Okay, so we LOVE Twitter chats. We love hosting and participating in them (check out our last recap of #socialstudiochat here). Twitter chats are a great way to stay connected with your online friend and meet new ones! Unlike participating in a Twitter chat, hosting one takes A LOT of prepping and planning. We’re sharing our best tips on hosting a Twitter chat and getting the most out of it!
How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat (Tweet this!)
Choosing a Hashtag
This can be a tricky decision but not to worry! We can help you!
Choosing a Topic + Questions
Choosing the perfect topic can be difficult. You don’t want it to be too broad or too narrow. But what is “too broad” or “too narrow”? Well, this completely depends on your audience! The key to choosing a great topic is knowing your audience. What similar experiences do they have? What are their interests? What do they want to learn more about? The reason why Twitter chats are SO fun is because everyone has something different to offer. Ask questions about their personal experiences and advice they would give someone else. Remember not to ask questions that require a long answer and stay positive!
Choosing a Date + Time
The more the merrier! Am I right? To ensure that the most people can attend your chat, there’s a few things to consider… First, be aware of other chats your audience attends. If possible, schedule yours around theirs. Second, be mindful of time zones! We like to schedule our chats at 6pm PST so even our east coast friends can join in! Don’t forget to specify the timezone when sending out invites!
You should definitely promote your chat on Twitter and other networks, but you’ll have more participants if you send personal invites! Start with people you already have a connection with. Then start reaching out to others! Twitter chats are like parties with pizza, people are always willing to join! We like to invite engaged followers -- you know those people that always “favorite” your tweets, but you’ve never really talked to them. We also like to invite people who attend chats similar to ours. If they’ve already attended a chat, they’re more likely to attend yours too!
Make sure to personalize their invite. Don’t just copy and paste. Use their name, bring up a detail from a previous conversation or something in their bio!
Schedule Questions + Quotes
If you’ve attended a Twitter chat before, you know they move FAST. Save yourself the stress by scheduling your questions and quotes in advance. That way you can just focus on interacting!
Extra tip: Create visuals for your questions and quotes to make them stand out from the rest of the feed.
Record Your Numbers
Make sure to record your numbers before the chat! Use Twitter Analytics to record the number of followers you have, your engagement rates, etc. so you can compare them to your numbers after the chat!
During the Chat
Favorite, Retweet, Reply, Repeat
It’s no secret, Twitter chats move SUPER fast. And as a host you want to reply to every tweet! But by the time you reply to one tweet, there’s ten more! The struggle! TweetDeck is an awesome tool by Twitter (so it actually updates quickly) that allows you to view multiple feeds on one screen. We like to have our notifications open next to the chat’s feed so we don’t miss a tweet!
Extra tip: Copy the chat’s hashtag and paste it at the end of every tweet! HUGE time saver!
Spread the Love
When hosting and participating in a Twitter chat, it’s easy to chat it up with your bestie. Well a large part of Twitter chats is meeting NEW people. As a host, your role is to facilitate connections and make new ones yourself! Spread the love and make new connections.
When there’s a million tweets per second (at least sometimes it feels that way!) it’s easy to reply with a couple words. Get deep and get personal. That how real connections are made.
You should be providing your audience with value in one form or another. Are they trying to learn something? Feel inspired? Leave with new connections? Make sure the hour was worth their time! That being said, Twitter chats should be valuable to your brand as well!
At the end of the chat, make sure to thank everyone for joining!
Have Plans for the Next Chat
People WILL ask when the next chat is. So have a plan for the next one! You don’t need an exact date, but maybe a time frame. Next week? Next month? Let your audience know!
Create a Twitter List
Add the participants to a Twitter list. It’s a resource for them and yourself! You can use this list later to send personal invites for your next chat and say something like “Thanks for joining our last chat, we’d love to have you at our next one!”
Compare Your Numbers
Finally, compare your numbers! Your numbers should have increased! After our last chat, we saw a huge increase in traffic to our site from Twitter! Like we said, Twitter chats should be beneficial to your audience and your brand!