marketing · Uncategorized

Tweet Chats 101

Tweet chats, also known as Twitter parties, are a great way to find influencers in your industry on Twitter. Think of them as an online cocktail hour. These organized chats are identified by a hashtag (#) and tend to take a set time of 1 or 2 hours. Some tweet chats are weekly, while others are monthly or quarterly. There are hundreds of Tweet Chats, so you’re sure to find one in your area of interest. Whether you’re tweeting as an individual or as a brand, and whether you are planning to just participate or considering hosting your own Tweet Chat, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the experience. With regular participation, you will be able to:

  • develop relationships with customers and influencers
  • increase engagement
  • grow organic following on twitter
  • increase your  tweet reach
  • cross promote other platforms or campaigns

What you’ll need:

  • List of Tweet Chats: http://bit.ly/o1BFZP
  • Tweet Chat room: http://tweetchat.com
    • Displays only tweets with the selected hashtag to help you put your blinders on to the twitter-sphere
    • Tweets made in the Tweet Chat room will automatically add the hashtag and the room auto-updates.
    • You can use other twitter platforms (i.e. Tweet Grid, TweetDeck), but then you’ll have to add the chat’s hashtag to each of your tweets
    • Advanced tip: To control the quantity of tweets flying by, check “block retweets” (under the user control tab)

Tips to participate in a Tweet Chat:

  • Read about the topic and the moderator’s scheduled questions ahead of time to have prepared links/responses
  • RT the moderator’s questions after they post them to help others keep track of the conversation
  • RT and/or comment on others’ tweets
  • Tweet Chats tend to be personal in nature, so decide if you want to tweet as “I” or as a brand
  • Prepare tweets about any campaigns you are promoting, but tailor them to the conversation. Tweet Chats have a very authentic tone, so spam is an unsuccessful strategy
  • Follow participants to reinforce the relationships you are creating
  • Consider offering a prize to randomly selected chatters at the end of the hour. (This will have to be pre-approved by the moderator)
  • Moderators do not typically ask for payment to be a guest host on their Tweet Chat. Consider the ROI carefully if anyone suggests this to you.

Tips to run your own Tweet Chat:

  • Participate in Tweet Chats before running your own – there is no substitute for experience!
  • Pick a short hashtag to save characters
  • If you have a guest host, make sure to provide a how-to sheet
  • Publish a blog post explaining Tweet Chats to your readers. (Example: http://www.gilt.com/blog/?s=tweetchat)
  • Direct people to the right link in promotions: http://tweetchat.com/room/YourHashTag
  • Make sure any guest host promotes you on their social properties ahead of time using the hashtag in tweets (Example blog post- Decorati: http://access.decorati.com/2011/08/creating-an-alfresco-oasis-shane-reilly-on-designtv-tweetchat)
  • Imagine yourself as a host of a party, so make sure that you welcome people to the Tweet Chat, don’t spend too much time talking with any single individual, and make sure everyone is included
  • Solicit self identification of participants in the chat (Example: “Glad to see everyone here at #AppleChat, please share your website and bio.”)
  • Select 5-6 questions ahead of time, and post them during the hour at regular intervals to keep the conversation flowing. Make sure to label them Q1, Q2, etc. to maintain clarity (Example: “ Q1: What are some simple holiday entertaining tips?”)

Have fun! Tweet Chats are a great social experience

Blog post reprinted on the Banyan Branch blog.

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