more successful if they are hosted by a real person. Use someone who is engaging, knowledgeable and can build a rapport with their audience. Whoever it is, they must be interesting and relevant.
- It’s a date!
Set a date and time that will ensure a good number of people are available to join the Twitter chat, keeping in mind different time zones. Once that’s agreed, promote the date and time on Twitter (as well as other social media channels, including LinkedIn). This should be done at least two weeks in advance to maximise the amount of people that are willing and ready to join your Twitter chat—there’s no point in hosting a chat if you’re going to be shouting into the void.
- Keep it simple…and short
Pick a hashtag that is simple, short and memorable, which will allow people to engage with the Twitter chat before, during and after the event. Twitter chats usually operate with a Q&A format, where questions are tweeted and the host and participants answer them. However, remember to keep using the hashtag during the Twitter chat to make sure no one misses out on a question or answer throughout the session.
Whatever time limit you set for the Twitter chat during the ‘preparation’ stage, keep to it. If you’ve planned it well, there should be plenty of time to answer your written questions and any new ones too. Keep it short and sweet, around thirty minutes is great.
So, there you have it. Now you can run your own Twitter chat successfully!
Twitter chats are extremely useful for a myriad of reasons, including getting more exposure for your client’s brand, sharing your client’s clear-cut expertise in the industry and elevating your brand’s authority in this field.
So, why not try it for yourself?