Creating Conversations with #TwitterChats

Social media is all about instantaneous connections and community engagement, with Twitter being one of our main social media tools. Many see it as simply a platform for 140 character messages, but utilizing it differently can add another dimension to your brand and show some personality.

Twitter chats are a great way to do this. Twitter chats are instantaneous Q&A sessions between a brand, its followers and the community. They last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and are a unique way to connect with an audience. Chats can be used in all industries and situations, but can be especially helpful in creating buzz about an upcoming event. 

With Twitter chats, you have the ability to hear your audience’s voice. Because the format is an informal Q&A setting, the ability to hear directly from followers is natural and unforced. This gives great insights into an audience’s thoughts on your brand, things they are excited about, things they think you could improve on, etc.

So, how should you get started?

Create a chat hashtag.

Creating a unique hashtag for your chat is essential – people need to know how to follow along! Whether it’s an ongoing series (see #AdWeekChat and #BufferChat) or just a one time event (see #PACEchat), a chat hashtag is vital.

Create interesting and relevant content.

Create thought provoking questions about things your audience is interested in. Inquire about industry trends, the latest technology, or social issues as they relate to your business. Having engaging questions that challenge followers’ minds while also still being playful and low-key is the right combination for a successful chat.

If your chat is about an upcoming event, throw in a few teasers about what to expect or find out about what your audience’s expectations are or what they hope to get out of your event. Use this information in the final planning phases.

Have fun!

Twitter chats are a great way to show personality through social media. In replies and tweets, use gifs, photos and relevant pop culture references to connect with followers. It’s an opportunity to show brand personality and who you are as an organization.

Not interested in hosting? Totally okay. Participating in Twitter chats is also a different way to connect with others in your industry, become more involved, and get some great insights. Participating in large, worldwide chats is fun and insightful but there are opportunities locally as well. Recently, the Lansing Chamber of Commerce held a #ChamberChat that focused on the greater Lansing area and attracting top talent.

Taking the first step to creating your own chat or getting started by participating in one isn’t difficult at all – it only takes 140 characters. 

- Sarah