Twitter is a top social media platform that millions of people and brands use everyday to connect with others in the social media landscape. With just a couple hundred characters you can make an impact in the world.
Twitter has many different features and users are creating their own methods of interaction. In this post I want to introduce you to the concept of the Twitter Chat. I’ll share with you the who, what, why, when, and where on this relatively new method to use Twitter.
What is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter Chat is a conversation on Twitter that centers around a common topic or subject and is found through the use of a specific hashtag. I can think of no better example than the #TwitterSmarter chat that is lead by one Madalyn Sklar. This chat is all about how to use Twitter more effectively and to connect with fellow social media consultants, etc.
The format of the chat usually is a question and answer format, where the organizer tweets a question like so:
Q1: What is the best time to send a tweet for your organization? #TwitterSmarter
and then the guests and participants reply:
A1: The best time I’ve found to send Tweets in my organization is during the lunch hour. #TwitterSmarter
Who participates in a Twitter Chat
Basically, anyone can participate in a Twitter Chat that knows about it. People who are interested in the topic can jump in and participate. But, when you clearly state what the topic is about and the intended audience you’ll begin to have the right people show up.
The great thing about the Twitter Chat is that you’ll get to “meet” new people and strengthen relationships just on Twitter. For an arts organization like yours you’ll grow your audience on Twitter and help others know about your organization.
When is a Twitter Chat?
The best Twitter Chats happen on a consistent basis. The #TwitterSmarter chat mentioned above happens every Thursday at 1:00Pm EST. The time of day and day you choose is totally up to you.
To help you get your Twitter Chat found you’ll have to find a directory to list yours in. TweetReports.com has a directory online.
Where is a Twitter Chat?
Since Twitter Chats happen online you could say that Twitter Chats happen all around the world. There’s no set place to hold a chat, other than participants’ offices, couches, laptops on the beach, anywhere there is a device and an internet connection.
Why do people use Twitter Chats?
There are a number of reasons why people use and create a Twitter Chat.
- To establish their authority and expertise in their industry or the field of social media.
- To increase their followers on Twitter
- To increase awareness of their cause or brand or topic.
- To increase community among their audience members.
Basically, the reasons why one would create and hold a Twitter Chat is numerous!
But, what does Madalyn Sklar have to say about Twitter Chats? I asked her via Twitter (where else?) and this is what she said:
Twitter chats are the best way to expand your network and connect with like-minded people. It’s where you’ll find your tribe. And where topics resonate with you. You can easily get plugged into a discussion with people you want to build a rapport with. When you attend chats regularly, you become an integral part of a community. You’ll be amazed at the new connections you make.Madalyn Sklar –
How can you start your own?
Okay, so let’s assume that you’re an opera company or a regional theatre and you want to do this Twitter Chat thing. How do you get started?
- Decide on a hashtag. (Let’s say #LyricOperaChat for the Lyric Opera in Chicago.
- Decide on a time and day to have it. (Tuesdays at 2:00PM CT)
- Decide on the topics you want to chat about and write those things down. (I’d recommend a good solid 2 months worth, so you can build traction and consistency.)
- List your chat with the directory above.
- Let your social media channels know that you’re going to hold them so your existing audience knows about them.
For more information, you might also hop over to Madalyn’s website and check out her post titled, Your Complete Guide to Twitter Chats: Why You Should Join and How to Make the Most of It
Twitter Chats is a great way to increase your brand’s awareness, strengthen your relationships with your audience, and help establish your organization on Twitter, and add another component of interaction with you on a digital platform.
Now it’s Your Turn! Have you participated in a Twitter Chat yet? Do you think that a Twitter Chat would help grow your organization? Let us know in the comments below.