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July 9, 2015

#Winning at Twitter Chats

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Twitter chats are a crazy-effective way to skyrocket Twitter engagement. The following is a guide that teaches you how to leverage Twitter chats to amplify your brand voice. You’ll learn how to identify Twitter chats that make sense for your niche, engage in them effectively and turbo charge your social media marketing efforts. Fair warning: Further reading may result in excess Twitter engagement. Proceed with caution — your Twitter’s about to blow up.

#Winning at Twitter Chats

What’s a Twitter Chat? What Twitter Chats Are Right for My Brand?

What is a Twitter chat? A Twitter chat (also referred to as a Tweet chat) is real-time conversation conducted via tweets — each Twitter chat has its own hashtag that bands the conversation together.

Investing in a Twitter chat as a part of your ongoing social media marketing strategy can lead to myriad benefits:

  • Relationships. With real people. With real needs. That you can help them with.
  • Thought Leadership. Regularly use Twitter chats as a platform to authentically share your one-of-a-kind knowledge and people will begin to turn to you as a thought leader.
  • Staying Top of Mind. To stay top-of-mind in potential consumers’ minds, you have to find ways to meet consumers where they are — and one of those places is Twitter. Chatting. It takes massive effort across multiple platforms to stay top-of-mind. Twitter chats are one piece of the puzzle that can keep you there.

When you wield Twitter chats to achieve the above objectives, they naturally lead to fan growth, which in turn leads to:

  • New Clients, Customers and Fans
  • Increased Following
  • Increased Engagement

Finding the Twitter Chats that Align with Your Brand

There are Twitter chats on every subject you can imagine, from business, marketing, SEO and LinkedIn to fashion, mommy blogging, food service and fitness. What Twitter chat aligns with your business or brand? This Twitter chat master calendar from TweetReports provides a comprehensive list of all Twitter chats on the Internet … and there’s a Twitter chat for literally every niche. Check out some of these unique and/or specific examples:

  • #YALitChat
  • #GreenRoofChat (“green roofing”)
  • #HayTalk (“a discussion on hay and forage issues”)
  • #SalonSpaChat
  • #CoffeeChat
  • #VLLChat (“celebrating Latina lifestyle bloggers”)
  • #ChinaChat (“business in China”)
  • #FundChat (“nonprofit fundraising and marketing”)

The above is proof positive that you’ll find a Twitter chat that aligns with your business/brand, no matter your industry. Take a look at how many Twitter chats there are for the digital marketing space alone!

  • #B2BChat
  • #AppChat
  • #BlogChat
  • #ContentChat
  • #TechTalk
  • #PPCChat
  • #JournChat
  • #AdChat
  • #BrandChat
  • #SEOChat

Twitter Chat Etiquette

Now that you’ve identified which Twitter chat(s) to participate in, you can use the following guidelines to maximize your participation on the social media platform!

Use TweetDeck. Add a column for the Twitter chat’s hashtag and then follow along. In my experience, TweetDeck is the simplest and most reliable platform for participating in a Twitter chat.

Remember the basics. Use the hashtag in all your tweets. Also, most Twitter chats are made up of a moderator asking questions and guests, like your brand, answering. Don’t forget to include the number of the question you’re answering in the tweet (e.g., A1).

Listen. Favorite, retweet and engage with people’s tweets. You’re not in this just to be heard, but to listen.

Prepare ideas ahead of time. Usually, the topic of a Twitter chat is announced beforehand. Take some time to study up on the topic. Find the latest statistics or news on the topic. You’ll also want to take stock of your brand’s blog or assets — if your brand, for example, has written an article or created an infographic on the subject at hand, that’s something you’re going to want to work into the Twitter chat naturally.

Try to include images in a few of your tweets during the Twitter chat. Social Media Examiner reported a 150 percent increase in retweets when you include images. That’s important to remember for all Twitter activity, not just Twitter chats.

Promote the chat on your social networks prior to the chat. Here, again, it’s important not to forget to use the chat’s unique hashtag.

Don’t be afraid to be funny! A well-timed meme, joke or gif can liven a Twitter chat’s mood and gain lots of engagement. Please inject personality into your brand’s tweets (while still maintaining your brand voice, of course!).

Mind your manners. Show up to the chat on time and introduce your brand when you join the chat (unless you are late — don’t interrupt an ongoing chat to announce your presence). Never forget to say thank you to the host.

Don’t write a novel. It should take one tweet to answer a question — two AT MOST. In this case, the beginning of your tweet should indicate that it’s part of a sequence by utilizing 1/2 and 2/2:

What are You Waiting For? It’s Time to Get Started

The best way to get started with Twitter chats is to jump right in. Once you’ve identified a few chats your brand could benefit from being in, show up and tweet away! Most Twitter chats occur on a weekly basis — try to attend for a few weeks to give the Twitter chat a solid chance.

Twitter chats are a powerful social media marketing tool for stimulating buzz for your company or personal brand (not to mention their ability to drive traffic, generate leads, etc.). Twitter chats provide opportunity to network, gain quality followers and amp up engagement, all while positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Finding Twitter chats that work for your brand are a must-do if you are trying to enhance your SMM strategy!

If you’re looking to jump into a Twitter chat, join us for #SEOchat every Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. You’ll love the weekly opportunity to talk to fellow digital marketing enthusiasts like yourself, and you’ll get a feel for what Twitter chats can offer a business. It’s one hour a week where you can both socialize and sharpen your skills from the comfort of your own office. Follow the #SEOchat hashtag and we’ll see you Thursday!

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4 responses to “#Winning at Twitter Chats”

  1. Mark writes:

    I love this concept. Thanks for sharing. We teach people to rank videos at but given that social engagement is critical, if the video is designed correctly it would be an ideal focus for a twitter conversation. Thanks – great article.

  2. Cathy Mayhue writes:

    Very nice and informative article Christi! Though I have been using twitter since a very long time, but never came across terms like TweetDeck and twitter chat. It was all about following people, tweeting interesting posts and rejoice on being retweeted and followed.

  3. Rushi Shah writes:

    Hi Kristi,

    Twitter chats are the best way to get engage in realtime conversion using hastgas. I am using TweetDeck and its an awesome tool when we want to use twitter. Twitter is the biggest online conversation platform so it has its own importance. Thanks for sharing such informative post.

  4. Hemanth Malli writes:

    Thanks for sharing such an important concept for SEO guys.

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