7 Things to Consider When Hosting a Twitter Chat

Twitter Chat

Thinking about hosting a Twitter Chat or you want to learn more about them?

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is “is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.”

Twitter Chats can be a great way to engage the community and learn from them! Keep in mind they aren’t a requirement as part of your social media plans. Make sure you have the capacity to host one as well.

Here are some things to consider as you start to plan:

1. Subject: What are you going to talk about?

You might already have an idea in mind which is why you started the planning. You still want to consider the subject. Make sure that your idea is something that gets people engaged, is relatable, and ties into what you do. If it’s your first Twitter Chat, consider something broad and something that people feel comfortable talking about as they get to know you.

You might want to ask people in your organization or even in your life their ideas on subjects or for opinions on your idea. If you feel that you got a lot of ideas, you can keep a running list to use for future chats or for other parts of your marketing plans.

2. Audience: Who do you want to participate?

Everyone? That’s definitely the goal, but you want to focus on specifics for it to be successful and useful.

The people you want to participate should first be about what you do as a person or an organization. It’s also about your constituents and followers. Then it’s based off of the subject your Twitter Chat.

Okay- now you can move on to everyone!

3. Questions: What should you ask?

This relates to the subject and your audience. Use your subject as a guide. What questions would help you learn about this subject?

You want to start off with introductions and make sure you have a closing as well. Introductions can include things like location, their role/identity, a fun get to know you question, etc. Closings can include a thank you and asking for closing thoughts.

The questions are about preparation. You want to plan out the questions beforehand. Questions should be spaced out to give people enough time to answer. Plan out how much time should be devoted to each question. You also want to prepare answers for the questions yourself and a scheduler can help!

Questions should start out short or light and get longer or heavier as you continue on. The number of questions can range from four to eight. Be careful with how many you do so you and the participants don’t feel rushed.

4. Timing: When should it be?

Most chats are one hour in length.

Just like a lot of these other considerations, it comes back to your audience. What time of the day should you host it and what day of the week?

You want to keep timezones in mind. You also want to make sure that you don’t get lost if there’s a lot going on or conflict with other chats that your audience might already participate in. Work and school plays a role on figuring out when to schedule it.

You can ask your possible audience as well to see when would be a good time. If you’re doing a few chats, it might take a few tries to find the time you go with.

5. Outreach and Participation: How do you get people to participate?

Getting people to participate can depend on the subject and the time of the chat, but you also want to market your event on your social media channels and spread the word.

6. Hosting: Who is going to host and how? What will be the hashtag?

The Host-

Is it a single person? A part of the business? A guest host? The company itself? If it’s the company itself, have a person behind the Twitter account. It helps to add trust and personalization. Twitter Chats can be overwhelming or have a lot going on, using more than one person can help manage everything.

The Hashtag-

If you plan on hosting multiple chats, pick a go to one. If it’s really specific, pick one for the moment. Be sure to look up the hashtag to make sure it isn’t already used. The hashtag should be used in marketing and spreading the word. In the questions and in answers.

7. Follow-up: What do you do afterwards?

Once the Twitter Chat is finished, it isn’t over. This is a common mistake that can happen. A Twitter Chat can help you learn a lot if you look into the data and information afterwards.

If you plan on doing another chat, be sure to look into things like how many people participated. This can help determine the time or subject for next time. You might see a common theme that comes up, and you can use that to help brainstorm the next subject. You can see who participated and who’s engaged.

If there is something you were hoping to learn, delve into the questions. What did people say or not say?

There is a lot to consider when hosting a Twitter Chat. It might be seem daunting, but planning can go a long way! Plus, the character limit has gone up so people can add more to the conversation.

Happy Tweeting!