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One underutilized feature of Twitter is something called a Twitter chat, or a tweet chat. In a nutshell, this is simply the practice of using a special hashtag to host a discussion about a particular topic on Twitter. It’s a great way to use Twitter for branding your company.

It’s really simple. I’d recommend creating a special hashtag for your chat session rather than co-opt one that already exists. There are several reasons for this:

  • If you use a hashtag that already exists, you may find people joining your chat session who shouldn’t be there.
  • You may annoy other Twitter users who feel like you’ve taken over their conversation.
  • Creating your own hashtag is fun and practical as it carries with it a branded element that points back to you.

Before choosing a hashtag, conduct a search for it to see if it already exists. If it does, then come up with an alternative.

After creating your hashtag, write a blog post inviting your readers to join your chat session. Be sure to publish the time and date. Next, create an event on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn to notify your followers of the chat session. And don’t forget to invite your Twitter followers.

If you plan your chat session far enough in advance, you can promote it regularly prior to the event to encourage a higher attendance. Make sure everyone knows the chat hashtag.

Twitter chats can be conducted during a specific short period of time (i.e. 7 P.M.-9 P.M. on a specific date) or for a designated time period over several days (i.e. 8 A.M. on a specific date to 9 P.M. three days later). Either way, it’s a great way to get feedback on specific issues related to your customers and your brand.

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