You see the hashtags on Twitter every week: #Semrush, #SocialChat, #Twitterchataholic, and on and on. These hash tags refer to Twitter chats going on, and is one of the best ways to build an audience on Twitter.
Using a shared hashtag, users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss issues of community relevance. These Twitter chats generate lots of conversation, and builds a great audience of loyal followers who want to hear what you got to say.
That kind of engagement has benefits for brands and personal brands alike. A successful Twitter chat community builds advocacy, loyalty, and community with participants. You’ll grow the social following of your accounts, generate valuable discussions and feedback, and show thought leadership with an outspoken audience.
Could you host your own Twitter chat? The best part? Setting up a Twitter chat is really easy and more importantly, free!
Here’s some pointers to setting up your own chat crowd…
Before you start chatting
You need to build a plan first on how your going to market and invite a army of people to chat with. The Twitter chat format can be very powerful in creating a sense of “home” to people who you connect with, or will connect with. It’s also a place where like-minded people can share idea’s, concepts and collaborate with new people.
One of the first things you should do is establish why your setting up a chat to begin with. Basically answer the 5 W’s to yourself Why? What? Where?Who? or more importantly When??
What do hope to accomplish? What are your goals to help other people? What point or points do you want to get across? and lastly will you offer a bonus just for being on the chat. Keep in mind that a Twitter chat is almost the same is a live webinar, but it’s a type in chat, instead of listening to host and speaking into a chat box to the right.
1. Pick a Topic
Should be an easy one to start with, but in Marketing, people want help with THEIR marketing and how to get more results, leads, conversions and want to know what your offering and at the same time build a relationship with your chatters. Twitter is packed with tons chats, so you’ll need a unique chat to forge relationships with people so they will be hungry for more later on.
What value will your Twitter chat provide that doesn’t already exist?
2. Pick a Hashtag
Now before you start you need to comeup with a #Hashtag that your chat will be hosted on. Make some simple but descibes your chat group where it will be hosted. Some idea’s are #semrush #sbizhour #cloudtalk #SMACtalk Live are some of the popular ones to jump in on i recommend, but this post is for creating your own #Twitterchat. Also stay away from abbreviations and acronyms that won’t make sense to a broader audience.
3. How to Promote Your Chat
You’re going to have to promote your chat in order to get people to join. Start by scheduling promotional Tweets from influential Twitter accounts at different times of the day, as well as snippets of content from your first chat, are some idea’s.
If your audience likes your content on your blog, your tweets already then it will be a lot easier to promote your Twitter chat and build a massive following. Promoting your chat with content can also be a smart strategy for building an audience without over-promoting, and looking spammy in some ways.
Participating in other chats is a good way to build an audience to your chat. I recommend building a list of invitations, and sending each of them a Tweet invitation prior to the chat starting, usually an hour is good.
4. Invite Industry Influencers To Co-Host
A industry influencer as a featured visitor will certainly be able to include a significant degree of understanding, entice even more individuals to the chat, and also help to give better idea’s to the conversation. It also helps your brand get more recognized, and establishes you as the expert hosting the chat. Also, Aligning your content strategy with your chat strategy can create a powerful one-two punch,which your guest influencer can expand more on.
Let’s face it, nobody likes going on a chat to find out it’s some Amway meeting or always talking about products to buy, buy this and that. People are on your chat becuase of YOU and crafting a conversation about the topic you picked. You’re doing this to build your social community and engage with people who may be interested in your brand. So staying connected to people is the name of the game.
6. Find And Connect With Users Joining The Chat
Putting your chat hashtag right into a Twitter analytics tool such as “SocialBro” are going to allow you to see who participated in the chat and also find out the essentials among all of them, that can easily help you to maintain them interested in the upcoming chat also.
You can easily also uncover one of the most prominent participants of the chat, and also take a look at calling all of them for more involvement, if they possess an actual social klout of your target audience. This also helps your brand and increase awareness.
8. Use The Twitter Chat To Create New Content Ideas
A Twitter chat does not have to be a online party, what it should do though is give you great content idea’s moving forward All of these questions could be actually used to encourage future blog posts, infographics, future chats, seminars, or marketing promotions.
9. Sum Up The Conversation
Realize not everybody is going to be able to make your Twitter chat. You don’t want them to miss out completely, do you? Save the best responses to your questions and craft some unique content out of it. Sum up your chat after the questions are answered and invite them back next time. (I use Storify for this).
Once you hosted a real Twitter chat it may require constant or no tweaking, to suit the ever-changing needs of your audience. As your chat grows you may decide to add more engagement features. Whatever you choose, you’re now building on a strong foundation. I’d like to hear your comments below and implementing a Twitter Chat right into your business.