Twitter Growth TIps
You know of the popularity of Twitter chats and what a great marketing tool they make, so you want to create one around your favorite topic.
It’s a good idea, but if you’re here, it’s probably because you don’t know where to start.
So in this post, we explain how to create a Twitter hashtag for your chat and give you some tools to setup your chat and run chat sessions without having to rely on the feature-less Twitter hashtag page.
What is a Twitter chat? (For the Newbies)
A Twitter chat is a hashtag-based chat that uses Twitter as a platform. In other words, it’s a hashtag on Twitter and the ‘chat’ is all tweets using that hashtag, in real time.
Typically the chat host will ask questions and participants respond to these questions. If the chat welcomes an expert guest, the first answers may come from this expert.
Since the chat happens in real time, it’s given a set length, usually one hour.
Despite having such a simple setup, a Twitter chat is a great marketing tool because it’s free to create and it can bring engagement around your brand’s topics. Just think of popular Twitter chats in the marketing and SEO world like #serpstat_chat and #SEOChat. They create a lot of engagement around SEO and marketing and interview prominent guests.
Create a Twitter Hashtag for Your Chat
Think about the topic of the chat you want to create: what is its main focus?
Start with answering that question, then use the answer to brainstorm at least ten terms you want to include in the chat name.
Then, do another brainstorm for complete chat names that you may use: you’ll want each of these names to be short (so it doesn’t eat up character count in the tweet) and memorable.
Once you’ve picked a few good names, check their availability (some of them might already belong to another brand).
Your chat name will be the one that isn’t already owned and that describes your chat better.
How to create your hashtag? Just create a new tweet containing a # followed by your chat name (e.g. #MyChatName). And you’re done!
Use A Twitter Chat Application
If you don’t want to use an application, you can still use Twitter to follow the hashtag updates, but these will be slower because the hashtag page on Twitter doesn’t auto-update fast in real time and it doesn’t come with extra features like the automatic append of the hashtag to each new tweet.
We selected 3 tools, that will will introduce below:
TWChat is Ann Smarty’s popular Twitter chat platform that comes with several functions.
You can see at glance if a tweet contains an answer or an assertion, and you can post your tweets and like or retweet others’ tweets directly on the platform, on the hashtag page.
On TWChat, you can bookmark the Twitter chat you participate in to always have them available under My Bookmarks, while you’ll find every chat you create under My Rooms (click your username at the top right corner of the page to find it in the drop-down menu) and you can easily access the most recent chats because TWChat saves a history of chat sessions.
Twubs is similar to TWChat but more spartan in appearance. Here you can find some popular hashtags like #litchat for book lovers.
All you need to do is to sign up and register your hashtag (your account will figure as the Host) to start using the service and post, like and retweet hashtag-based tweets on the platform without having to load Twitter as well.
Any Twitter account that joins the platform and chooses to join your chat will figure as a member and appear in the list on the sidebar. You can also list accounts of contributors.
Twubs also offers live event tools (like moderation and branding) but they don’t come free.
With tchat.io you only need to signin to Twitter and enter the hashtag of the chat you want to follow or participate in, and you’re set.
This is a minimalistic Twitter chat platform that you can easily use on the go, even on a mobile device. You don’t have to register your chat: just enter your hashtag in the “# enter hashtag” field and hit the “Start Chatting” button.
For each tweet in the chat, you have buttons to reply, retweet, quote and favorite, and the platform will automatically append the hashtag of the chat your tweets.
How to Manage a Twitter Chat (3 Steps)
Below you will find our advice on chat management and maintenance:
1. Decide on a topic and schedule a day for the Twitter chat
You can pick your topic per each chat or come up with a list of topics to create a calendar around that list. That also gives you time to bring any guests on board as you’ll know with large advance what you’ll cover in a given month.
One idea could be to schedule 3 months of chats and create a calendar that you will share with your readers and subscribers (with a reminder here and there so they won’t forget).
Also, make sure you pick the time of the day you get the most engagement on Twitter (Twitter Analytics will provide this information) to maximize participation and make your chat a successful tool to grow your business.
2. Warn your followers of the upcoming Twitter chat
Give a shout out to your Twitter followers and mention prominent followers and any guests of the chat.
See, as an example, how Viral Content Bee does it on Twitter:
#VCBuzz twitter shoutouts warn followers that there’s an upcoming Twitter chat that they might be interested in. Try it for your chat, too.
3. Keep an archive of Twitter chats
To continue with the example above, do it like #VCBuzz and make chat summaries: in other words, create an article on your site where you post a summary of the most important points and contributions to the chat, crediting all relevant contributors you cite with a link to their Twitter profile.
This is an example of chat summary by #VCBuzz.
Concluding Thoughts on How to Create a Twitter Chat
Creating and managing a Twitter chat is not hard, but you have to schedule well in advance and stick to it for the chat to be successful at growing engagement around your topics.
A Twitter chat can be a powerful marketing tool, for you can also use it to promote your website and products or services in between topics. Just don’t make your chat too self-promotional because it will turn off participants, who will eventually stop joining the conversations.
Here’s to your success!