Tweet Chats

Tonight I am moderating (well technically it’s @HealthCentral) our first #HealthTipsChat.  I really enjoy moderating tweet chats, I think they are a great way to connect with your followers, influencers and tweeps.  For a brand, this is your chance to show your followers your personality.  You can also get an understanding of what your followers are interested in.

What is a Tweet Chat?

A tweet chat is a pre-arranged chat that happens on Twitter through the use of tweets that include a predefined hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation.  Tweet chats are an effective and efficient tool for social media marketers looking to expand and engage with online audiences.  These chats are a great way to connect with people in your network and talk about topics of interest online.

How it works:

Each chat has its own #hashtag that lets you  follow along with the conversation in real time.  There are many ways to participate in tweet chats:

  • Type the hashtag into the search box of twitter
    • Pro: The conversation updates much faster than a twitter tool
    • Con: It is harder to respond and RT directly
    • Con: The twitter search function doesn’t always pull in all tweets within a search, you could easily miss some of the conversation
  • You can use a platform such as HootSuite or TweetDeck.  Simply create a column with the hashtag and the page will automatically update as the conversation starts.
    • Pro: It is easy to follow along with the conversation
    • Con: There is a delay time that could leave you minutes behind the chat

Twitter Chat Expectations:

  • Use the hashtag every time you tweet
  • Retweeting is welcomed and encouraged to invite your network into the conversation
    • This is the easiest way to participate
  • It’s not cool to go off topic and use the hashtag for a conversation that doesn’t relate to the theme
  • Only use links, if it is helpful and relevant
  • Too much promotion will get you in trouble and you could be asked to leave

Best Practices

  • Do some research on the hashtag beforehand to get an idea of who you’ll be tweeting with
  • Retweeting:
    • Introduce yourself right as the chat starts
    • When answering a question, make sure to include “A” and the question number before your respond
    • Add a comment before the user’s twitter handle.  Ex: “Agree” or “+1”
    • It is ok to shorten the original tweet to make it fit the character limit.  Try changing “you” to “u”
    • Ask questions that relate to the theme or topic
    • Answer the moderators questions, contribute relevant opinions engage with others and retweet answer or links you find helpful
    • Remember, followers who aren’t participating in the chat can see your tweets
    • Make sure to follow other tweet chat attendees

I am a Social Media Manager/Analyst working in San Francisco. Before moving to San Francisco, I lived in Washington, DC and was working in the health field. For over 4 years, I have developed and implemented marketing strategies and campaigns to drive social growth.

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