Twitter has made awesome Twitter chatting difficult, with the API destruction of TweetChat and TweetGrid. But that’s okay, because it leaves you open to exploring new Twitter options! Because you have no choice!
Plain old Twitter chats are SO last week, but buck up! They can still be valuable when done correctly – and they can even be memorable. We have tips.
There are definite do’s and don’ts for Twitter chats, from promoting them to hosting them. Can you add anything to this list?
First you need to create the hashtag:
Have a hashtag that’s unique, but not password unique. #GoodDayConf is uniquely you; GdDy2013Conf is a password. And for an ongoing chat #GoodDayChat is good (a bit long, but good) and GDC sounds like a political party (too short to identify properly/keep “top of mind.”)
Then you need to get folks to participate:
Promote that hashtag on every written piece of collateral, online property and account you have. If you don’t have any of those things, list the hashtag in your Twitter profile and tweet about it at various times throughout the day (but don’t tweet about your chat exclusively – that’s spammy.)
And during the chat, you MUST:
Be organized. Have a list of topics prepared ahead of time and a plan for sharing them. For example, “Q1: What are your thoughts on sumo bean bag chairs?”
Have a landing page somewhere (even link to a Tumblr post, if need be) where you explain what the chat is about and how the chat is organized. Tweeting out instructions at the beginning of a busy chat is like throwing a cat into a tornado – gone in a second and you’ll regret wasting your time so foolishly, as people will ask again and again AND AGAIN for various explanations. Add the link to the landing page to your Twitter bio as well (during the chat at least. You can always change it back.)
Monitor the conversation. Yeah, this is where you’ll really need a tool to help. You can use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or open Twitter in another browser if you just want to create a hashtag column to follow. Why do you need more than one column/screen? Well, you’ll want to keep your other screen open to click around quickly looking at folks’ profiles and figuring out who to retweet, add followers, create lists and such.
Retweet valuable bits of information . . . or semi-valuable info from influencers. Yes, in a perfect world one would only retweet based on the content, but if you have heavy hitters participating in your chat, retweeting them is a way to give your chat some credibility and building goodwill with such folks is always a good idea. They’ll likely give you valuable nuggets, but if not, make the best of what you have and retweet that baby!
And finally (this should’ve been first probably), be sure to send a tweet telling your followers that you’ll be participating in a chat so they don’t unfollow you for being too noisy! You should probably advise them to turn off your retweets. Here’s how:
So why did we imply that Twitter chats are old news? Because they are.
There are tools that take Twitter chats WELL beyond the hashtag, like Nestivivity’s Tweetcasts. They “let you share images, video and other content alongside the conversation” and THESE virtual meetings make your chats easy to find, search and archive.
Even better? You don’t have to alert followers to your activity and risk losing them as the Tweetcasts take place on their own page.
Better than THAT? Forget needing a separate landing page, because the Tweetcast IS your landing page. It’s a built-in promo for your chat! You can see a recent example of how it was used here or watch the video below:
Does anyone doubt that that’s where chats are headed in this multimedia world?
(Image by Cartoonresource via Shutterstock.)