social media how toDoes your business use Twitter?

Have you considered using Twitter chats as a marketing tool?

As the use of hashtags on Twitter continues to flourish, conversations built around specific hashtags—or Twitter chats—have become commonplace.

While you may be familiar with how to use Twitter chats for personal networking, you might not know they can also be used by brands to achieve business goals.

In this post, I’ll show you 5 ways your business can benefit from Twitter chats.

#1: Connect With Customers and Prospects

Hosting an event is a great way for a business to bring its potential and current customer base together to learn, engage and build a deeper relationship. Not all businesses can host a conference or seminar, but every business can host a Twitter chat.

The key to hosting a Twitter chat that helps your business connect with potential and current customers is to choose a topic that resonates with your customer base. Whole Foods, for example, hosts a weekly Twitter chat that discusses (you guessed it) food.

HubSpot hosts a weekly Twitter chat that discusses the science and data of inbound marketing. Their Twitter chat is run in conjunction with a weekly webinar on inbound marketing, which makes it a great lead generation tool for their business. Especially considering that, according to the Hashtagify tool from CyBranding, the #scichat hashtag gets an average of 12 million weekly impressions.

scichat webinar

HubSpot combines lead generating webinars with Twitter chats.

As the host of a Twitter chat, you can expect to gain lots of new followers each time you hold the chat. In addition, you’ll build your social influence (i.e., Klout) when you’re retweeted and mentioned during each chat.

As your chat grows in popularity, your business will become synonymous with the Twitter chat topic, and thus achieving recognition as a leader in your space.

#2: Build Authority

Many businesses use social media with the goal of building themselves up as an authority in the eyes of their customers and in their industry as a whole. Appearing as a Twitter chat guest to answer questions about your area of expertise is a surefire way to boost your authority.

So, how does one get invited to a Twitter chat as a guest expert? The best way is to actively participate in the Twitter chats you’d like to be a guest on. Get to know the host of the chat and tweet with him or her on a regular basis. Staying in the forefront of the host’s mind and acting as a valuable resource in the Twitter chat is bound to lead to a guest opportunity.

If you want to take a more proactive approach, send an email and let the host know that you’d love to be a guest on the chat sometime. If the host is familiar with you and believes you’d be a good fit, he or she just might agree.

With the goal of lead generation in mind, be sure that you update your Twitter profile appropriately before the chat. For example, if you’re a social media expert who is going to be a guest talking about Facebook, include a link in your Twitter bio that takes new followers from the chat to your Facebook services page, book or product.

As the guest of a Twitter chat, you can expect to gain lots of new followers during the chat as well as if/when the host writes a recap with the highlights of the chat. You might even get some business leads from people who find out how knowledgeable you are about your topic during the chat.

#3: Create One-on-One Relationships

As an active participant in a Twitter chat, you have the chance to demonstrate your knowledge to customers and colleagues. The more often you participate in a specific Twitter chat, the more relationships you form and the more recognition you gain in your industry.

Each time you participate in a Twitter chat with valuable comments and advice, you’ll gain new followers. You’ll also generate leads for your business as people in the chat visit your profile to connect with you, so make sure your Twitter profile is updated to help people learn more about you and your business.

#4: Stay Informed

Not everything has to be about your business’s bottom line. Attending Twitter chats in your industry as a spectator can be a great educational experience.

In Cases on Formal and Informal E-Learning Environments, there’s a chapter dedicated to a case study on how higher-education professionals used the weekly #sachat as a learning resource for student affairs.

As a spectator, your goal is to find Twitter chats where other professionals and experts in your industry meet to discuss common issues. Marketing professionals, for example, will find lots of Twitter chats with educational opportunities in the Ultimate List of Twitter Marketing Chats by Raven Tools.

#5: Promote Your Brand

If you know that a particular Twitter chat attracts your target customer base, then it makes sense for you to approach the host of the chat about sponsoring. Sponsorship packages vary based on the Twitter chat you’re interested in, but many include some of the following opportunities:

  • Mention of your business as the sponsor for the Twitter chat during the chat itself, as well as in articles and social updates on other channels used to promote and/or recap the chat (Facebook, Google+, etc.).
  • Promotion of your products and/or services during the Twitter chat.
  • Positioning of your business as the featured guest of the Twitter chat that allows you to work with the host on questions that help you market your business.
  • Advertising banners on pages/websites devoted to the Twitter chat.

Some examples of Twitter chats that offer sponsorship include #blogchat, #TGTaste, #SocialChat, #FoodieChats and #PPCchat. To find sponsorship opportunities that are relevant to your business, search for Twitter chat sponsorship on Google.

In Closing

Before you decide to be the guest or host of a Twitter chat, be sure to find and observe a chat within your industry so you know how they work.

There are many Twitter chats happening on a regular basis and you can find them on this Twitter Chat Schedule by Tweet Reports, or by searching on Google for your keyword + Twitter chat.

What do you think? How have you been involved with a Twitter chat? What were the benefits? Please share in the comments!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 480,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (56 pages, 90 charts)!

More info...
  • Excellent article Kristi. Twitter chats are an amazing way to drive potential customers to business and to build relationship as an industry expert. Also thank you for mentioning ultimate list of twitter chats (Raven tools).

  • Great tips there Kristi, thanks. Excellent way of connecting and increasing your social presence and something that every business should try once 🙂

  • Thanks Navneet! Glad you like the list! 🙂

  • Thanks Kerry! 🙂

  • I’ve enjoyed every Twitter chat I’ve attended, and usually got more followers as a result. You’ve inspired me to attend more!

