“The best of life is conversation.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Tweet Chats, which are short, online conversations, can be very effective when used for business. They are prearranged, use a specific hashtag and have a specific guest list.
More and more businesses are recognizing Tweet Chats as an effective tool for business because they help businesses to promote their brands through conversation, focus on specific topics that are relevant to their target market and feature subject matter experts (subject matter experts contribute tremendously to the credibility of the offerings of the business owners).
The people who are invited to participate in the conversation are encouraged to ask questions and to truly contribute to the Tweet Chat. It seems as though leading the perfect conversation would be very easy. Certainly, in theory it is. However, it is more of an art form than your average, everyday, online chat. There are some restrictions with Twitter that make it slightly more difficult than you would expect to have an effective Tweet Chat.
- Archiving: There is no archiving of the conversation that occurs that will give you easy access to the conversation after the fact.
- Analytics: There is no real way to gather the kind of analytics that you would want to have for your business.
However, with that said, Tweet Chats are another wonderful way to get your message out about your business and products and/or services to a vast number of people at once. There are many ways in which to leverage Tweet Chats extremely effectively for your business. They provide an amazing opportunity for business owners to communicate directly with consumers. Remember, as a business owner whose ultimate goal is to sell your products and/or services, you should not concentrate on the hard sell, but rather you should focus on this opportunity to get to know the people who will at some point, hopefully, become your customers.
- Browser compatibility: Before you initiate any chat, you need to make sure that your browser is functioning properly. Twitter seems to work better with some browsers than others.
- Internet connectivity: Again, before you start any chat, you need to ensure that your internet connection is working well. You should also have a backup internet connection just in case something happens with your primary connection.
- Do your homework: It is a very sensible idea to have questions and answers (Q&As) prepared ahead of time. If you have the questions established in advance, you can also formulate your answers ahead of time. The more prepared you are, the more smoothly the chat will go.
- Connect the members of your Tweet Chat by phone: Everyone who will be a part of the conversation should also have a way of connecting with each other by phone. This will allow you to work out any possible kinks on the topic ahead of time.
- Manage your answers: As already stated, if you have already formulated your answers in advance, make sure that you read over what you are posting in the Tweet Chat before you hit the send button. It is very important to read over your answers carefully if you are copying and pasting from another source (like MS Word or Google Doc).
- Twitter management application: Using a management application, which will automatically update the tweets online, will shorten tweets if they are too long and will truncate any links that you would like to add to your tweets, is a great idea.
- Enjoy the ride: Have fun with the Tweet Chats that you are a part of and enjoy the exchanges that occur and see how pivotal they are for everyone concerned.
There are many Tweet Chats that you can get involved with before you start one of your own. Many times, it is a good idea to get involved with an established Tweet Chat, which you can learn from and apply to your own Tweet Chat.
The first thing to do is go to tweetchat.com. Once you are there, sign in. If you don’t have an account, you need to create one first in Twitter and TweetChat’s login will authenticate you with Tweeter and once you have been authenticated, you will be returned to Tweetchat. The next step is to choose a hashtag to follow. Once you have chosen the hashtag, you will be directed to a TweetChat room. All that is left to do at that point is to start conversing in real-time.
In order to find chats in your areas of interest, search for tweet chat schedules on Google. To join a chat that is already in session, type hashtag of whichever chats are of interest to you. The following are a few that you might want to try.
- #blogchat: This is led by @mackcollier. This chat discusses the many aspects of blogging and takes place on Sunday nights from 9 to 10 pm EST.
- #imcchat: Led by @abarcelos and @bethharte, this concentrates on integrated marketing communications. It occurs every Wednesday night at 8 pm EST.
- #socialmedia: This is led by @Marc_Meyer and @JasonBreed. It occurs on Tuesdays at 12 pm EST. Each discussion has a separate tag (#sm1, #sm2, #sm3, etc)
It is very important to understand how to use Tweet Chats in the most effective manner possible. As with all social media channels, it is all about building relationships with people with whom you can eventually do business. You really never know what opportunities there are waiting for you.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).