Twitter is driven by conversations. Millions of people around the world are connecting to discuss everything they love and everything they hate with anyone who cares to listen. They attach hashtags to everything in the hopes of finding a kindred spirit and on most occasions they’ll find someone with a sympathetic ear.
Twitter chats are one of the better ways for inspired businesses to improve engagement with their community, whilst also increasing brand awareness thanks to the power of hashtags.
What Are Twitter Chats?
Twitter chats (or Tweetchats) are similar to live Tweeting in the sense that they’re an online discussion around a specific topic, such as travel or technology, without being linked to an outside event. Companies and blogs run Tweetchats to discuss a particular topic with their audience or invite a celebrity to host a Q&A from their feed.
Each chat has a specific theme and an accompanying Hashtag, either unique or established. For example, #travelchat is an established Twitter chat Hashtag about travel, but in the example above you can see that [A Travelling Broad](https://twitter.com/whereisatb “Twitter – A Travelling Broad””) has focussed the topic more narrowly in order to give the chat some structure.
Themes under #travelchat could be solo travel, travel safety, beach travel and so on. Chats usually last about an hour, and sometimes the leader of the chat will post new questions every ten minutes in a format of Q1, Q2, Q3. Tweeters participating in the chat will often start their Tweets with A1, A2, A3, and include the chat Hashtag so as to be seen by the organiser and other participants.
Sometimes a brand will sponsor a chat in order to be mentioned by the host, who might also decide to revolve the chat around a product that the brand has to offer.
A Brand Doing Twitter Chats Well
In this particular example, the brand (@TripItm) decided to partner with an influencer (@ThePlanetD) and create a branded hashtag that includes the name of the company: #TripItChat. TripIt also joins in during each chat, commenting on answers and Retweeting interesting ones.
Why does it work? ThePlanetD (which has over 114K followers on Twitter) starts a conversation on wanderlust, talking about far-away destinations and sharing some epic travel photos while using this branded Hashtag. The response they get from their highly engaged audience is huge, with many Tweeting back, also using this branded Hashtag. Through the sponsorship they are introducing their audience to a company that 1) they probably have never heard of (new audience) and 2) can help them achieve their wanderlust (relevance). For TripIt, this is a highly effective and non sales-y way to generate some positive associations with a highly relevant audience.
Reasons To Start Your Own Twitter Chat
Each business must weigh up the additional benefits that their own branded Twitter chat would bring. Chats can increase engagement and an increase your numbers of followers too. They can also make a brand account appear as an authority on a subject matter, typically in something that’s within their realm of expertise, or close enough to be relatable and easily mentioned. Long-term goals such as customer retention and customer loyalty can also be achieved through chats, especially when the larger contributing members of the community regular chat and invite others to join in.
Marketing Twitter Chats We Love
Our team of Ninjas love to join in Twitter chats and can be regularly found Tweeting along and answering questions on a number of subjects. Some of our team love travel chats whilst others love to chat all about their love for creative writing.
Above all, we love to join in with the conversation when the topic is marketing. Here are just a few of our favourite marketing chats:
- #BufferChat: The team behind our favourite social media scheduling team hold a chat every Wednesday discussing everything from how to write great Tweets, to how to design eye-catching imagery.
- #SEMrushchat: Also every Wednesday, this chat hosted by the creators of the useful tool SEMrush, this weekly chat talks about how to regularly create great content for your website and blog.
- #SocialChat: If learning more from the best social media experts is of interest to you, then don’t miss this weekly chat every Monday hosted by Michelle and Alan.
- #HootChat: Another great weekly chat for discussing all things social media, #HootChat is run by social media dashboard provider, Hootsuite. You can chat with them every Thursday.
- #CMWorld: Both beginners and experts turn into this chat every Tuesday to learn what’s working in the content marketing world. If you’re keen to get the best out of your content, join them for a chat.
Which chats have you joined before? Will you start your own?
You can find more details on how to get the best out of your social media marketing via our new book Profitable Social Media Marketing: How To Grow Your Business