7 Steps to Successfully Start Your Own Twitter Chat Event

7 Steps to Successfully Start Your Own Twitter Chat Event

Twitter tweet chats

After writing about HOW TO PARTICIPATE in a Tweet Chat Event, I got several people asking, “What if I want to start my own? How do I do that?”  It’s quite simple AND it’s a lot of work. (How’s that for brutal honesty?) The benefit of starting your own is it can be good for branding and helping you establish your expertise within your community.  While there are loads of Tweet Chat events already running daily, there is always room in Twitter Town for more.  Here are 7 steps to get you started:

Twitter Chat Events, Tweet events, Social Media

Twitter Knitters

  1. Step one is to determine what you want to call your event.  It may be the Alpaca Sweater Knitters tweet chat or the Social Media for ZooKeepers event.  Once you have the name you need a SHORT hashtag.  You are going to just make it up!  In our two examples you would have #ASKchat (oooh I like that one) or #SMZKchat.
  2. Step two is to see if that tag is available, or at least if it’s not being used to often or being used in creepy  ways.  Go to Search.Twitter.com and search to see if any other group is using it regularly.  If it has not been used for several months, it is open! If only a few people have randomly used it, even recently, go for it!
  3. You can register your hashtag and fill out information so folks can learn more about your chat event.  Twubs is one such registration site that I like.  Some even secure a separate Twitter account for the hashtag and use it as an event account.  @ASKchat would have a description of your event as the bio.  Once you know the day and time are set, be sure to add it to this public Tweet Chat Events document to let the world find you. There are several places that list chats that take place, but this seems to be a pretty comprehensive one.
  4. Now that you have done the administrative work…it’s time for the REAL work to begin.  Like any live event, you must promote your virtual meet up to your community (both on Twitter and off).  Let folks know what day of the week and time you have chosen to hold your 1 hour event (most are 1 hour…you can choose any length you’d like).  Be sure to mention time zones!
  5. Ask your community for questions or topics they would like to discuss during the event and put together a list of 8-10 questions (you may want more in the beginning as you build your following, but the more people you get in your chat, the fewer questions you will have time to get to).
  6. The day is here!  When you are about to begin your tweet event, ask folks to introduce themselves and remind them to use the hashtag in all correspondence or their comment may get missed.  Using a site like TweetChat is ideal for these events as it pulls your group into a separate area and folks do not have to add the tag to each tweet, because it does it for you.
  7. Lastly, be consistent.  If you choose Monday nights at 8pm CT, don’t move it around to fit your schedule.  People are creatures of habit and you want them to be able to remember when your group meets up.  If you cannot attend on a certain date, just ask one of your community members to step in as facilitator.  If you can find a group of folks who would like to rotate as leader each week, that is ideal.

If you are nervous about kicking your event off without a hitch, you can always to a run through with a few friends and test everything out.  The beauty of a Twitter event is they are more informal and keeping it FUN and FOCUSED will ensure people want to come back next week.  Remind them at the end to spread the word and return for more Twitter fun again!

I suggest you attend a few tweet chat events before you take on one of your own.  You can also find one that is already launched in your area of interest, but perhaps is looking for a co-facilitator–one who can share the burden of always being there and running the questions.

What other suggestions would you add here for starting and running your own Tweet Chat Event?

If you or your organization would like help engaging your community- give us a hollar! We offer coaching programs and fully-managed services and the team at SocialKNX LOVES alpacas! (We just can’t knit!)

For daily tips on social media and today’s technology, be sure to join in the fun in our DIY.social Group or follow Gina’s rantings on Twitter!

Gina is the president and CEO at SocialKNX and the founder of DIY.social, a digital marketing coaching program.

36 1/2 Ideas for QR Codes and MicroSoft Tags in YOUR Business

QR Codes for business, QR Codes for learning, Social media for business, Gina Schreck, Technology Expert

QR Code

According to Wikipedia: A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scannersmobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the acronym for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.[1]

I like to think of QR Codes as Hyperlinks on our physical world!  They are no longer just black and white and Microsoft Tag has come along and added a few more features that make the little codes even more flexible.

QR codes, Gina Schreck, TechnologyI have been seeing more of the colorful Microsoft tags on the backs of cereal boxes and around town.  These require a separate scanner app from Microsoft (free download on any smart phone-look for Microsoft Tag Reader) and can be customized into pictures that are very cool.

