Why Twitter chats are worth your time

by Ana, posted 1 year ago
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Twitter is so much more than just a platform for distributing content. Being the open, versatile medium that it is, Twitter is a powerful tool for building communities and meaningful connections with the people that matter to you the most.

But how can you tap into relevant conversations and connect with your niche? Thanks to the introduction of hashtags as a way to group tweets under a specific topic, Twitter Chats have become a great way to foster a community online and connect with like minded people that share the same interests.

Twitter chats can be as effective for an individual that is looking to build a personal brand, as well as for businesses that are looking to achieve their marketing goals. But keep in mind that Twitter chats are not meant for selling but rather for building connections, engaging, networking and educating your self.

[Tweet ” A Twitter chat is an opportunity to build connections rather than sell your product. “]

But why are Twitter chats so powerful and how can they help you market your (personal) brand? Let’s take a look.

What is a Twitter chat?

Twitter chats are Twitter conversations that are built around a specific hashtag on Twitter which represents a topic. They are organized on a specific day and time so that people are able to engage in the conversation and a host or moderator is usually the one to post questions and encourage interaction within the group.

How Twitter chats can help you build a stronger brand

Twitter chats can be a powerful marketing tool for many different reasons. Let’s take a look at how Twitter chats can benefit your brand.

HOW TWITTER CHATS CAN HELP YOUR BRAND

1. Gain exposure

Think of Twitter chats as a public forum where hundreds of people can join in using a unique hashtag. This provides you with a great opportunity to introduce them to your brand and create brand awareness.

To give you a more personal example, last week I participated as a guest to Madalyn Sklar’s Twitter Smarter chat. When I checked my Twitter stats after the chat, I was stunned by the impact of the Twitter chat. I had 15 more followers and my engagement metrics were through the roof.

#TwitterSmarter Engagement

2. Build credibility

Twitter chats are the perfect opportunity to share your knowledge to prove your expertise on a specific subject. Whether you host your own, sponsor or participate in a Twitter chat hosted by an influencer in your industry, answering questions in your field of expertise can help you boost your authority and establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche.

3. Connect with current and potential customers

Twitter chats are a great way to connect with your client base but also reach out to new customers. You can use them to ask your audience questions and receive immediate feedback. This way not only you are able to nurture relationships but also keep them engaged and gain a better understanding of their needs.

In addition to this, a Twitter chat creates a sense of openness for your brand and helps build trust with your current and prospective audience.

4. Increase your Twitter audience

Participating in a Twitter chat means adding value to your community with useful information and valuable advice. This can help you increase your Twitter audience and ultimately build long lasting relationships that are more likely to generate leads, as your account becomes more visible.

5. Learn

Twitter chats are above all an educational experience because they allow you to connect with people in your field from anywhere in the world. More than that, they can be a great source of inspirations, tips and tricks from peers and influencers and an engaging way to keep yourself up with all the latest trends, developments and best practices in your industry.

How to set up a Twitter chat

Are you psyched about hosting your very own Twitter chat? Awesome! Before launch, there are a few steps you need to take to make sure that everything runs smoothly during the event.

How to set up a Twitter chat

Step 1. Get the hang of it

Even though Twitter chats are not necessarily rocket science, there are certain rules and etiquette you need to take into account. So before hosting your own Twitter chat, make sure you are familiar with the concept by attending a few chats in your niche. This way, you’ll be able to better understand how they work and at the same time, research your field so that you pick a topic that perhaps has not been covered yet and is more likely to draw interest.

Step 2. Be wise about the name and hashtag

This is probably the most critical part before launching your Twitter chat. The name and most importantly the hashtag are the ones that set the tone, convey the subject and attract relevant audience as they create expectations on what will be discussed.

So before sharing your chat with the world, do some research to make sure that the hashtag you’ve chosen is unique. This way, you avoid noise and confusion with other ongoing Twitter conversations.

Step 3. Pick a time

The time and date your Twitter chat will take place heavily depends on the type of audience you are aiming for attracting. If for example your audience is located in the US, then a US time would be a no brainer. Things can get more complicated if your audience is around the globe but make sure you pick a time that works for most timezones.

A Twitter chat normally lasts for an hour. As for the best day of the week, there’s no golden rule really. Except never schedule it for a Friday afternoon for obvious reasons. Before deciding on the day of the week you can do some research on when other chats take place and pick a day that doesn’t clash with other Twitter chats that could be relevant to your audience.

Step 4. Be Prepared

If you are planning to host a Twitter chat on a regular basis, creating a calendar would be a great solution for an overview of the topics you will cover.

During the Twitter chat, things can get pretty hectic. So preparing the questions ahead of time, and writing down some answers can save you a ton of time and help you focus more on moderating and engaging with the participants. I love how Madalyn Sklar asks her questions in her #TwitterSmarter chat with appealing visuals.

Step 5. Promote 

Before your Twitter chat, and especially if you’re organizing one for the first time, make sure that you build momentum by regularly tweeting about it or even by notifying your audience via email and targeted tweets.

Another way to expand your chat’s reach and get some interesting conversations going on is reaching out to influencers asking them to join you as a special guest in one of your upcoming Twitter chats. These guys are very likely to share their guest gig with their own network which will lead to more participants for your chat.

Tools to consider

Whether you’re hosting your own Twitter chat, or stepping in as a participant, there are a few tools to help make your chatting experience a lot more manageable.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is the ultimate Twitter dashboard and one of my favorite tools to use everyday. During Twitter chats, you can easier monitor the conversation around the chat’s hashtag and contribute your answers straight from the dashboard.

Tweetchat

Whether you are a moderator or a participant to a Twitter chat, this tool is pretty handy when it comes to engaging, replying and monitoring the tweets’ flow. All you need to do is search by the chat’s hashtag and you’re good to go.

Twtchat

Twtchat is a great tool for discovering relevant Twitter chats but also for creating your own. The Calendar view is pretty handy too, as you can check any upcoming Twitter chats in your timezone.

Nurph

Nurph has a great interface that not only allows you to discover and interesting Twitter chats but also it gives you the opportunity to create and register your own.

Storify

Storify comes in handy at the end of your Twitter chat as you can easily put together a nice recap of the discussion and embed it in a blog post or share it with the participants.

Best Twitter chats to attend for social media

There are so many interesting Twitter chats out there on social media marketing with great tips and insights. Here’s just a few to add to your calendar.

#MediaChat – Thursdays at 10pm EST

Hosted by Aaron Kilby, this Twitter chat covers anything media related, featuring guests on social and online media.

#SocialChat – Mondays at 9pm EST

Moderated by Alan K’necht and Michelle Stinson Ross this chat focuses on social media trends, tactics and best practices, featuring a special guest each week.

#GetRealChat – Tuesdays at 9pm EST

Led by Pam Moore, this chat focuses on all the new developments in social media, marketing and ROI featuring social media experts as special guests.

#TwitterSmarter – Tuesdays at 1pm EST

Hosted by Madalyn Sklar this chat is all about connecting, learning and sharing Twitter tips and ideas, featuring special guests every week.

All in all, if you haven’t explore Twitter chats already, one thing is for sure; they’re definitely worth your effort!

Are you a Twitter chatter yourself? Let us know of your experience so far in the comments right below.

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