Saturday, February 18, 2012

6 Steps to a Successful #TwitterChat

Thanks to social media, we can now connect with our audiences without venues, catering services, or formal invites.

A Twitter chat is similar to any online chat where users log on at the same time to discuss a common topic. These chats are a great way to bring together a large audience without the hassles of a face-to-face meet up. Here are six ways to insure the success of your Twitter chat.

1. Choose a topic: Before you can start or invite anyone to your Twitter chat, you have to decide what you will talk about. Take into consideration what you want to learn from the chat. Is it just a chance to interact with your audience, or are you looking for more? These questions will help you formulate the perfect topic.

2. Promotion: If no one knows about your chat, no one can participate! Tweeting about the chat a week or so prior will draw in attention and notify your followers. Make sure you include the time the chat will start and that you are conscious of different time zones.

3. Create the perfect hashtag: A hashtag is simply a phrase preceded by the pound sign (#) that brands a tweet or, in this case, your chat. The hashtag is what will connect everyone participating in the chat, and allow you to track what is being said. When creating the hashtag, remember to keep it short, as a tweet can only be 140 characters long, spaces included! The hashtag should only take up a small portion of a tweet. The hashtag should also be relevant to the topic of your chat. For example, if your chat topic is about the book The Hunger Games, #HungerGames would be an ideal hashtag.

4. Create time limits: As much as you might love to interact with your audience non-stop, it is important that you place time limits on your chat. Because many people will be tweeting from their personal accounts, they will not want to clog their timelines with Tweets from your chat alone.

5. Be consistent: Decide on the style of your Twitter chat and then stick to it! You can either throw your topic out there and let your audience chime in, or you can ask questions throughout, which tends to be a more interactive style.

6. Track your chat: It’s important that you keep up with what’s being said in your chat. TweetChat is a great online application that enables you to easily track the hashtag you’ve generated.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Amber Burns.

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