If you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you’ve probably witnessed a group chat or two. Perhaps you’ve even participated in some. Twitter chats are basically online events in which people get together on Twitter to discuss a particular topic. Users wishing to partake in the conversation can do so by simply using the designated hashtag. Twitter chats are excellent tools for gaining brand exposure and engaging both existing and prospective customers.
If you’re thinking about hosting your own Twitter chat, let’s take a look at a few best practices.
- Pick a topic that your audience cares about. If you want people to participate, make sure you pick topics that are relevant to those you are trying to reach. What things are people already talking about or what’s buzzworthy at the moment? This can help you brainstorm some hot topics.
- Assign a hashtag. The hashtag you pick to organize your Twitter chat should be unique and also simple. You want to keep it short enough that people can share as much of their thoughts as possible without running out of characters.
- Get the word out. Start promoting your event about a week ahead of time on all your social networks. Be sure to include the scheduled date, time, topic and hashtag.
- Come up with questions ahead of time. Generally speaking, Twitter chats are facilitated through a short series of thought provoking questions. Come up with a list ahead of time and post each question at a designated interval to leave time for your participants to respond.
- Be consistent. If you’re planning on hosting regular Twitter chats, try planning them out on the same day and time each week. This will increase the likelihood of attendance.
- Use a tool to organize the chat. Keeping up with incoming tweets directly on Twitter can get confusing. Consider using a tool, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, to help you better manage the conversation.
- Retweet generously. See a great response? Retweet it to your followers. This demonstrates your appreciation and helps solidify a relationship between your audience and your brand because people like to be recognized.
- Thank your participants. Once your Twitter chat is complete, take the time to send a shout out to each participant and encourage them to join you for the next one.
- Summarize and promote. Following each chat session, put together a list of the best responses and use that to promote future Twitter chats you have planned.
The more work you put into the process, the more engaging your Twitter chats will be and the more likely you’ll be to grow your audience and your business as a result.