How to Host Killer Twitter Chats for Business with Christine Pantazis [PODCAST]
In this podcast, I speak with Digital Marketing Strategist Christine Pantazis about Twitter chats for business. Christine hosts killer Twitter chats for busineses to help increase brand and product awareness to skyrocket sales.
1. Increase exposure for your brand
When posting a normal tweet on Twitter, your message can get lost among the noise. By taking part in a Twitter chat, or even hosting your own, you will have a live audience, with all eyes on you and what you have to say.
2. Build your community
By starting conversations and providing valuable insights, people will be more inclined to connect with. You suddenly become a person and not just a tweet bot. Twitter chats could help to build your follower count and community, helping to increase your credibility in social media.
3. Connect with (potential) customers and clients
By taking part in the conversation, users will know that you’re taking a genuine interest in speaking one-on-one with them. Chats could turn into direct messages, emails, or even offline conversations (even “tweet-ups” – a Twitter meet-up).
4. Gain authority
In social media, having authority within your industry could mean the difference between high sales or no sales at all. When competition is high, especially for web traffic, Twitter chats could make all the difference to your business. Gain authority and establish your brand as a thought leader by staying active.
5. Stay up-to-date
Twitter chats provide a wealth of information, as participants can come from any walk of life from anywhere in the world. Use Twitter chats to stay up-to-date with the latest news and resources. Also consider using Twitter chats as a form of market research.
How Tweet or Twitter Chats Work
As discussed by Christine in the podcast, Twitter chats can be an extremely valuable tool for businesses who want to connect with their audience and increase exposure for a brand or product. There are two ways you can take part in Twitter chats:
1. Take part in a hosted Twitter chat by another individual or company
There are many, many Twitter chats available depending on your industry or interest. Most people host Twitter chats because it’s a labor of love for them. They just want to connect and help others connect to discuss a particular topic. Check out the list below of Twitter chat schedules to find a chat that interests you.
2. Host your own Twitter chat, either weekly, bi-weekly or on a one-off basis
Hosting your own Twitter chat has incredible benefits, from helping to increase your follower count, to increasing brand awareness and target market interaction. Many companies hold weekly or bi-weekly Twitter chats, whereas others host one-off Twitter chats to help promote a product launch or event. Many companies will pay a community manager or social media strategist to host a Twitter chat due to their connections within the community and for the technical abilities.
How to Promote Your Twitter Chat
In many cases, brands will hire a community manager or social media strategist that can help get the word out about their Twitter chat. If qualified, they can reach your target audience through tweets, directories and advertising. If you’re doing it yourself, here are some helpful resources when promoting your Twitter chat:
Twitter chat directories
Twitter ads can help to push your Twitter chat promotion tweets to a larger audience. You can even promote your profile with Twitter ads. Be sure to add your Twitter chat #hashtag in your profile description.
Send out invitations
If you’re having a party, you send out invitations, right? The same goes for Twitter chats. Consider using Twtvite to send out digital invites, or send a message to your email subscribers. Create an event on Facebook or Google+. Or, *gasp*, send out paper invitations to friends, family and existing customers.
Build your community BEFORE the fact
The biggest problem I see in social is asking without giving. It’s so important to build your community and relationships before asking for anything in return. Before you consider hosting your own Twitter chat, build your following. If you don’t have a strong following or sentiment for your brand, you might want to consider taking part in someone else’s Twitter chat.
How to create a Twitter chat message
Creating the perfectly crafted Twitter chat message could mean the difference of being ignored or not seen at all. Here are some tips when taking part in a Twitter chat:
Always include the Twitter chat #Hashtag
Twitter users are able to find your message by use of the Twitter chat #Hashtag, for example #RBCHAT. Twitter, or a Twitter chat client, picks up on the #hashtag and displays all messages that include it within the copy. Twubs and Tweetchat, for example, populate the hashtag for you (I’ve even forgot to add it in the past, so this feature is very handy!)
Associate question with the answer
In many cases, Twitter chat hosts will pose a question to the community with a Q1, Q2, Q3 tweet. It’s always a good idea to provide the right number for your answer, for example A1, A2, A3. If you don’t, a time delay can sometimes occur, causing confusion about your answer.
Keep it short
Remember, you only have 140 characters to write your message, so crafting a short tweet is key. If you’re answering a question, consider breaking it into two parts, for example, A1a: and A1b:.
Twitter Chat Etiquette
Just like any social setting, there is a particular etiquette that you need to abide by when taking part in Twitter chats. Here are some things to keep in mind when participating:
No self promotion or SPAM (unless authorized)
Twitter chats are not a soapbox for you to talk about your company, products or services. They are intended to build relationships and start conversations with people in the community. However, in some cases, Twitter chat hosts will invite a brand to discuss their company and offer answers to questions people may have. This is always organized beforehand.
Don’t be a troll
When taking part in a Twitter chat, your opinions do matter, unless they’re downright argumentative. Speak your opinions, but if they start to disrupt the conversation, it’s time to take it outside. Send a direct message to the person you’re chatting to and offer to email them to continue the conversation.
Stay on topic
A Twitter chat host has a very difficult job, involving many moving parts and conversations. Try to stay on topic, answering questions or engaging the community in an appropriate way. Don’t derail the subject. It’s taken a lot of time and effort for the host to organize the schedule, and it’s considered rude to move off topic.
One Last Note:
Instead of hosting your own Twitter chat, you may want to approach a Twitter chat host to inquire about sponsoring them. This could help increase your exposure and gain credibility among the community and bloggers. You can also inquire about featured guest opportunities to speak to the community about your Company.
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