Monday, January 5, 2015

Start - and keep - a successful Twitter chat (part 2)

 Hi, and welcome back! Part one on starting a successful Twitter chat can be found here.

6. Vary your questions.

Mix it up and keep things interesting! For example, a few days beforehand, have the audience submit questions or topics.

Another way to do this is to do some research on your topic. What are other people saying about it? 

Need reputable sources? Add site:.edu or site:.gov to your Google search words. This will ensure that your results will be limited to college and university websites (.edu) or U.S. state or federal sites (.gov), respectively.

Alternatively, you can use a mind-map of your topic to brainstorm ideas.

7. Use sponsors.

Some of our sponsors for #txsmc14.


Who says sponsors are only for your blog or YouTube channel?

Get creative and make your Twitter chat a contest one week. Ask a local business that rocks on Twitter or social media to sponsor a week’s Twitter chat and give away a prize at the end (@GranburHoffbrau sponsored a @TSMRI #txsocialmedia chat!).

This is how you build relationships with your community! There are websites that will randomly pick a number or a name for you to keep things fair. Random.org, Math Goodies, and Random Number Generator are a few.

Contest ideas:
- “Bring a friend; whoever brings the most to the Twitter chat will win ____.” (Friends can be asked to Tweet @ you with the person that “brought” them.)
- “A random participant will be chosen to win a gift card from ____.” 

8. Stay connected.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by Cast a Line

Throughout the week, connect with your usual Twitter chat participants. Let them know that you value their participation.

Tweet at the participants in the days leading up to the Twitter chat.
Remind them of the topic for this week. Let them start thinking about the week’s topic in advance.

Interact with your participants on the social media platform that they use most frequently. Just because they are participating in a Twitter chat, doesn’t mean that Twitter is their most used platform. Be sure you are interacting on a platform that your audience uses the most, or interact equally on all platforms that you have (Don’t leave anyone out by only using one platform!).

9. Seek and find.

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Au Kirk
Seek out potential participants.
Don’t hesitate to start a conversation with them, let them know that you enjoy their account, then throw something out about you upcoming Twitter chat. Sometimes people just don’t know how to look for Twitter chats so it helps to go out and find participants yourself.

Follow influential people in the topic that your chat is in.
Reach out and make connections. When you try to connect with influential people, research that person. Find out a little information about them and when you connect with them, let the person know that you find their tweets engaging and interesting--but only if you are sincere.

Join other chats. Don’t kill someone else’s chat by promoting your chat, but participate and connect with the other people in the chat. Afterwards you can tweet or DM them about your chats.

Lastly and most importantly:

10. Don’t get discouraged.

There may be a week or two when only three people (on a good day) participate in your Twitter chat. Don’t get discouraged; there is always another week!

Reach to more people and let anyone and everyone know about your chat for the next week.
Make sure you are interacting as the chat is going on. Favorite and re-tweet while your participants are answering questions. Don’t just schedule your questions then sit back and watch. It’s hard for people to interact with a wall; let them know that you care about their responses.

You can find out more about our weekly #txsocialmedia chat here. Here's a list of other Twitter chats.

Victoria Greer is a senior at Tarleton State University. Her major is Public Relations & Event Management with a minor in Tech Writing. She plans to graduate in May 2015. Currently, she is the Executive Social Media Coach for TSMRI and has been on the team going on 2 ½ years.

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