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.
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.
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.
Twitter search is another source for tweet chats. Just enter your keywords. For example, #tweetchat, #twitterchat, #chat, and so on.
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.
This site also enables you to search for tweet chat rooms with topics of interest.
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 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.