Twitter Chat is an amazing way to connect with your audience, while increasing and expanding your authority.
Think about it as a live Twitter event, normally based on a specific topic.
The main key is the hashtag chosen.
As well as the time zone established, in order to meet together with moderators, guests and hosts.
Let’s see how to start your own Twitter chat.
How a Twitter Chat Works
What you see in the screenshot above is a Twitter Chat I organized with the help of MyBlogU and Ann Smarty, based on sharing and discussing the best ways to get web traffic, with reference to this post (a group interview) :
As mentioned, a specific hashtag must be chosen, and all the tweets of participants must include it.
Think to a Twitter Chat as a live conversation, where people interact and bring their experience, based on the main subject.
In order to participate, just send a tweet during the time selected, using the specific hashtag.
If you don’t want to participate, you may want to simply follow the Chat by searching within Twitter the main hashtag.
How to Create Your Twitter Chat : 3 Main Steps
Just go to Twchat.com and connect your Twitter account to sign in.
This site will help you to easily create, organize and manage your Twitter Chat.
There are 3 main things you need to care about, when creating your first Twitter Chat.
First step, choose a time that can be suitable for all the participants (I’ve organized my Twitter chat for 09:00 a.m. America/New York time, while in Europe/Rome was 15:00 p.m.).
You should consider your demographic target when picking the time.
Second step, think about a topic.
Normally, the chat will be focused around a specific argument and you should organize a full schedule, divided into few sections.
My Twitter Chat lasted one hour, more or less, with 3-4 segments.
So for each one think about dedicating 15-20 minutes.
This time will be enough to let participants engage and bring their thoughts.
The full schedule could be something like this, assuming the Twitter chat will start at 09:00 :
- Introduction: 9:00 – 9:05
- Section One (Topic choosen): 9:05 – 9:20
- Section Two (Topic choosen): 9:20 – 9:35
- Questions From Participants: 9:35 – 9:50
- Conclusion: 9:50 – 10:10
The last step will be choosing the hashtag.
Think about something short, and unique.
It must be used just by you.
The shorter, the best, as it must be included in every tweet of the users and should be easy to remember and to type.
This could be the most difficult task.
So think about it carefully and keep it simple!
Promoting Your Twitter Chat
After you have completed the three main steps and scheduled your Twitter Chat, it’s time to start the promotion and let people know about it.
First, announce it on your blog.
Be sure to include the time, the topic chosen and most important, the hashtag!
Let your website and newsletter readers know how a Twitter Chat works.
You could write a detailed article yourself or find a guide somewhere else (you may want to link to this post).
After this, market your event via social media.
Facebook, Google+ and of course, Twitter (be sure to inform your followers).
You can also contact people directly to invite them to participate.
Be sure to send them a reminder one day and few hours before the Twitter Chat begins!
Managing the Live Twitter Chat
I have been guided by Ann Smarty, who is very expert in this field.
She helped me with questions and with the management of the chat.
In your Twitter Chat, you should have at least another person who is going to assist you.
Just think about the tweets that are going to come in could be huge in number!
If there are many participants, be sure to nominate more than one moderator, included yourself.
You need to handle requests, questions, fights or even SPAM!
Finally, be sure to have in mind your goals.
You’ve already set your full schedule, so manage your Twitter Chat focusing on your target:
– What you want to get from it?
– Do you aim to create a connection with your audience?
– Do you want to increase your reach?
– Are you trying to expand your Twitter followers?
– Are you working on your authority?
Keeping in mind your goals will help you conduct the live event.
Once the live chat is ended, you can still get benefits from it.
Don’t let this conversation ends.
Embed the tweets on your blog (you can use Storify to aggregate the live chat).
Also, you may check the results of your even looking at the data.
There are many interesting online tools like Hashtags.org, which you can use to get details about the velocity of the tweets along a timeline, with relation to your hashtag.
Finally, don’t be disappointed if your Twitter Chat won’t result in an amazing event.
You could always improve with your next one!
As you know, with experience it will be better next time.
Now To You
What do you think?
Have you ever created a Twitter Chat?
What is your experience?
Please share your views in the comments below, thanks!