  • I like combining a G+ On Air Hangout with a Twitter Chat using Nestivity. Best of all worlds imo. Because you can also use a FB app and stream it there, too. I’ve been on both sides of a Twitter Chat and I love them, but now that I can also live stream video AND Twitter chat – a plain ole Twitter chat seems blah.

  • Good tips as usual @kikolani:disqus.#4 is a really good point about Twitter chats which can help lead to opportunities to use the other points you mentioned with.

  • Twitter chat is like speed dating (not that I’ve ever been to one)…fast and furious. You blink and there are 50 more tweets. But using platforms like HootSuite saves my sanity. Not only does it connect me with potential clients and bloggers, it gives me the ROI to show to current clients. Also, when the #hashtag trends, it’s like hitting the jackpot on a nickel machine.

  • CatchFire Creative

    Hi @kikolani:disqus! This is great. 🙂 We’re big fans of Twitter chats – and always look forward to live tweeting during webinars, etc. HubSpot recently changed their format from Twitter chat to a FB group: Although we love the new FB group, we do miss the chats on Friday afternoons… We’re hoping they’ll encourage users to continue the use of hashtag #SciChat while engaging in chats via FB (despite the chats no longer being live).

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Good tips!

    I enjoyed participating in #SciChat from Dan Zarrella and HubSpot, but it moved to a Facebook group. I’m still getting used to the format. But admit that I prefer the Twitter chat. Why? Because I got to ‘chat’ with others in real time during the Twitter chat.

    Click here for the SciChat Facebook group.

  • Jason Bridges

    These chats have been very beneficial for me over the past year. One of the most cost effective professional development tools around, great information is passed in a short amount of time.

  • Jason Bridges

    Just starting to join G+ hangouts, different feel than Twitter Chats but I like it. Technical difficulties get in the way from time to time though. (Nestivity, thx!)

  • Great insights on use of Twitter and the value proposition. Thank you for providing such valuable information.

  • Great to hear they are working for you David! 🙂

  • That’s a good point Phyllis. Nestivity definitely takes Twitter chat to a whole new level! 🙂

  • Thanks Christian! 🙂

  • Good point about the speed – I got to the point on some that I had TweetChat open to monitor everything and HootSuite open to catch any replies directly to me. It definitely keeps you on your toes. 🙂

  • Oh, I didn’t know that. I had seen that hashtag still popping up, so I assumed it was still going. I guess it was a great way to build up the Facebook community though. 🙂

  • You does the interactivity with Facebook – I’m actually surprised they didn’t do LinkedIn groups instead of Facebook.

  • Exactly Jason! They can be like crunching in a class in an hour.

  • You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Great strategies for Twitter here! You explained how and where to focus our
    efforts in building connections and exposure using Twitter chat so well
    here. In my opinion, being a guest expert sounds like a great way to
    build authority for your brand. Thank you Kristi!

  • Wow, great job Kristi, thanks! I’m playing with that hashtag tool, mentioned in your article. Amazing. In case of our business Twitter works just perfect. It drives more than 3% of the revenue. With this knowledge I’ll try to break another “per-cent” 🙂 All the best!

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Interesting. I always received an email notifying me of the Twitter chat, which was held every Friday at 2 pm. I’ll have to get clarification.

  • Matt Coffy

    WOM Marketing/ Advertising has never been less effective – I must say not only in Twitter, but in any social platform. Thanks a lot for bringing this up and I hope to see more of your posts, Kristi!

  • Thanks John! 🙂 I could see you using Twitter chats as a way allow your audience to follow up with the experts you interview in your podcasts!

  • Glad to hear you’re getting great results and have some new ideas on how to increase them! 🙂

  • Thanks Matt! 🙂

  • Great article Kristi (as always!) and I completely agree that Twitter Chats are fab. I’ve been trying to get one off the ground for a while now, but I find here in Aus people are slow on the uptake. They seem to be going great guns in the US!

  • Great post, Kristi! I’m a huge fan of Twitter chats and have actually made and fostered some legitimate business and personal relationships through our weekly interaction in a chat. There are so many for social media and marketing folks and the topics are almost always super relevant and discussion-worthy.

  • Pingback: 5 Ways Twitter Chats Can Help Your Small Business |()

  • Jack

    Sorry but I have to vehemently disagree with the premise of this post. I defy anyone to show me a Twitter chat thread and point out a single useful tweet. I monitored many many of these chats, and nothing but noise gets generated.

    Even with the Whole Foods example above – scroll through and find me a single tweet that contains anything of value. The majority are simply tweets from Whole Foods to their website, and the remainder are a handful of people retweeting that link. Zero conversation, zero information.

    Don’t agree with me? OK then – post a comment along with a link to a Twitter chat you believe contains good content.

  • I am a new Twitter user and I had never heard of chats before finding this post. I will be looking for those in my topic area now. If you have any “Twitter Chat for Dummies” information, I fill gladly take it. Thank you for the post. Sharon at fitinfun

  • Alex Joll

    Great article and I think following a few chats first is a good way to get in to this.


  • Kymberly

    Another way a brand can participate in a twitter chat is to provide prizes. My sister and I have hosted a few chats and had sponsors who offer products and services, which draws participants.

  • Pingback: 13 Most Informative Twitter Posts of 2013 -

  • Hi Kristi,

    Excellent post! I just started participating in Twitter Chats about three months ago and I must admit that I’m simply in LOVE with Twitter Chats. I can’t believe that I didn’t participate on some of my favorite chats sooner. I will be launching a Twitter Chat for my community pretty soon, so you awesome tips have been a great resource. Thanks!

    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  • Pingback: 5 Effective Ways of using Twitter Chats for your Business | Journey of self-discovery()

  • Pingback: #CIPRCHAT – CSR and PR | Eat. PR. Love.()