What’s a Twitter Chat, and Why Is It So Useful?

by Hugh Hancock on May 9, 2012

Are you running Twitter Chats? Discover how they can benefit your business, and how to run one!

I’m surprised I don’t hear more in the Internet Marketing world about Twitter Chats. I’ve seen them used to great effect in the Web Series community, where they’ve really brought people together and helped build a lot of projects up.

For those who don’t know – a Twitter Chat is an extended, multi-person, limited timespan “roundtable” conducted by Twitter. They’re very inclusive, very good at drawing people in, and extremely useful in several ways.

And today, Ann Smarty at Social Media Examiner has published a really great guide to Twitter Chats and how to run them -

“Most popular Twitter clients can be used to follow and participate in a Twitter chat using the official hashtag.

For example, with HootSuite you can create a new tab to track Twitter search results. Note: This will also archive the search results for further reference.

TweetDeck is another great option where users can add a new column for the hashtag results and get desktop notifications of the new tweets.

Your chat participants can pick their preferred method if they know the hashtag; however, it’s useful to link to only one option when you invite people to join the chat.

Currently, the only such option is TweetChat (and Twebevent, which runs on TweetChat). TweetChat allows you to create a “room” for your Twitter chat which you can then promote via tweets, blog posts, etc. The URL is in the following format: http://tweetchat.com/room/hashtag “

Ann’s titled her post “Five Steps”, but I think she’s doing herself a disservice there – rather than the short list post that title suggests, this is actually a pretty epic resource post, covering just about everything you need to know in one place. She goes through tools, techniques, pitfalls and much more – I’ve been reminded about Twitter Chats by this, and should I decide to start running them, I’m going to be referring back frequently.

I honestly don’t know another way to run community discussions that works quite as well as the humble Twitter Chat (Dear Google – no, I’m not keyword stuffing :) ) – I’d recommend almost anyone who’s building a community to consider them. And if you’re thinking of dipping your toe, this is the resource you need.

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