Why #TweetChats Belong in Your Social Media Strategy

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Are the same people always showing up in your Twitter stream? Are you looking for an efficient way to reach a broader audience and maximize your tweets?

Having run my own Twitter account (along with Twitter accounts for Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 businesses), I’ve used a combination of approaches to identify and reach more quality Twitter users including:

  • Using Twitter search to find people with the same interests
  • Tweeting more!
  • Unfollowing over-active Twitter users

The problem is that constantly “cleaning up” your Twitter feed and making the necessary adjustments to your list of followers is time-consuming and will always be a work-in-progress.

Your Twitter feed is a tool that makes it easier to keep up with friends and businesses you follow and also a place to get information on topics you are interested in from blog posts, statistics, tips, and more.

If you are looking for a faster way to find the right people to follow, tweet more, and spend less time searching and more time engaging with others, I suggest participating in a #TweetChat.

Why Should You Use #TweetChats?

A #TweetChat is a community discussion on Twitter where people tweet about the same topic using a specific hashtag (#) on a set day and time. IBMers and others, for example, can participate in a #cloudchat. It’s also possible to continue adding to the hashtag after the chat.

IBM @cloudchat

All too often, people only use Twitter as a broadcast tool to share links back to their own website or latest blog post or to tweet other content to their followers. This is a powerful, but limited, strategy for sharing your ideas.

Using tweet chats broadens the public discussion for everyone to see, not only your tweeps. Everyone on Twitter is invited to join in the conversation to solicit ideas, spark creativity, identify trends and diversify their followers. The advantages are:

  • Anyone can join in the conversation
  • You don’t have to stay the entire time
  • You can be an active participant and tweet during a chat
  • You can be a silent listener and just take in everything

For example, if you’re interested in learning about “social media,” you can join a tweet chat on that topic and listen in, tweet to subject matter experts, and get your questions answered.

One of the longest running is #Journchat, Twitter’s first industry chat. It is a weekly (Mon 7-8pm CT) conversation among journalists, bloggers and public relations folks. It is moderated by @PRsarahevans. Go to 50 tweet chats for more chats relating to journalism.

Finding @TweetChats

Tweetchat.com

This my favorite tool to surface new tweet chats. Not only can you search for specific chats to join in, but you can also embed tweet chats. You create an embedded tweet by inserting special HTML code into your website, blog post, email signature or anyplace that accepts HTML code.

TweetChat Twitter

 Twitter search is another source for tweet chats. Just enter your keywords. For example, #tweetchat, #twitterchat, #chat, and so on.

Twitter search

If there is a favorite blog you follow, why not tweet the owner and ask if he or she participates in tweet chats and get the hashtag? It’s an  opportunity to expand your circle of connections and become part of the conversation.

TWChat

This site also enables you to search for tweet chat rooms with topics of interest.

tweetchat, TWchat

By joining and participating in a tweet chat, you gain exposure to a broader audience to showcase your capabilities and ideas.

Pro tip: Don’t be passive in a tweet chat; participate in the conversation and network with other participants outside the chat.

Engage with participants who share valuable content during a tweet chat, retweet their tweets and follow them. Their tweets will add more quality content in your Twitter stream and they may follow you back.

Generate more tweets

If you struggle with finding items to tweet, participating in a tweet chat can provide the content to generate more tweets.

Tweet chats are public, so every tweet you post during a tweet chat will show up in your own stream as well as in that hashtag stream.

This is important because nearly all Twitter users look at the types of tweets someone posts before deciding to follow them. Your tweets from chat rooms are your original content, building your authority and adding variety to your Twitter stream. Your tweets may not seem interesting enough for people to follow you  if all you tweet out are links to blog posts and articles.

Find new people to follow

By joining a chat, you can immediately identify people you want to follow from the list of people who joined the chat.

You are participating in a discussion with other like-minded individuals. Take a moment to read through their Twitter bio to learn if these are people you would be interested in following. Or, you may want to write to them directly (using the @twitter handle) to start a conversation and deepen the relationship.

Tweet chats are public and I may be searching for a keyword at the same time you send out a tweet during a tweet chat. If you happen to show up during my search, I have the opportunity to join the tweet chat, retweet you, or start a dialog with you – since you tweeted about something I was looking for.

Had you not participated in the tweet chat, our paths may have never crossed.

Are you participating in tweet chats? How have you benefited? Please share your experiences in the comments.

Christian KarasiewiczChristian Karasiewicz is a social media marketing professional and founder of FB Marketing University, a go-to source for Facebook education and training on the web.

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Comments

  1. Excellent post, Christian – thanks for hosting this guest author, Jeannette!

    I LOVE Tweet chats – this is by far the only thing i like about twitter, i think 🙂

    I have participated in various tweet chats but have not become a regular of any so far. I like #MarketingChat a lot – stumbled upon it accidentally in the end of last year and i think i will make it a habit to visit it at last twice per month (it’s weekly).

    I have also run a tweet chat for a client – it was about healthy eating and it was super fun experience as it gave me the opportunity to network with prospective customers, get to know my audience and let’s not forget – a lot of material for future tweets AND blog posts.

