July 15, 2015
/ by Susan Guillory
If you’ve ever joined a Tweetchat (also called Twitter chat), you know there’s a lot of information poured into a short timeframe on Twitter. Usually a Tweetchat is held around a theme, like public relations or small business. Each session has a more specific topic, like “pitching the media your news” or “starting a tech company.”
The idea is that you bring together a group of people with a common interest who can learn something and network during the hourlong event held through Twitter. And while simply attending one of these Tweetchats is beneficial, hosting one has even more perks.
Tweetchats are fabulous for branding because you become known in your industry as the leader for the topic that you host your chats on. I work with Melinda Emerson, who has hosted #SmallBizChat each Wednesday for years. Her topics center around — you guessed it — small business topics, and attract thousands of participants. She’s successfully branded herself as the SmallBizLady as a result.
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If you are a PR professional who writes press releases and you host a Tweetchat on “writing a press release,” you know that the people who attend are interested in the services you provide. Now, certainly, they may take your advice and write that release themselves, but many of them may be so impressed with your knowledge that they decide to hire you to handle it yourself.
It’s easy enough to follow everyone who uses the hashtag affiliated with your Tweetchat. From there, stay in touch and see if you can be of service.
Not every Tweetchat has to be led by you. You can invite special guests with varied knowledge to take the conversation in new and exciting directions each week. That cuts down on the amount of planning you need to do, though it’s a good idea to create a script ahead of time so no one has to waste time thinking on the fly. Those partnerships can always blossom beyond that single event.
It can be maddening to try to track all of the tweets at a Tweetchat, so find a tool that helps you manage what’s coming through, like TweetChat. You can also set up a stream to monitor the hashtag in whatever social media dashboard you already use.
Follow everyone who participates, and try for some one-on-one interaction. It can be a lot for one person to manage, leading the event, following people and responding to questions, so consider having two or more people taking on separate functions during the event.
Tweetchats are just one more tool in your shed to help you better connect with customers and leads, as well as brand your company online.
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Images: Elijah van der Giessen, Chris Potter, Seattle Municipal Archives (Creative Commons)
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