From the desk of Ben Johnson…
One key advantage of social media is to use it as a new channel. So while companies, and particularly B2B companies, should continue broadcasting via webinars, speaking at industry events – all of the traditional t ools, why not host these types of events on Twitter?
I started thinking about this after participating in a weekly Twitter chat about social media. A few days before the chat, the moderator tweeted the hashtag that would be used during the event and then asked for specific questions that the “speaker” would answer during the designated chat time. During the actual chat, participants retweeted, replied, and shared information using the pre-designated hashtag.
This made me wonder, if an individual could be a moderator for a Twitter chat, why couldn’t a brand? As an individual, I want to, typically, step away from my Twitter account with a significant increase in new followers weekly. Again, this is what the companies I work with also want.
So, why aren’t companies utilizing these types of activities more often? Is it because they‘re hesitant to turn to social media for such conversations? Obviously their Twitter followers are invested in what they have to say online.
It can sometimes take weeks to get feedback or any type of measurement on how successful a webinar or a speaking engagement was for a company. Not to mention the obvious hard costs associated with developing a webinar or attending a tradeshow or event. But, with a Twitter chat, there aren’t any real hard costs. Feedback is immediate and much more engaging – a dialogue vs. a monologue. Measurement happens more from a “real-time” perspective by tracking and monitoring the reach, replies, and retweets of the individual chats.
And how about the increases in discovery of new customers, partners, followers, etc. through existing online communities furthering engagement? This is just Twitter, imagine the possibilities if you continue the conversation on other social networks, or a corporate blog.
While Twitter chats are not a new concept, many companies are not taking advantage. I thought maybe some tips to help initiate and organize a Twitter chat would be helpful.
- Create a designated hashtag to identify the chat
- Use a free tool such as TweetChat to follow the conversation in real-time
- Promote the chat on other social networks and Twitter prior to the chat
- Field questions prior to the chat to help with an organized agenda
- Measure the reach of your tweets using TweetReach to see how effective the chat was on reaching new followers
I also thought I would recommend two weekly Twitter chats that I like and are currently taking place:
#BWEchat Twitter Party
Wednesdays at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PST
Description: A Twitter chat run by BlogWorld and features guest speakers and panels about conference-related topics.
Tuesdays at 8:00 PM EST/5:00 PST
Description: A chat with over 180 active participants, Leadership Chat focuses on various topics each week.
I am looking for way to incorporate Twitter chats into what I am doing for our clients. So, I would love to hear what you think or if you come across any that are interesting, please share it with me on the 104 West Facebook page.