11 tweet chat best practices to increase engagement, content and conversion


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To the inexperienced eye, tweet chats can be chaotic and difficult to follow.  It’s a ton of information flowing seemingly at once, multiple conversations in the same stream.  But once you’re used to it, I’m now convinced that tweet chats are fantastic tools for marketers and participants alike.

If you’re not familiar, the basic idea of a “tweet chat” is to claim a hashtag and have a bunch of people talking about a particular topic on Twitter at once.  There are several that have been around for years and are highly popular, even in B2B.

I’ve recently had an opportunity to participate in several, including #socialhangout, #atomicchat and #b2bchat.

Below are several recommended best practices for tweet chat hosts, and a few for participants & guests.

For Hosts

Publicize the featured topic in advance: Even if you’re a regular, recurring tweet chat host, let people know what you’ll be focused on for each session.  Sure, some people may opt out without attending due to a topic they don’t particularly care about, but you’ll have the opportunity to pull far more people in based on the topic (even if they haven’t participated in or have been intimidated by the idea of tweet chats in the past).

Circulate primary questions in advance: Especially if you have a featured guest, give them some questions in advance and encourage them to draft some answers that fit within 125-130 characters.  As a participant, it’s FAR easier to have these ready to go, to just cut-and-paste vs. try to come up with something on the fly while other tweet chat content is flying fast.

Foster & encourage community leaders & recruiters: You may have initiated a tweet chat for your company, industry or category, but quickly your participants will claim it as their own.  And this is a great thing for fostering and growing the community.  Identify early those who are naturally leading conversations in your early tweet chats.  Give them VIP status, encourage them to continue fostering the community, and arm them with messages & tools to recruit others to you.

Identify & staff multiple roles: Once your tweet chat begins, things can become chaotic.  It’s important to have a few specific roles enumerated, including the primary chat lead, someone to handle follow-up questions, someone who may specifically answer technical or “help” questions about participation, someone to retweet and favorite participant content, and someone to specifically help amplify good comments through and beyond the tweet chat community.

Use Tweepi to follow participants in real-time: You’re far more likely to get the follow-up back if your handle follows someone in the midst of the chat itself.  Have someone on your team assigned to this.

Build a Storify post in real-time: Another role on your team can be someone to pull out great quotes from the chat and feature them in a post-chat blog post.  Storify makes this really easy, and you can have that post published literally minutes later.  Great way to get participants to further amplify the conversation and draw more participants into the next installment.

Capture & repurpose all that great content: As a content marketer, tweet chats might be the most efficient means of collecting a ton of great content in a short amount of time.  If you have 2-3 industry thought leaders sharing ideas all at once, you’re literally collecting thousands of words of repurposable content in 30-45 minutes.  How else can you use this?  Blog post, e-book, retweets for days.  Get creative.

For Participants

Write out your draft answers in advance: See rationale above.

Turn off other distractions: Tweet chats are busy enough, if you get sucked into email or something else, you’re done.

Use HootSuite (or similar) to manage your feeds: I recommend a column specifically for the hashtag feed, a column separating out your own handle mentions, as well as a column dedicated to tweets from the host (so you don’t miss new questions or changes in direction of the conversation).

Reply to comments as often as possible: Even if just to acknowledge a point they made, and especially if you are a featured guest.

Use Tweepi afterward to follow everyone who participated: Great way to ensure ongoing connection & conversations after the chat.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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