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.

What the Heck is a #Hashtag & 3 Steps to Set Up Your Own

Social Media, Hashtag, Gina Schreck, Synapse, Getting Geeky, Technology Speaker

HASHTAG

Ok so you see them all the time on Twitter and occasionally on Facebook or LinkedIn.  The Hashtag.  In online computer terminology (ie: GEEK SPEAK), A tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. WHAT????!!!#$##!**&!

In English, a hashtag is simply a symbol, a pound sign, a HASH MARK, that when placed before a group of letters or a word, make it searchable, clickable or TAGGED.  Let’s say, hypothetically, I am a lover of shoes…hypothetically… and I do a search for the word “Shoes” on Twitter, I may find posts from people saying they are not wearing any shoes, or they need a new pair of shoes.  But when I search for #shoes or click on #shoes when I see it in another tweet, it will pull tweets from people all around the world who have tagged their message.  This makes the search results much more targeted because typically when someone takes the time or effort to tag a tweet, they are wanting others, who share their interest, to find it.

Hashtags are also very helpful when attending an event (live or virtual) because if the event has a tag, I can follow the tweets without following the people.  I can create a column in TweetDeck, or any social management tool, that pulls just the tweets from, say #BWE10 (BlogWorldExpo10).  A great way to single out the tweet stream of just those pertaining to an event I am following is to go to TweetChat and type in the hashtag you want to follow.  If you sign into this site with your Twitter username you can tweet here without having to remember to type in your #hashtag each  time.  It will add it to every outgoing tweet as long as you are logged into TweetChat.

Now a great strategy for finding and following people who share the same interests as you, is to find and follow the folks using a tag you are interested in.  Example: I might go to an education conference and folks are using the Hashtag #DL10 (DevLearn 2010).  I can pull up a search for #DL10 and connect to these folks since I can assume they are all interested in learning and technology (that’s what this conference is all about).

If you would like to start your own tag, follow these 3 steps to set it up:

1. Create a short code or tag that makes sense to use.  It can be anything that includes letters and numbers. Make it as short as possible since folks have to fit it into the 280 character limit on Twitter, along with whatever they have to say.

2. Do a search on Twitter or Instagram to see if it is being used.  Once you find one that is not currently being used (or hasn’t been used in the past month or so) start letting people know about it.  You don’t officially have to register it–just start adding it to tweets when discussing the event or topic.

3. Go to Hashtagify to see who is using it most often, other hashtags that are related, and the popularity of that hashtag. It’s not that no one else will use it but it will give you information on the tag you’d like to start adding to your social media posts.

Do you use hashtags in your social media posts?  Do you have a tag you’d like to start using or are you still just as confused (if not more) about hashtags?  I’d love to hear from you~

@GinaSchreck