The Power of Twitter Chats as a Marketing Tool
By Carly Stec
Remember when Miley Cyrus twerked in a fuzzy teddy bear suit at the VMAs and it was all over Twitter?
I think it would be fair to say that for a solid 2 weeks my Twitter feed was littered with Miley memes, teddy bears, and bad parody videos.
While she certainly gave the world something to talk about, who’s to say you can't do the same? (Minus the twerking, please)
The point that I am trying to make here is that as marketers, we appear to be under utilizing the opportunity to get together on social networks to create something valuable.
I don't know about you but a feed full of interesting, informative, industry-friendly Q&As sounds a bit more up my alley than teddy bears.
Pre-arranged Twitter chats utilize a universal hashtag, and a series of thought-provoking questions to bring people together to engage in a virtual conversation.
If your business is looking to rendezvous with people in your industry, or people interested in your industry, Twitter chats open up the floor for compelling interactions.
Why It's Worth It:
With over 500 million Tweets sent out each day, Twitter is the perfect platform to get people talking about you and your industry. (Source: Expanded Ramblings)
In case you missed that, that's 500 million tweets that you could be a part of, so what are you waiting for?
It's likely that the word free has a secure spot on almost everyone's list of favorite things, especially when it comes to marketing tools that actually work.
While marketing efforts have a tendency to add up, Twitter chats allow you to promote your business, make connections, and expand your expertise for $Free.99
That's right, I went there..Twitter chats are $Free.99
Expand Your Network
Chances are you already have an account, and you're already tweeting regularly, so why not make something out of it?
While hosting a social media marketing themed cocktail party for all of your Twitter followers might not be realistic. Hosting a Twitter Chat is, and provides you with the opportunity to strengthen the ties you have with your customers and other industry peers in an online setting.
If the people you are interacting with like what they see, they may pass the word (or in this case the chat hashtag) along to a friend. The more, the merrier. There is nothing of greater value than learning from the experiences of others, and sharing your personal tricks of the trade.
Showcase Your Thought-Leadership
Twitter chats are the perfect platform for your business to build its credibility in terms of industry expertise.
While it's unlikely that you will become a Twitter chat celebrity overnight, consider taking smaller steps towards making a name for yourself.
Seek out popular Twitter chats that relate to your industry and join the conversation. Utilize your professional experiences, insight, and unique approach to set yourself apart. Think outside the box as you address each new question if you don't want your answers to blend in.
When people start to recognize that you, or your brand has something to say that's worth listening to, then you can begin to host your own Twitter chats.
Before You Get Started:
Pick a Conversational Topic
Take some time to explore what's trending in your industry.
You want to pick topic that's not only relevant to your business, but something that's worth tapping into. Whether its social media or email marketing strategies, your topic should aim to elicit valuable conversational.
Equally as important, your questions should do more than just scratch the surface of the topic being addressed. Ask questions that people want to answer, and that people want answered. In order to avoid confusion surrounding users who may have joined late, label each question with a Q1, Q2, Q3...
Choose Your Hashtag Wisely
The hashtag that you associate with your Twitter chat is of the upmost importance. Your Twitter chat hashtag can best be compared to the glue that binds the whole conversation together.
It's important not to be a repeat offender, so scope out other industry chats and make note of the hashtags that are already off the market. Your goal is to drum up a simple, unique hashtag that aligns with the type of conversation you're looking to engage in.
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to join your conversation so lean towards something like #ImpactChat, and stay away from things like #SupercalifragilisticexpialidociousChat. Don't hog the 140 characters; let your audience do the talking.
Time it Right
Take into consideration what a day in the life of you entails. It's likely that people in your industry share a similar daily agenda.
Most of us kick off our morning with a cup of coffee and a quick (or not so quick) sift through our email inbox. Lunch hits about 12:30, and we start to get that end of the day haze as 5 o'clock rolls up.
We all have an occasional case of the Mondays, and Fridays are well..Fridays.
So what does that leave us with? Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays seem to be the time of choice for popular for a lot of popular chats.
There may be a whole mess of people that would love to share ideas with you, but if your timing misses the mark, your discussion might suffer.
Wondering where to begin?