Listen to the podcast version of this blog post:
So, you’ve just got your head around Twitter. You’re sharing photos, utilising hashtags, creating branded graphics and using the best calls to actions. But what’s this, there’s another way to engage your audience? Of course, social media moves fast and you have to keep up.
Today’s post is going to focus on the topic of Twitter chats and why as a business, you should be getting involved with them.
What is a Twitter chat?
It’s a conversation that is created around a specific #hashtag. The host of the chat will usually publish questions throughout the hour and everyone responds (always include the hashtag). Sometimes the Twitter chats are a little less structured and everyone simply introduces themselves and the conversation develops naturally. I prefer the former, I can’t help but appreciate clear direction and focus.
You can find chats around many different topics. The lifestyle bloggers use #lbloggers (Wednesday 7pm UK time), the travel folk use #TTOT (Tuesday 10:30am UK) and the photographers can be found talking around #BlogPhotoChat (Thursday 9pm UK). If you sell handmade crafts then I’m sure you’re already involved with #Handmadehour (Wednesday 7:30pm UK) and if you’re into business and social media (which I’m pretty sure you will be) then keep an eye on #Bufferchat (Wednesday 5pm UK). There are of course many, many more chats so do some research and find out which ones are most suited to your business.
So, why should you and your businesses be getting involved with Twitter chats?
– Engage with potential customers within a community setting: You’ve found a relevant chat that aligns with your business. These people are potential customers but that doesn’t mean you should spam the chat with links to your website. Oh no, introduce yourself, get involved with the natural conversation, answer questions and offer advice where you can.
– Position yourself as an industry expert: If you’re running a successful business then I’m presuming you know your topic well. Yes? Good. Twitter chats give you the chance to position yourself as an industry expert, a thought leader or whatever trendy term you like. Basically, you know your stuff – so show it off. Are people discussing their gym routine, are they asking questions? Make a suggestion, offer a tip or simply give them a nudge of encouragement.
– Learn something new about your customers: Discover what your target market are talking about. Use Twitter chats to develop products around what people are looking for.
– Reply directly to develop 1 on 1 conversation: Is there someone you’re keen to find out more about, or maybe you want to collaborate with them in the future. Make a conscious effort to interact and respond to their tweets within the Twitter chat. It’s important to still include the hashtag so that conversation is still part of the community chat.
The most important thing to remember is to interact with other members of the chat. Respond to questions, offer solutions and simply mingle as you would at a real-life networking event.
I’m sure I don’t need to remind any of you, but just in case, do not spam a Twitter chat. Do not use it to promote your services or website (unless one of the questions is to share what you do). Use it to engage with a new or existing audience, nurture potential collaborations and most importantly use it to network.
Leave a comment below letting me know which Twitter chats you plan on getting involved with this week.