Twitter chats offer a unique opportunity. You can connect with like-minded people across the world, all at your finger tips. For individuals, this offers an opportunity to learn about what’s working for other people, or share your own thoughts on a specific topic. For a brand, this offers a chance to connect with potential customers and engage in a real conversation with them.
But first… What is a twitter chat?
A twitter chat usually takes place over a one hour period, with a set topic and a moderator, and often a guest host. Anywhere from 5-10+ questions will be asked over the course of the hour, and the conversation begins from there. Often, there are follow up questions asked based on how the conversation is going.
Questions are preceded by Q1, Q2, etc., and as a way to keep the conversation a little clearer, it’s best to include A1, A2, etc., before your answer to that specific question number as well. Many people like to retweet the questions to increase the reach of the chat, as someone browsing their own twitter timeline is more likely to join in if they know what the conversation is all about.
Q5: What are your fatigue fighting tips? #poweredbybits
— Emily (@emkslone) May 14, 2014
Some of the chats can move pretty quickly and have hundreds of people involved! How do you make the most of a Twitter chat, especially when the tweets start flying by? I use a website called Tweetchat.com (or twubs.com when in a larger chat like #runchat, as you can slow down the refresh rate of the tweets). These sites automatically include the hashtag and refreshes so that the tweets flow like a conversation. You’re also able to highlight the moderator (or anyone) so that their tweets stand out.
Why join in on a twitter chat?
There are thousands of twitter chat topics, but the ones I focus on are the ones related to health, fitness and social media. I participate as a way to learn more about what’s been working for other people, as well as to share what I have learned from my experiences.
For an individual, this provides the chance to learn about products and services that you might not otherwise have considered as a way to improve your performance/training/life in general. You never know who’s tuned in to the chat – it could be your neighbor, future boss, or newest online friend.
If you’ve recently published something related to the topic of the chat or a specific question, sharing it at the appropriate time is a great way to have more people see your post!
For a brand, this means the opportunity to interact with highly engaged consumers looking for new things, at a time and place that they’re ready to learn. The problem is, it’s a delicate process, since you don’t want to come off as being pushy and sales-y, but rather focusing on building a real, genuine relationship instead.
A3: I find I can get the best product and technology recommends and and reviewed from my online fitness friends! #PoweredByBits
— Amanda Kelly (@MissMass_2009) May 28, 2014
Just getting started? Try just following along with the moderator and answering the questions. Once you’re comfortable with that, try using Tweetchat so you can engage with others involved in the chat too!
Personally, I’ve developed and manage several regular twitter chats. My top focus is the weekly #PoweredByBits chat every Tuesday at 8EST, which is co-hosted by one of our brand ambassadors, focusing on a different health and fitness topic each week.
Another chat I’ve co-managed with my friend Remi for about 3 years now is #SportJC. I started Sport Job Chat in the spring of my senior year, with the goal of having it help me find a job. It’s aimed for students and those aimed at breaking into the sports business world. We ask questions about the interview process, internships/jobs, classes, resumes and anything related to the job hunt. We’ve had recruiters from ESPN and many sports teams and brands join in, and quite a few people have interviewed and got jobs/internships as a result of the connections made in the chat.
Essentially, twitter chats allow for hyper-focused, high-speed networking. What are your favorite chats to join in on? Tweet me your favorites or respond in the comments!
Here’s a list of a few that I enjoy joining in on:
#RunChat 10pm 1st/3rd, 8pm 2nd/4th Sunday
#VegRunChat 9pm – all about plant based running/fitness
#HealthyWayMag 8pm: health/fitness
#BitsOfHealth 9pm 1st Monday: health/fitness
#PoweredByBits 8pm: Co-hosted by an ENERGYbits brand ambassador. Health/fitness topics
#BibChat 9pm: running/racing
#TeamBits: 8pm: Co-hosted by an elite/pro athlete who’s part of the ENERGYbits team
#WellnessChat 8pm: health focused chat
(All times ET)