Microsoft Tag can provide data on how often and where the tag was scanned.  You are also able to change the data source without having to change the tag.

Here are a few scanner apps that people have voted as their favorites for QR Codes (be sure and share yours in the comments):

Android Platform: BarCode Scanner (I use this and find it to be the fastest); QuickMark for Android (Both FREE); Google Goggles works for QR codes as well (FREE)

iPhone: Optiscan for iPhone (known as fastest for iPhone -$1.99);  NeoReader (Free); QR Reader (Free); Google Goggles work for scanning as well.

Blackberry: ScanLife Barcode Reader (Free); QR Code Scanner Pro (vibrates when code connects AND Free); NeoReader (Free)

QR Code, Gina Schreck,

QR Code Made From Lego (by LarryStraining)

Here are my favorite QR Code Generators:

ZXing: I like this one because you can embed content (memo), a URL, Contact info, and even a calendar event!

Kaywa: Like above you can choose to embed a URL, text content or contact information, but UNLIKE ZXing, you have to choose one.

TIPS: The more information you put into your QR code, the more complex it will be. The geometric pattern will be denser, and could be more difficult to accurately scan and interpret.  Shorten your URL using a tool like bit.ly to add some analytic features and see how many people are going to the site you sent them to.

36 1/2 Creative Uses for QR Codes or MS Tags:

QR codes for business, unique uses for QR codes, Gina Schreck, Technology expert, social learning, mobile

Sweet Code

1. QR Code on food products to take you to nutritional information.

2. QR Code on produce to tell you where the product was grown.

3. QR Code on items that need assembling taking you to a website with detailed instructions and a video!

4. QR Code inside a book taking you to a website where updates are available.

5. QR Code at zoo or museum to bring up videos or additional information on subject.

6. QR Code at conferences for handouts, exhibitor information and more.

7. QR Code on T-shirt taking prospective clients to your website, Twitter page or a video link for a fun surprise.

8. QR Code on business cards instead of cramming more info on there!

9. QR Code on health club door taking you to a site with great healthy recipes or trainer tips

10. QR Code on paper products with quick and easy recipes for families obviously on the go!

11. QR Code on sticker for laptops, phones, & other important gadgets that get left behind with your contact info.

12. QR Code on a rubber stamp for envelopes, stationary or even your forehead taking people to special promo pages on your site.

13. QR Code at the end of an article taking people to a bonus video.

14. QR Codes providing clues for a treasure hunt.

15. QR Codes around a school yard taking students to learning content (while they play!  SNEAKY)

16. QR Code on art piece taking you to artists portfolio.

17. QR Code at the end of a video on YouTube taking viewers to more fun content.

18. QR Code on wedding invitations or favors taking guests to online photos of the couple.

19. QR Code hidden in product or on raffle tickets – most go to fun content site and one goes to YOU’VE WON page!

20. QR Code on a bus stop bench with links going to car dealers website or eco-friendly sites.

21. QR Code on a grave site to take you to a page telling about the deceased.

22. QR Code on clothing tags taking you to designer websites or sites to provide styling tips.

23. QR Codes around an organization that take you to videos revealing the history or story of a company.

24. QR Code hidden in posters or marketing material that takes you to a special discount code.

25. QR Code on fingernail art taking you to a Facebook page or a nail salon website.

26. QR Code on dog tag taking you to a video sharing dog’s contact info or dog’s Facebook page :))

27. QR Codes on plant stakes to provide growing tips, plant origins, and coupons to fertilizers or gardening supplies.

28. QR Code on belt buckle taking you to your contact info or website.

29. QR Code on cupcakes or cake taking people to a special page with photos or videos featuring the guest of honor.

30. QR Code on car windows at dealer lot to allow shoppers to see video of car features when dealer is closed, or if they want to browse on their own.

31. QR Codes on menus taking people to a video of chef explaining the unique ingredients used.

32.  QR Codes on mailers that are sent out to take prospective customers to a video of you telling them why they should work with you.

33. QR Codes at the end of proposals that take people to a video of you addressing the potential client by name and giving the benefits of working with you.

34. QR Codes at the end of each book chapter with bonus audio or video content.

35. QR Code on business cards taking people to a white paper or free product to download.

36. QR Code on accountant’s business cards taking people to forms they need.

36 1/2. QR Code tattooed on your child…If lost, please return to… OK maybe not!

Now that I have your brain engaged here, what other ideas can you add?  What are creative places and uses you have seen?