As you would expect, we're involved with several tweetchats throughout the working week.
Not sure what a tweetchat entails? These networking sessions run on Twitter using a # to discuss topics or share knowledge. We covered the many reasons you need to have them as part of your social media plan in our previous blog.
Looking to host your own ‘tweetchat’?
Here are some ideas, recommendations and considerations for a successful tweetchat based on our participation over the past couple of years.
Who is your tweetchat intended for?
Before you start, consider your target audience.
- Who is your tweetchat for?
- Is it for industry specialists to share best practice?
- A regionally based business to network?
- Alternatively, to educate people that have an interest in a certain topic?
Work out who you’re trying to rally to get involved and why! Invite them to your online event, in any way you can, using both on and offline tools.
This is key. When will your target audience or peers ‘attend’? During the working day, lunch time or the evening?
The evening is swamped with networking tweetchats, however, it is often a time that business owners and freelancers can attend as they aren’t bound by meetings or other 9-5 obligations. The weekday is also ideal for small business owners and freelancers that can steal half an hour or an hour to network with their peers or local community. Many, however, work without this flexibility and so will have to fit it in around other commitments or miss out entirely.
Tweetchats range from 30 mins to 1 hour (usually). Depending on who you ask in the office, we all have a preference. The 30 minutes tweetchats seem fast and furious. The longer hour sessions mean that people can drop in and out throughout and you can scoop up new participants along the way.
The question you need to ask yourself is how much time you have to host a tweetchat? You can always increase the length of time if the audience wants you to.
Some tweet hats we attend have little or no prep. A few tweets reminding people about the event, but nothing more. The best ones we attend put in some prep, and because of that, they are useful, engaging and fun!
So we recommend that you put the following prep in:
- If you regularly run this tweetchat, get a Twitter ID and set up a Facebook page in the tweetchat’s name. This way it is evident who people need to follow. It also gives you the opportunity to provide the specifics of your chat.
- Add the event on Facebook, invite the right people and share it with related groups. You want people to come right?
- Schedule updates throughout the week reminding people, tagging in those that you know will help you spread the word or that you are inviting to come.
- Send out an email campaign. If you have a database, let them know about this new tweetchat you are holding and why it will be valuable for them to attend.
- Prep the topics and questions. Not all people like to have to think off the cuff. Especially when the tweetchat is only half an hour. So have the questions prepared to ensure that you get the most engagement possible. If participants feel fully prepped on the topic the more fruitful the conversation will be. Pin these questions to your Twitter profile, Facebook page and share them in the event.
- Like and RT every answer! When the tweetchat is happening, make sure that you credit everyone that has answered your Q’s with some exposure! The more you do that, the more people will start to join in. If you get the chance, encourage people to explain their answers further.
- When the tweetchat is complete Storify it so that those who missed it can read it all in one place. Share this out, tagging in those that feature. This is an excellent way to encourage people to come back again, as well as reach new audiences. Also, utilise Twitter ‘Moments’ feature to do a roundup – people love engagement, and the more you do it, the higher the chance they will come back each week.
It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?
We recommend having guest hosts that can do some of this for you. Have a rotation of people with different topics, questions and specialisms. This will really make your tweet chats stand out from the rest while taking some of the administrative strain off of your back.