A tweetchat is a live Twitter event with questions focused around a particular topic. They are sometimes also called Twitter chats. Typically, tweetchats have a moderator and a host. The moderator asks the questions and the host(s) get the conversation started by answering the questions and engaging with the audience. It is also possible to have multiple co-hosts who lead the chat.
Tweetchats are a powerful way to engage your Twitter audience and grow your social media influence. There are a number of benefits to hosting and participating in tweetchats, including:
- You can position yourself as an authority;
- You can create greater brand awareness;
- It helps you to build relationships with influencers;
- It may also help you to get more Twitter followers;
- You will be able to connect and engage with a wider audience;
- You can also showcase relevant, helpful, and useful content around a topic; and finally
- You will start to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen subject area.
What, though, do you need to know and do to organise and host a tweetchat? Here are our top tips.
Participate Before You Host – By participating in tweetchats before you host you will discover how they work. If your answers stand out, there is a good chance that you will be invited to participate or host a chat in the future.
Decide your objective and how you will measure success – As with anything, you will get much more out of tweetchats if you are clear what you want to achieve by participating and hosting. It is also helpful to communicate your objectives with stakeholders and potential participants, and decide the metrics you will use to measure success.
Build your panel – Digital events are completely dependent on the quality of the conversation. Just as you need good speakers at a conference, you must make sure you have a credible panel of subject-matter experts booked well ahead of the event. Brief them on the theme and work with them to design questions.
Define your audience – An event without an audience is pointless. Decide who you want to attract, and then design the promotion tactics to fit, including the choice of event date and time. Consider sending personal invitations to likely participants.
Choose a Custom Tweetchat Hashtag – A custom tweetchat hashtag will make it easy for everyone to follow the conversation. A potential bonus is that if enough people use your hashtag, it can result in your tweetchat trending. This may attract other new people into the conversation, and create additional exposure for your topics.
Promote effectively – It is a good idea to promote your tweetchat in the days and even weeks leading up to it. This will increase your chances that it will be a success. You can use some of the same tactics as for a major conference, but there are smaller-scale tactics that are also effective. A blog that sets the scene is very definitely essential. Another effective way to promote your tweetchat is to create a social tile that you can easily share with your social networks.
Add your chat to a tweetchat directory – This is part of promoting your tweetchat, but worth a separate point, because it is so important. Adding your chat to a directory will increase the chances that it will be found by relevant participants. The website Tweet Reports has a Twitter Chat schedule that you can use, and Twubs also has a Twitter chat list.
Create eye-catching social tiles – Use branded graphics featuring the tweetchat questions and hashtag. This will make it clear who is leading and moderating the conversation, and make things easier for participants on the day.
Keep your questions open and inclusive – Tweets are limited in length. This means it is important to make your questions fairly short, to give people plenty of space to engage and respond. And keep them open, so the answers can include opinions.
The end of the event is not the end of the discussion – There is still plenty to do when the music stops on a tweetchat. After hosting, it is helpful to publish a round-up post on your blog, and share the best answers and insights, perhaps using a round-up tool. If you use a self-hosted WordPress blog, then sharing tweets is easy: all you have to do is copy and paste their URLs.