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Twitter Chats

Following on from my last post about the basics of Twitter, I wanted to talk about Twitter chats which are a brilliant way to build & engage your community on Twitter. They are real time discussions around topics and questions which users can follow via the chat’s hashtag on Twitter’s website or app, or on various websites which also collate all the chat tweets for you. My method of choice for Twitter chats, and Twitter as a whole, is Tweetdeck.

The key aim of Twitter chats is engagement. They could be considered the digital equivalent of an Ann Summers party; while you may have things available to buy, selling is not the focus. Digital dildos aside, your Twitter chat should aim to provide fun and/or information while truly engaging with those attending.

Twitter Chats: How To

  • A great way to ensure you have time to reply and retweet during the chat is to schedule the topic announcements or questions in advance.
  • Plan out the timeline of your chat, an hour is common but many over-run, and schedule content that inspires discussion over that time.
  • Consider how long it will take for people to read and reply to each question; some will likely be more in depth than others so take that into account.
  • Remember that you are not providing all the content, you are providing a skeleton which other Twitter users will flesh out with their answers and opinions.

Depending on the topic of, or reason for, the chat, it can be a nice idea to provide a highlights post a day or so later. There are also a variety of apps and websites which can collate all of some of the tweets into a shareable document, though I would recommend doing it manually if at all possible, something your social media manager could help with!

Ultimately, whether running your own Twitter chat or joining in someone else’s, ensure you focus on adding value; share thoughtful answers to the questions and leave the sales pitch at home.