Twitter Chats – What’s the Point?

4
AUGUST, 2016

Twitter
Social Media
Techonology

Being the social creatures that we are, we love to chat. Whether this is in person or via tech, many of the most popular apps and websites are based around communicating with others.

It’s funny, while people call websites and apps like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram “social media”, so many people are completely anti-social on these platforms by either broadcasting self promotional content to the world or, even worse, arguing with others.

One way that you can be extremely sociable on Twitter, and something that I still think many people who use it are unaware of, is through Twitter chats.

What is a Twitter Chat?

Using the Twitter search function with a hashtag, you are able to view the “top” tweets made by others using it. Doing this and then clicking “Live” when on a computer through a web browser or pressing the “All Tweets” button on the mobile app will show you all tweets made using it.

A Twitter chat uses this functionality to bring people together and discuss about a particular topic. An organiser will usually specify the hashtag and ask people a series of questions to answer. When people reply using the hashtag, everyone will see the responses and it creates a live discussion.

The Snapchat Website
Twitter chats are a bit like a group chat in a pub. Without the booze…and the fights (usually)!
Twitter Profile James Yorke
I’m @becomeknown on Twitter. Go and “follow” me on there. You know it makes sense.

The Benefits of Twitter Chats

There are a number of benefits to taking part in a Twitter chat. One benefit is the amount of learning that you will during them. Anyone from around the world can access these chats and so you are discussing them with some of the brightest minds in an industry. Giving your opinion on various topics will mean that you are challenged on them which, in turns, leads to you having to discuss your reasoning behind them.

You will also learn simply by sitting back and reading the thoughts of others. I like to do this and learn from other people’s knowledge and experiences. With people discussing the topic doing so from different environments to you, it never fails to surprise me the amount of insight that I get. As it all happens in real-time I then have the ability to respond. This could be just to show that person that I appreciate that tweet, to let them know my opinion on what they have said or to ask a question.

From a business point of view, a Twitter chat can be a great way to get exposure for your business/organisation/project, etc. Many Twitter chats feature someone who is particularly knowledgeable on that chat’s subject. This can lead to some incredible levels of exposure as the Twitter chats which are well promoted are extremely popular. If you are ever featured as an expert in a Twitter chat you should be aware that the responses can be overwhelming!

“I really enjoy the sense of community that I get from a Twitter chat.”

Why I like Twitter Chats

I really enjoy the sense of community that I get from a Twitter chat. There is a feeling that everyone is in it together and it is a way to share knowledge and experiences as well as to bond with other people who share an interest. To work in digital marketing you have to love learning as it changes so quickly and these discussions are a fantastic way to learn more about a topic. Some of you reading this may be freelancers or the only one in your company that does your particular type of work so it is a great way to debate these things with others in a similar position around the world.

Business Reasons for Twitter Chats

There are a number of reasons why your business should either organise or participate in Twitter chats. Firstly, they are a great way to connect with other people within your industry which has a huge number of benefits such as business referrals and learning from your peers. Secondly, they can be a great way of subtly raising the profile of work you’re currently doing or a project that you want to promote. Remember, no-one likes to be aggressively sold to on social media though. Thirdly, they can be a way for you to show what a genius/captain/titan you are within your industry.

Organising a Twitter chat is a lot of work and unless your company is well-known within your industry it will be tough for you to encourage enough people to a Twitter chat to make it worth everyone’s time. Like an empty pub, most people find a desolate Twitter chat rather dull. If you’re desperate to host one though, maybe partner up with other companies within your industry or, if you’re rich, chuck loads of money at it. That works for most things!

Empty

If you organise a Twitter chat it’s imperative that it’s not empty or quiet as it will reflect badly on your brand.

Examples of Twitter chats

For obvious reasons, I am more aware of digital marketing Twitter chats so below you will find a list of those. I will continue to update this list as I come across more.

These are the UK times:

Monday:
#ecomchat (organised by EcomChat, James Gurd and Dan Barker) – 1pm to 2pm

Tuesday:
#smlondon (organised by Social Media London) – 11am to 12pm
#SMBuzzChat (organised by Social Buzz Awards) – 7pm to 8pm

Wednesday:
#SEMRushChat (organised by SEMrush) – 4pm to 5pm
#BufferChat (organised by Buffer) – 5pm to 6pm
#ChatSnap (organised by Kristy Gillentine) – 7pm to 8pm

Please let me know if you are aware of any other great Twitter chats! Also, this is a great Twitter list to subscribe to for UK Twitter chats.

Twitter chats are very popular but not as easy as one might think to find out about and participate in but I think that they are great for discussing a specific topic with others around the world. They can be great for both personal enjoyment and business but this depends on how you approach them and your expectations. There are no quick wins on social media but, if you add lots to Twitter chats, over time you will receive a great deal in return.

What do you think of Twitter chats? Do you participate in any on a regular basis?

Thanks to @danigonsua for reminding me that the mobile app uses the text “All Tweets” on show the live tweets!

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