Twitter Chats: How to Create a Successful Tweet Chat
Wondering how Twitter chats can help market your business?
To learn more about Twitter chats and what they can mean for your business, I interview Pam Moore for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.
It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).
Pam shares why businesses should host Twitter chats and the marketing benefits of running them.
You’ll discover how to get started, where to find participants and ways to promote your Twitter chats.
Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
What Is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter chat is a way to get people together at a predetermined time and talk about a subject. Their purpose is to organize conversation and connect people.
Pam says that if you’re new to social media, and to Twitter specifically, then Twitter chats are a great way for you to learn how to use it. Twitter chats not only allow you to form a deep connection with a community, but Pam has also seen people empower their lives and businesses faster than they thought possible.
When you plan a tweet chat, you can make them formal or informal. You’ll find out why Pam recommends that you have a combination of both. You can also do tweet chats in a series, which can help with your brand’s positioning. With this type of tweet chat, you need to put together a strategy over several months.
One of Pam’s clients, IBM, recently held an event called IBM Connect in Orlando, where they hosted tweet chats with some of the influencers and speakers for the event. The aim of these tweet chats was to generate awareness and excitement for the event, plus drive registration.
This particular chat had over 40 million impressions over the course of a few days, and included 2500 tweets. Nearly 600 people took part in the conversation.
You’ll find out what comes after the tweet chat that is just as important as the chat itself and why you are left with a social asset.
Listen to the show to find out what IBM added to the front and back ends of their tweet chat for IBM Connect.
Why host a tweet chat?
One of the marketing benefits when you host your own tweet chat is that you can start to a build a community around it. You can capture the mindshare of that audience for a specific time on a regular basis. This gives you an opportunity to communicate and support your marketing objectives.
Your core goal is to focus on the needs of your audience. When you provide great content, which can bring good people to the community, then they’ll begin to depend on you and want more.
Pam has seen so many people—clients included—grow their businesses and make connections and partnerships. It easily puts you in a leadership role.
Listen to the show to discover how a tweet chat can easily go viral.
How to prepare for a tweet chat
Pam says that the process includes both art and science. As the chat leader, you need to provide some framework, but you don’t want it to look like you have planned everything that you say.
You have to balance structure with flexibility and agility. In a structured-style tweet chat, you have a list of questions. Pam usually creates a list of questions and has a specific topic to talk about.
Pam is the leader of the GetRealChat, which is held weekly to educate and help the audience. As the leader, you can share your expertise and also leave the questions open for the community to answer.
You’ll hear how you can use tweet chats to grow your email opt-in list and subscribers.
Listen to the show to find out what led IBM to put together a social buzz chat after the tweet chat, and how the company created a social asset.
How to get people to participate live
When you lead a tweet chat, you need to make sure you work in unison with any guests whom you invite to join you. Don’t ever throw them in at the last minute.
The best way is to get on the phone with guests ahead of time, so you can have that voice-to-voice connection first. If it’s your first time on a chat, then Pam encourages you to be on the phone while on the chat.
You’ll discover why Pam likes to get on the conference call 15 minutes before the chat with everybody who is participating. Behind the scenes, the chats are very structured, but to the community it needs to look completely unstructured.
The way to get people to participate in a tweet chat is to leverage your existing community using your email list. If you don’t have one, then you need to start to build a list.
Pam likes to do some market tipping to let people know about the chat.
The most important thing is to make sure your content is good. You can also reach out to some key influencers within your community and get them to partner with you.
You’ll hear the story behind how GetRealChat came about.
A lot of different tweet chats have arisen from the GetRealChat, created by people who came in 3 years ago and hardly knew how to tweet or retweet. These people now lead their own communities and some even work for Pam and her team.
Listen to the show to find out how long a chat should last, and what you need to do to make it succeed.
How to find tweet chats
If you’re new to tweet chats, then head over to the GetRealChat blog to see all of the transcripts from Pam’s tweet chats.
Pam recommends that you use the TweetChat platform. Once you enter the specific hashtag, it will automatically filter all of your tweets for that hashtag. It will also add the hashtag at the end of your tweets, so you don’t have to.
