Get the Most From Your Next Twitter Chat
The “push-pull” strategy of messaging is well known by most content marketers and PR professionals, but social media platforms such as Twitter now provide opportunities to not only broadcast targeted messaging, but to encourage and engage in direct conversations with their audiences as well. Our social media team recently participated in a highly successful Twitter chat and wanted to pass along a few thoughts of using Twitter chats to increase your professional development, customer service, community relations and most importantly your business objectives.
A Twitter chat is a real-time conversation with other tweeters who designate each tweet with a pre-specified hashtag. Tweet chats are best participated in with the use of a third-party website like http://tweetchat.com which organizes all tweets marked with a designated hashtag into one stream, updated in real-time.
The chat we participated in used the hashtag #PhxPR and was hosted by a Phoenix PR consultant, Carrie Morgan (@morgancarrie). The topic for this specific chat was blogger relations and it sparked a lively, intelligent conversation amongst a variety of PR professionals. Participants in the chat included a broad range of guests. PR industry thought leader Cision (@cision) contributed to the conversation as did local Phoenix-area PR consultants. Many great resources, thoughts and articles were shared during the chat. Here are a few tips on how you can get the most out of your next tweet chat.
Increase the quality of the conversation by using your own social media network to spread the word about the upcoming chat to encourage more participants. Some frequent Twitter chatters recommend sending out a tweet notifying your followers to expect to see a larger number of tweets from you during the next hour while you participate in the chat. Although it is tempting, resist the urge to participate in the chat by using your smart phone. It is too easy to make a mistake while typing on your phone. When you initiate your presence in the Twitter chat, think of it as if you were joining a group of people sitting around a table conversing about a specific topic.
Likely, the chat moderator will tweet a question or ask for feedback from the participants. Respond early to engage with other contributors and to assert your presence in the conversation. One tweet can go a long way and garner a quick response.
Be conscious about the quality of your tweets, not necessarily the quantity. In other words, be sure that your contributions help to move the conversation forward. Don’t feel that you have to stick to just answering the moderator’s questions. Asking your own questions will further integrate you with the participant you respond to and chances are someone else has the same question you do. If you are addressing a certain user with your question, be sure to use @username in your tweet. Observe what others are discussing and digest it as well. Take the time to scan through posted links to articles and do not be afraid to share your own content. While a Twitter chat is not the place to force your own agenda it is certainly an outlet for you to post relevant content and establish yourself as a thought leader. Keep the conversation moving forward.
You don’t walk out of conversations without saying goodbye to people in real life and you shouldn’t leave a Twitter chat that way either. Thank the moderator and anyone you conversed with during the chat by @ tweeting them. Be on the lookout for any mention of the chat transcript being posted to a site like Storify and refer back to it to look up any useful content that was shared during the chat. Follow up with the users you engaged with by following their Twitter handles when the chat has concluded. Review your tweets and see how they stack up against the other participants’.
Twitter chats can be a great way to not only engage with other members of your industry’s community but are also useful for business development. Take the resources and knowledge that were shared during the chat with you. Type up a memo re-capping the chat and make it available to the rest of your team.