Ahhhh, Twitter chats. The fastest way to boost your Klout score by an unconscionable amount in just a week or two. The best way to get your product or service in front of the exact audience you’re targeting in your marketing campaigns. And by far the best way to meet like-minded people around the world.
As discussed in a recent Hangout, participating in a Twitter chat is simple. You find a topic, and at the specified time, answer questions and chat with other people using the designated hashtag. Using a service like Nurph will really help keep the chat streamlined and easy to follow. [Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer ambassador for Nurph. I’m an ambassador because I think it’s the best thing to happen to Twitter since Twitter itself.]
I’ve participated in probably hundreds of Twitter chats. There are far more than I can ever count or join dedicated to people who work in community management, and that’s probably the easiest place to build a chat of your own. The problem is, it’s often the same people in all of those chats. They cover the same topics, at a basic level, again and again. It’s a great place to jump in and get your bearings, but most of these Twitter chats will never really take you beyond the basics.
That’s why some chats really stand out as having a clear and defined niche. #CMGRHangout, obviously, is one. The addition of a panel on webcam makes it feel more like a conference, and with the varied speakers, you really get a chance to hear different perspectives.
Another fantastic chat is #brandchat, weekly on Wednesdays at 11EST. The chat is still largely populated by community peeps, but the topics trend more toward branding. Each week covers a different industry so the variety really comes through strongly.
So, here’s how to get the most out of Twitter chats:
- Over a one-month period, join as many as you can. Brian Fanzo has a great list of all social media themed chats online here. This is the place where you will see your Klout score skyrocket, by the way, if that’s something that interests you.
- Make note of which chats you find you learn the most from, and put them in your personal calendar as permanent weekly dates with the industry.
- Notice who pops up routinely in lots of chats and has intelligent contributions. Follow them. Say hello. Start conversations.
- Build a Twitter list (or multiple Twitter lists) dedicated to following people from your various chats, so you can keep relationships going in between chats.
- Is there something you need from a chat that you aren’t getting from the current rotation? Start your own! That’s why Jeseph Meyers and I started #TheStratChat, designed to be a more intense, high-level chat for strategic planners vs introductory strategy geared toward community managers. It’s a small group as planners are less active in the Twitter chat space, but it’s growing all the time and we’re learning lots from the people who do chime in. If you’ve done due diligence in steps 1–4, when you start your own chat, you’ll probably know a lot of people to invite to your inaugural chat to get the ball rolling.
And there you have it! You’ll be a Twitter chat superstar in no time, and develop solid relationships and friendships with some of the smartest minds in the industry.
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