Listen to the show to find out how we use TweetChat at Social Media Examiner.
Common mistakes to avoid
Pam says that if she were to do it all over again, she would structure her chats more from the start.
The objective of tweet chats is to serve and help people. So if you see it start to take off, then you need to think about monetizing your platform.
IBM is a client of Pam’s because they approached her to participate on her platform and to communicate with her audience. You’ll hear the reasons Pam set up the GetRealChat blog.
When you first start out, you need at least 10-20 people on a chat. It’s about quality over quantity. Pam has always tried to focus on quality, and to ensure that people feel part of the community. You need to keep the people who care about it really engaged, because they are the heartbeat of the chat.
It’s better to have 100 people who are interested in your content and communicate within your chat on a monthly basis than it is to have 500 who are just tweeting or retweeting because they want to become famous and be part of the hashtag.
You’ll discover how many questions you should have ready and why five is normally not enough.
Listen to the show to find out what turns up the dial on the viral nature of a tweet chat.
The strategic use of retweets
You need to make sure you know the key players in your community and give them some social love. Some of the best ways you can do this is to:
- Notice when they ask questions
- Greet them as they come in
- Share relevant content they tweet
Another thing you can do is welcome people back. Pam has people in her community who over time have stepped up into a welcoming role. People just want to be acknowledged.
Listen to the show to hear why Pam doesn’t consider influence score when replying to people.
Tools to help manage a tweet chat
Along with TweetChat, there are a few other tools available to help you manage a tweet chat.
You can use a platform like Storify to help manage your tweets. Tweets can be collected within Storify and then shared in a blog post.
During tweet chats, you or a colleague can favorite some tweets in a separate Twitter window that you know you’ll want to pull into a transcript. This will make it much easier for you to go into Storify, do a search and pull up those tweets.
To create the transcript, it’s simply drag and drop. Storify then shows you what your transcript will look like.
You need to install the WordPress plugin for Storify on your blog, and once Storify gives you the URL for that transcript, you can easily embed it within your blog post.
Hashtracking is another tool that Pam loves. It gives you real-time insights for your hashtag.
Some of the measurement features include:
- The reach of your hashtag
- How many impressions you are getting
- How many people participated in the chat
- How many tweets were sent
- What other hashtags were communicated
You’ll discover why Hashtracking is a very powerful tool when you have sponsors involved in your tweet chats.
Pam believes that if you are new to tweet chats, these tools are all you need to get started.
Listen to the show to hear what you can view in the Hashtracking transcript.
Other Show Mentions
This week’s podcast is sponsored by Social Media Marketing World.
Social Media Marketing World 2014 is our physical mega-conference, which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.
The conference features more than 80 sessions in four major tracks: social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.
If you want to see the excitement for this conference, check out our hashtag #smmw14.
If you enjoy networking and a key part of your business strategy is to meet people who could possibly become business partners, strategic alliance partners or future customers, you will love this conference. We have integrated networking in so many different ways.
1. Bingo on opening night
2. Walks/runs in a morning
3. Opportunity after the opening keynote
4. Dedicated networking space
5. Dedicated networking ambassadors
Be sure to check out more about the conference.
Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
- Connect with Pam Moore at The Marketing Nutz or at Pam Marketing Nut.
- Check out IBM Connect and the hashtag for the event.
- Use TweetChat for Twitter chats.
- Check out Jessica Northey, a country music artist who runs a tweet chat at CMchat.
- Look at the GetRealChat blog for transcripts of Pam’s tweet chats.
- Try Storify to manage your tweets.
- Install the WordPress plugin for Storify, so transcripts can be embedded in a blog post.
- Use Hashtracking to gain real-time insights into your hashtag.
- Learn more about Social Media Marketing World 2014.
- Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in corporate sponsorships for Social Media Marketing World 2014.
Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:
- Click here to subscribe via iTunes.
- Click here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed).
- You can also subscribe via Stitcher.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on creating Twitter chats for your business? Please leave your comments below.