Twitter can be an excellent tool for visibility, connecting with peers and customers, and actually getting leads and business. But using Twitter as a content creation tool? Absolutely!
Tweetchats are a great way to generate original, high value content at the same time you’re building visibility, a following, and credibility. They are also the best way I’ve found for meeting like-minded people around the world.
Tweetchats produce content for you to use in blog posts, social media, infographics, and on your website. The conversation you create will have both your contribution as well as other ideas, facts, opinions, and commentary from your participants. You’ll develop a set of topics to further explore – each of which can be a blog post – and you’ll have valuable content inside of the tweets that are part of the conversation.
Twitter Visibility, Followers, Credibility
Hosting a Tweetchat puts you in the position of creating topics that allow you to showcase your competence as well as invite other experts to contribute value in the dialog. This isn’t all about you – Tweetchats are about bringing valuable information through collaboration – crowdsourced – to anyone who wants to access it through the hashtag. That conversation is accessible both during the Tweetchat event, and after by searching on the hashtag. And when the conversation is found, YOU will be recognized as both a contributor and a leader in making the conversation possible.
If your Tweetchat discusses a topic that’s of value to people, your hashtag for your Tweetchat (and any additional hashtags you use to label the content) is relevant AND you’ve been persistent over time in creating a community involved in the Tweetchat, then you’ll get lots of retweets, favorites, and new followers. I guarantee it.
Building Connections and Expanding Your Network
You’ll want to find a time that works to have your Tweetchat every week. That builds a habit for you (very important) and for your participants. Once that starts happening regularly and people find you and your Tweetchat, you’ll start to see some of the same participants each week. Go out of your way to connect with them. Thank them by following them, retweet some of the contributions, and favoriting a few. And engage in a dialog with them directly by responding to their tweets. This takes the conversation forward and deeper. AND you start to develop a relationship. Over the weeks, this can mean you’ll have a connection with someone who appreciates your knowledge, feels appreciated themselves, and may be interested in looking for other ways to connect. That’s pure gold for you – not necessarily or just financially, but it’s a connection that is there because of what YOU KNOW and what you’re doing. Treat them well.
Basics About Creating and Running Tweetchats
What is a Tweetchat?
A tweetchat is a hashtag-driven conversation on Twitter. That means you’re following a conversation that’s using a specific hashtag, and participating by using the hashtag. This is different from a trending hashtag – it’s not just using a hashtag to be part of a movement or commentary. Your Tweetchat hashtag will be the SAME every time you have a Tweetchat. That’s the way to build your community around the Tweetchat. So pick it wisely.
Tweetchats are events with scheduled times, announcements of the event topic, and facilitated by someone on a twitter account. And all of this is EASY to setup and run.
How do you create a hashtag for your Tweetchat?
You can create whatever you want for your hashtag: just pick a word and put a # in front of it. However, you want to make sure to check out your choices before you settle on the hashtag you’re going to use every week:
Someone else might already be using that hashtag. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But it would be if their use of the hashtag conflicts with yours in either focus or timing. Using the same hashtag as someone else may be a win for both of you in building a community around a topic.
To check this out, search on Twitter for your hashtag choices. Do some checking on the following:
Is there a Tweetchat associated with the hashtag?
Does that Tweetchat have a similar audience to yours?
Exactly the same topics?
Is it a good complement to yours? You may not want to duplicate the same topics as the hashtag is already used to discuss.
Is the hashtag self-explanatory? If it is, it’ll make getting the word out much easier – and people will remember the hashtag when the time comes to join the conversation.
Is the hashtag already a highly used one for describing profiles or included in tweets? If so, then you may not be able to actually create a conversation around it. I suggest you choose something else you can build traction around.
Tools for Choosing Hashtags
Twitter search is the best place to start to learn more about how people are using various hashtags you may be interested in for your Tweetchat. Dive into the search: track the conversations, look at people’s profiles, really research the hashtag to make sure it’s going to work for you. The hashtag is your identity.
http://hashtagify.me will help you find which hashtags are popular. This can help you figure out whether something is too popular or too obscure to use as your main Tweetchat hashtag. This tool is really great for putting additional hashtags in your tweets during the Tweetchat so they can be found by more people later, as well as in your promotions.
Keyhole.co helps you understand the reach and use of a hashtag. You can track these over time to understand how a hashtag is used already and then how successful you’re being in getting reach and engaging influencers.
Tweetreach.com shows you how much reach your hashtag is getting and which tweets are getting the most reach.
http://www.tweriod.com is an easy to use tool that will tell you when your audience is most likely to be online. This requires research to find hashtags that are about your content, but not your Tweetchat hashtag. You’re looking for the audience that’s already online and talking about the information you want to create your Tweetchat conversation about. This isn’t for checking out when people are using your Tweetchat hashtag.
Managing and Participating in the TweetChat
You can actually run your Tweetchat from any Twitter tool. You can use a client tool like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to participate in real time and track your conversation by the hashtag. You can also do this directly on Twitter, but it’s more difficult to participate because while Twitter allows a hashtag search, it doesn’t automatically add the hashtag to tweets.
Nurph.com is a platform for managing, participating in, and promoting your Tweetchat. They only trick is that you must have a Twitter account that’s the same as the hashtag you’ll be using. That can be limiting…
Twubs.com also facilitates managing, participating in and promoting your Tweetchat – using whatever account you want and whatever hashtag you want.
Tweetchat.com and tchat.io both create streams that track the hashtag and you can tweet into the hashtag stream – great for participants.
Collecting Your Tweets
Storify.com is a great tool for collecting your tweets to either share on a profile you create on storify or to use a research for your future blog posts or Tweetchat topics. You can share your profile as a place where you have content for people to consume. The same is also true for nurph.com.
Tweetchats are a great way to take advantage of all the value you can get from Twitter. So get going and create your own! I also invite you to join one I’m in every week to discuss all kinds of topics related to entrepreneurship: #startupchat on Tuesdays at 9am Pacific/ 12pm Eastern time. @MonstRpreneur leads the Tweetchat every week!