How to Set Up and Host a Tweet Chat
The chances are that you will have already come across an occasional ‘Tweet chat’ being held on the platform. Tweet chats are scheduled gatherings of people on Twitter who discuss a particular conversation and use a particular #hashtag to keep track of that conversation. The chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with similar interests.
It is a great way to interact with your fans and followers to better understand and grow your community quickly, as well as promoting your brand and creating engagement. They’re very powerful if executed in the right way – so let’s take a look at some of the tips and tricks to you get you started when it comes to running your own Tweet chat. What to do before, during and after:
What to do before:
- Choose Topic and Hashtag
You need to be clear on what you want to discuss in your topic. Pick something that is going to relevant to the people you are targeting and something that you can easily carry the conversation on.
The hardest part is then choosing the hashtag – this is the most important part as it’s the hashtag that pulls the whole thing together. Once selected it will be very difficult to change – so be sure to choose wisely!
Tip: Make it unique – search Twitter beforehand to check that there’s no other associations with the word you have invented for your hashtags.
- Arrange a Day and Time
Plan ahead – think about a date and time that will work best for you and your audience – it may be that Tuesday’s at 8pm is the best time – so ask the question and find the best time. Once you’ve decided on this, it’s useful to do a bit of research beforehand to be sure that there’s no other Tweet chat on a similar topic happening on the same day that you have scheduled your event for.
- Announce and Promote Your Tweet Chat
Give plenty of notice for your users to participate – once you’ve decided on your set time and day to hold your chat, you should work on getting the word out. Start promoting a few weeks beforehand to get as many people interested as possible. Use all available media i.e. you own blog, all of your social media accounts and press releases etc. to announce your upcoming Tweet chat.
Tip: Make it easy for your followers to promote your Tweet chat by creating all sorts of promotional media (making it easy to embed and share).
What do to During:
- Welcome Intro
Introduce yourself and what the chat is going to be about – it’s also helpful to try encourage people to introduce themselves (this makes everyone feel more comfortable chiming in).
- Create and Ask Engaging Questions for Discussion
Create your questions ahead of time – these will help facilitate conversations during the Tweet chat. Just remember, pacing is key – make sure that the questions you ask flow! As well as this it’s also important to make sure that each question has some great engagement and interaction between Tweet chat attendees.
Retweet and summarise the most important points and responses as you go along, so that those ideas aren’t lost among other tweets. And don’t forget to tweet your own thoughts and ideas on that topic too!
Tip: When asking your questions, label them as Q1, Q2 etc. – this makes it easy for your chat participants to answer and encourage discussion.
- Announce The End of Chat
Announce when you are running out of time and thank everyone for participating. It’s also useful to leave a few minutes before the end to round up and tweet the chat’s conclusions – discussing all the key topics and answers that you’ve found from the chat.
Tip: Don’t forget to announce the next chat day/time and topic so that those who participated are more likely to come back and discuss their opinions further at the next one.
What to do after:
- Summarise and Let the Chat Live On
So the chat has come to an end and some really great things have been said and new connections have been made. One thing you need to make sure doesn’t happen is to not let the conversation disappear! Each Tweet chat will be a great resource for your business – therefore it makes sense to make the most of this content by repurposing it.
Tip: Use it as blog content – this allows you to both update your blog regularly whilst also being able to spread the word about your successful Tweet chats (just make sure you’re using the hashtag in the title).
- Follow up
If everything went well, then you will have made a new connection or two. Follow-up in the coming days with a friendly tweet and continue the conversation that was started – by doing this you’ll begin to build new relationships. And don’t forget to inform them about the next upcoming Tweet chat!
After you finish your chat, participants may still use your hashtag to engage in conversations – so make sure you’re still monitoring these discussions. This is useful as it will help identify followers who may be a more useful lead and may even give you an idea for the next Tweet chat.
Some useful regular Tweet chats for you to tune into to get a feel for how they work in practice
Your Tweet chat will grow from week to week. It will take time for your Tweet chat to become “popular”. So just give it some time and keep tracking your progress!
This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.
If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.