How Twitter Chats Boost Engagement

Remember when AOL instant messenger was “the” premier chatting tool of the 90’s? Flash forward to 2017; social media and online connections have come a long way. Over the past year at Lukas Partners, we have seen online chatting take a new form on Twitter.

Twitter chats and Twitter parties are a successful way to engage subject matter experts (SMEs) and organizations with online audiences. For example, Hootsuite and Buffer host regular chats for marketing and social media experts, novices and everyone in-between who may be looking for tips. The two organizations use their rather large social followings to engage others, and the engagement ends up snowballing. Both participants and hosts stand to benefit because of the two-way conversation flow.

At Lukas Partners, we engage clients in Twitter chats regularly and have successfully grown audience bases and engagement as a direct result.

Here’s how it works: the host of the chat tweets a series of 5-10 questions on a given topic using a designated hashtag and anyone interested can answer. Respondents format their tweet to include the question number and designated hashtag to ensure the tweet becomes part of the conversation.

Brands and organizations also partner with SMEs to cohost as an influencer and a second voice to contribute to the conversation, and keep it rolling.

When hosting a Twitter chat or party, we recommend first planning an optimal time based off of your audience analytics. When are your followers scrolling through Twitter?

Most chats typically last one to two hours.

Next, create a strategy to notify your audience. You can do this through many means, such as posting tweets in advance by utilizing other social channels to drive to Twitter, as well as email. Engaging others to participate in advance is key to a successful chat. You might think about contacting other organizations and involving your organization’s subject matter experts early on to ensure you have someone to add to the conversation, engage with responses and keep the chat flowing.

Finally, craft questions that are open ended and sure to spark a conversation. I recommend creating a graphic for each question, as well as a graphic image to use on social media to promote the Twitter chat or party. Keep questions more broad to get the best response.

After the chat, you could create a Twitter Moment that groups all the tweets associated with the chat together to share the link with your audience to thank those who participated and continue the momentum of the conversation onto those that may have missed out on the chat itself.

Ultimately, Twitter parties are great because they get audiences interacting on Twitter more than usual, which can mean more engagement and an increased following resulting in more exposure for your organization. If your organization is not ready to host a chat or party quite yet, we recommend trying to join in on the conversation when a Twitter chat or party comes around that is in your organization’s wheelhouse to still benefit from the engagement and audience growth.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is a senior account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

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