With 135,000 new accounts being created daily, Twitter is still very much a powerhouse in the social marketing game. And just like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, Twitter has something unique to offer your marketing strategy not necessarily available on other channels. Twitter has always been about what's happening right now: conversations, breaking news, special announcements. Its fast pace and constant chitchat makes it a perfect platform for building a community based on a shared interest, need, or thought. If Twitter is part of your marketing strategy and you haven't taken part in Twitter chats yet, you are really doing yourself, and your business, a disservice. Here are just a few reasons why you should participate in Twitter chats.
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1. It's Easy to Participate in Twitter Chats
There are several places where you can find a schedule of regular Twitter chats that may interest you in a variety of topics. Take a look through Tweet Reports or Twubs to find calendars and lists. Once you find a chat that interests you, make note of the associated hashtag. Then simply make sure you are online and logged into Twitter at the scheduled time and search for the hashtag to find the latest tweets. Be sure to use the hashtag to jump into the conversation. You can also reply directly to other participants in the chat and retweet any posts that you find particularly helpful or meaningful.
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2. Twitter Chats Build Exposure
No, participating in a chat will not make you Twitter-famous overnight…but jumping into the conversation is a great way to introduce yourself to other people with similar interests and needs.
3. They Give you a Chance to be Heard
Everyone who participates in a Twitter Chat has a voice. They provide the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions or give answers as applicable. Build trust and credibility with other chat participants by sharing what you know.
4. They Provide Networking Opportunities
Twitter chats are known to attract people within the industries at varying degrees in their business: from people exploring an interest to industry experts. Many of them are people you probably don't have the opportunity to sit and chat with very often. It's the perfect time for you to interact with other enthusiasts, gain tips and knowledge from multiple sources, and offer your own expertise.
5. Organically Grow a Quality Following
The keyword here is quality…people who are interested in the topic and invested in the conversation. And even better, they're already active on Twitter. This makes finding and connecting with your ideal client much easier, as your chat will not simply be lost in a sea of similar posts.
6. If We've Said it Once, We've Said it a Hundred Times
Engagement, engagement, engagement. As more and more social channels begin implementing those mysterious algorithms, finding ways to connect to and engage with your followers on a genuine level is becoming increasingly important. Twitter chats give you a way to connect in real-time with other members of your community and followers without relying on any of Twitter's algorithms: something no other channel is able to offer you.
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Twitter Chat Etiquette
Of course, just as with anything else having to do with social media, there are some basic rules of etiquette that you should follow, or you risk getting blocked from the chat by the host:
- Make sure you offer your followers a high-volume warning before the chat starts, so they know to expect more tweets and retweets from you than normal. Forgetting this step may annoy your existing followers who aren't used to the increase in tweets.
- Use the time to answer questions where you can and offer your expertise, but don't start promoting yourself or your business. Being spammy during someone else's hosted chat is a surefire way to get yourself blocked from the hashtag. People are there to learn something, not to be sold to.
- Make sure you include the chat's designated hashtag with each of your tweets — even if you're just saying hello. This will help make it easy for everyone to find you and follow your part in the conversation.
Don't worry if the first couple times you participate in Twitter chats feel a little clunky or confusing, any fast-moving conversation is going to feel confusing if you're not used to it. The good news is, the more often you participate in a chat, the more comfortable you will get and the better connections you will make.