In this tutorial, Brian Honigman explains what a Twitter chat is, as well as the purpose of investing in one and some examples of industry-leading chats to reference as members create their very own. For example: #CreditChat, #MHECareers, #InsideZappos, #TwitterSmarter, #AdweekChat and #NewsHourChats.
- [Instructor] Maintaining an ongoing dialog with your audience should be the main goal of using Twitter. Hosting your own Twitter chat is an opportunity to build a recurring conversation related to your expertise and offerings as a business. A Twitter chat is a discussion happening the same time every week or month, organized around a particular hashtag and an overarching theme. Here, we're using a third-party tool called TweetChat to illustrate the exchange of question and answers throughout a Twitter chat using the Landon Hotel's #LondonChat.
During a chat, a company's Twitter account shares five to 10 questions over an hour to get guests and participants to answer their questions using the hashtag within their tweets. The host of a Twitter chat in this case, the Landon Hotel, should not only share questions during the chat, but also respond to the answers from participants and engage in related conversations. The question selected always relate back to the theme of the chat. But what changes the topic of each chat is different. For example, #CreditChat is a weekly chat hosted by Experian, a company that offers credit reports and credit scores.
One week, the chat was focused on the road to financial wellness while a previous week, it was centered on tips for donating to charity. Think of a Twitter chat as an ongoing TV series. Every episode tells a different story, but each of these shows is related to the same plot point. The purpose of a Twitter chat is to encourage the right people to interact with your brand by sharing their opinion from their Twitter account. A chat not only gets people talking to your business and providing feedback, but each user's tweets may be seen by their audience, building awareness for both your chat and brand.
Secondly, a Twitter chat can build a community since it is a tool for cultivating relationships. Similarly to a friendship, regular conversations create a bond between Twitter users and your company which develops trust in the long term. #AdweekChat hosted by the advertising publication Adweek regularly has the same people return week after week to participate. Adweek responds to tweets from users further exciting and encouraging them to interact as it's not every day that a major publication tweets you. Lastly, a Twitter chat can help establish your business as a subject matter expert as a result of hosting and engaging conversations around your expertise.
It's a chance to show your organization is a thought leader in your industry and is willing to pass its experience and knowledge to others. A Twitter chat should never be promotional or sales focused, but instead, centered around sharing and curating useful information on a relevant subject. The #InsideZappos chat covers what's happening behind the scenes at Zappos, the online shoe retailer. Their chat offers career tips and an inside look at the company culture, associating them as a leading brand in career development.
Not to mention, a more enticing company to work for. Every chat is going to be different as the industry and focus will vary based on your organization, its goals, and audience. There are chats focused on cooking for beginners, customer service, healthcare, and almost any other topic you can think of. Active chats worth reviewing include McGraw-Hill's chat #MHECareers, Madalyn Sklar's chat #TwitterSmarter, and PBS's #NewsHourChats.
To find chats in your industry, refer to these chat schedules from TweetReports and Twubs to see what a Twitter chat looks like in the wild.
- Define a theme, goals, and an audience for Twitter chats.
- Examine how to choose quests and prepare them ahead of time for a Twitter chat.
- Identify ways to promote a Twitter chat such as sharing a chat across other channels and sending event reminders.
- Explore how to participate in other relevant Twitter chats.
- Recognize how to analyze ways to measure success using metrics and other methods.