Taking part in a Twitter Chat is a great way to expand the influence and visibility of your company’s brand.

Twitter Chats can help you to make new connections and increase the authority of your company in your specific industry. Furthermore, they are a great opportunity to share your knowledge and build a loyal community that listens out for your expertise.

Conversations tend to be held weekly and at specific times. Here’s a list of Twitter Chats you might join.

But if you cannot find a chat that’s relevant to your industry or interests, why not start your own?

But it’s important to be honest: do you have a decent amount of relevant followers? If you can honestly answer yes, and if you can guarantee that a worthy amount of your followers are likely to take part in your chat, read on!

How to Start a Twitter Chat – Your Step-by-Step Guide

1. Know Your Audiencetwitter chats

First, it’s important to remember that not all of your followers will be interested in your Twitter chat. Some may be irrelevant accounts, or people who have simply heard of your brand, or even individuals who use Twitter for personal reasons versus professional ones.

Not all of your followers will be available at the time that you set it up. Do not be discouraged by this. If you promote it well, and make it relevant to your followers, you should get a certain amount of highly relevant, interested parties involved.

Make sure you know what interests your followers. There is no point setting up a chat that none of them will want to be involved in. Take some time to analyse the conversations that your most influential followers take part in, and find a topic that will appeal to them.

2. Create a Chat-Specific Hashtag

Create your very own hashtag: either with your brand name or with a topic, followed by “chat” – for example, #Linkedinchat. Make sure that you pick something catchy that people will recognise, but always remember to first check that no one else is using it. You can check the availability of hasthags either through searching Twitter directly, or through consulting hashtags.org.

3. Time Things Perfectly

Choose a time that will be beneficial to you, as it would be terrible to organise your Twitter Chat and not be able to take part! But your chat must also take place at a time that you think your followers will be able to take part. Take a look in Followerwonk to establish which times your followers are most engaged with your posts, or create a Twitter Poll and ask your audience directly!

4. Don’t Go In Without a Plan

Make a list of questions that you would like to ask your followers that will spark the beginnings of a conversation. For example, if you have experts guests taking part in your chat, ask them for their professional experience and advice. Research current trends in your field so that you can discuss these with your followers. You could even ask for recommendations from your followers. If they work in the same field as you, they will encounter the same difficulties as you. They can recommend solutions, and you can recommend them right back.

5. Let People Know That You’re Chatting

Share the fact that you are hosting a chat and invite your followers to come and take part. Make sure that your messages convey a sense of urgency – they simply cannot miss this chat! Create images to promote your chats with your hashtag, time and title of the event – and guest speaker if there is one – and propose any questions you would like your followers to consider in advance. Invite your followers across channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platform, as well as email contacts, employees etc.

6. Try To Get Some Big Name Speakers

Invite influencers: using tools such as Klout, you can find influencers within your industry. In fact, you may already know who they are. They will be known and trusted by your followers and potentially work as an extra incentive for others to join in on the chat if they get to communicate with experts.

When the date and time of your Twitter chat arrives, make sure that you are prepared with questions, topics to discuss, and to be polite and attentive to what others are saying.

Watch this space for tips on how to behave during a Twitter Chat – as this may very well be the topic of my next blog post!



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