    I too use #TweetChat tool to participate. Another tool i’d recommend is Twubs.com – it gives you the opportunity to add chats to your profile for quick access and to brag about it 😉 And if you are hosting a tweet chat – you can customize your event page, add members, monitor who is joining, when, etc. Of course, there’s interface to participate in the tweetchat through twubs as well – but i think TweetChat interface is better for that purpose.

    Excellent post – thanks again! Buffering it for later 🙂

    • Thanks Diana!

      #Tweetchats are a great way to go beyond just sending tweets and retweeting other content. They can be extremely valuable when you can get a discussion going and get others to tap into it.

      Good recommendation on Twubs as well. I also use that as a discovery tool when I run tweetchats.

  2. There is a lot you can do in the United States that doesn’t work in Sweden, unfortunately.

    Tried in vain to find Swedish chats on Tweetchats.

    Have lived and worked all over the world and have a huge global network.

    Am now building up a network at home in Sweden. And it’s easier said than done. Tweetchats would mainly give me new international followers. Get a lot of requests on Linkedin, Twitter, Google Plus on a daily basis from people from all corners of the globe.

    Unfortunately it’s Facebook that works best in Sweden. But even there, a lot of global people find me. That’s great but I would like to focus a bit more on my native country:-)

    • Catarina,

      The great thing about #tweetchats is that you can start one yourself as well. You’re not limited to just the ones that are running.

      Granted, the ones that already exist tend to get more eyeballs on them, there’s nothing stopping you from creating your own and building up one specific to people in Sweden.

      Try using Search.twitter.com to identify people in Sweden you might want to hold a tweetchat with. Then consider inviting them to be a guest speaker. Networking opportunities abound!

  3. This is very cool Jeannette. I will admit I was not aware of tweetchats. Is that bad? I am now… LOL, and will use the tool to find like minded groups to participate in. Thank you for this. It really could be very helpful as I move further into this world of online. 🙂

    • Susan,

      Glad I could inform you more about tweetchats. They’re popular, a lot of people don’t delve into that side of Twitter. It can be a powerful tool to bring together like-minded people to participate in a specific discussion.

      If I can answer any additional questions for you about tweetchats, let me know.


      Christian

  4. This is so amazing to me that as big as the world is, I KNOW Ann Smarty who you have in your Tweetchat pic. I am often on that one with her and the rest of the bloggers who follow her.

    Thanks Jeannette for this guest blog by Christian.

  5. I need all the help I can get in this area!
    I wondered about these chats but often find that they start at a time that is not easy for me (with my sicknesses I am in bed when most happen). It is nice to know that they can be on a day or that i can add content after the fact.
    I will definitely look into this as it is part of a post I had been planning when I return as I am really terrible at social media in general and need to up my game.

  6. I seem to have participated in TweetChats, but in a roundabout way. I follow a few hashtags on my HootSuite dashboard and I will occasionally search hash tags when I’m on Twitter, but I haven’t given it the effort I really could to reap better results.

    • Jeri, you definitely can benefit from using tweetchats – even if you don’t use them very often. I like the fact that you can meet people who share similar interests without having to search through lots of different accounts to find them.


      Christian

  7. Hello; First, I had never heard of tweetchats until your post. But the one thing you can count on with blogging is that there is always something new to learn. I will have to look into this new method of meeting like minded people on twitter. Hopefully it will help me grow my network. thanks so much, max

  8. Very cool tool but I haven’t explored it too much. You know how things get moved over into the “…one more thing I need to learn” column. This article certainly has demonstrated that’s it’s time I drag the task into my “to do – important” column! Than You!

  9. This is the first I’ve heard of tweetchats, and it is something I will look into. It seems that of the social media I do use, twitter is the one thing that has taken me the longest to really understand and I am still learning. I like using twitter but it’s not my favorite form of social media. Thank you for your informative and interesting article.

  10. I try and participate in the #TTOT tweet-up on Tuesday afternoons. It’s for people who work in the travel industry – primarily travel bloggers. Quite interesting, as each week we answer a series of Q’s around a certain topic.

    Very interesting post. Thx for sharing your insights.

    • Doreen,

      Thanks for sharing about the #TTOT tweetchat.

      One thing I love about tweetchats is how different each tweetchat can be from week to week. There is always something new to talk about and discuss with other like-minded users.


      Christian

  11. Tweetchats can be fun if you are able to follow the conversation and not be doing anything else – the stream moves very fast! I ran my own for a while, but quickly got burned out. Twitter is one social media platform that totally drives me nuts. I post and follow and participate, but I must admit, not my favorite site. Good info you shared in this post, though for big-time Twitter fans!

  12. I haven’t spent anywhere near the time I should looking at Tweetchats.I have briefly followed a few but not participated and have not started any of my own. Definitely something to look at more carefully in the the New Year.

  13. One key benefit is that it can help you improve the quality of the people you are following. For example, if you are participating in a tweetchat about travel, you will likely be able to communicate and network with other people passionate about the travel industry – without having to go seek them out.