Steps to Starting a Twitter Chat Community — Ep 9
In Episode 1, we gave you some general tips about starting an online community. In this episode, we are going to get down into details about starting a Twitter Chat community. Twitter communities usually form around hashtags or Twitter chats. So we will focus on how to start a Twitter chat. Kami interviews Madalyn to share her experience around starting and running Twitter chats. We thought we would write our show notes in the traditional Twitter Q&A Chat format. Enjoy!
Q1. How do you know if your idea is a good one for a Twitter Chat?
A1. One way to find out is running a Twitter poll. Twitter polls can gauge what your community wants. Another way is to reach out to colleagues and friends for input on the topic. Sometimes it works to just dive in with a clear idea and start holding the chat consistently.
Q2. How do you establish a seed community?
A2. Telling friends and supporters about your mission and asking for them to attend the chat and help to spread the word leads to word of mouth and building excitement about the chat.
Q3. How do you know what time of day works for your audience to host a Twitter Chat?
A3. Do a poll, find out if daytime or nighttime is better to start. Then fine tune the results. Do some research to see what similar chats are happening at the same time. Once you have a day and time, be consistent and lock that time in. Compile a re-cap for the community and especially for members that can’t attend.
Here is an example of one from Madalyn’s recent#TwitterSmarter Chat about Twitter Tips: A Twitter Mash-up with Madalyn Sklar
And here’s one about Social Media Law from Kami’s #SMBHOU event. Legally Speaking: What You Need to Know About Social Media Law
Q4. How do you choose a hashtag for the Twitter Chat?
A4. Having a good hashtag is very important. Research what’s being used (search it on Twitter and Google) to make sure one no one else is using to avoid confusion. Use a hashtag that’s relevant to the topic and content. The hashtag doesn’t have to include the word “chat.”
Q5. What is the content about?
A5. Choose topics that interest people and invite them to come back. Come up a topic and have a conversation that relates to the community.
Q6. Do you need to have a guest?
A6. Having guests on the Twitter Chat is optional. Researching, sourcing and organizing a guest is time consuming. If you’re seeking a relevant guest for a Twitter Chat, going on other chats is a good way to identify potential guests. You can cut down on the time it takes to organize a guest, using tools like Calendly to schedule and get guest information.
Q7. How important is branding to a Twitter Chat?
A7. Branding is very important. Something is better than nothing. You can use Canva to create graphics and branding. Create branding to make yourself stand out, so that people associate your images with your Twitter Chat.
Q8. Should you build a team to help?
A8. Running a Twitter Chat is a lot of work. Building a team can help greet and welcome everyone to the chat, help generate topics and questions or handle things that aren’t your strong point. If you have a budget, you can hire a team. Otherwise, you can handpick participants and ask them to volunteer.
Q9. When does a Twitter Chat go from being an event to a community?
A9. You bring everyone together for an event, but it’s up to them to become a community. When they start interacting with each other and looking for each other at the chats and outside of the chats, you know the community is coming together.
Q10. What tools do you use for Twitter Chats?
A10. Tweetchat.com is a browser-based tool that you put the hashtag in and watch the tweets unfold. It also allows you to participate without having to remember the hashtag. Hootsuite can be used to schedule tweets. Having answers written down ahead of time helps you to be more prepared.
Links, Tools & Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
If you’re thinking about a starting a Twitter Chat, research chats in your niche and look at the hashtags they use. Attend each of these chats to see what they do and what you can do differently. Tweet us and let us know what chats you like. Tweet to us using the #CommunitiesThatConvert hashtag.
Check out Madalyn’s list of The Very Best Twitter Chats for Social Media & Marketing.