February 16, 2018

How (And Why) to do a TweetChat

Just back from spring break in Florida with my family. Walking on the beach in the early morning: nirvana!

But back to business. Wanted to share with you an opportunity I’d encourage you to try: TweetChat

What the heck is a TweetChat? It’s a live conversation with your Twitter followers. We held a TweetChat in early March with our Executive Director, Patrick Losinski. I and one of my staff sat with Pat over sushi and ice cream and waited for questions to come in.

Why bother? For us, it was important for these reasons:

1. It meets some of our customers where they are (on Twitter) and positions us as relevant and accessible in that venue.

2. Because we promoted the chat to our local media, they retweeted the invitation, the questions asked by our public and (!!!) wrote an article about why we did the TweetChat in the first place! 

All this was no cost, low risk and an easy effort to undertake. Following the chat we shared the results in a number of other communication vehicles (Facebook, web, messages to stakeholders) thereby extending the value even further. 

Now the inevitable question arises — it even arose with Pat — with 20 questions from followers, was it worth the effort? The whole discussion about the value of Twitter is lively over at another LJ blog: LJ Insider.

My answer: it is all about balance. With communication savvy we were able to extend the reach of the chat, those 20 people are influential in the Twitter world, and — with 3000 Twitter followers — those who didn’t ask questions, were nonetheles exposed to the chat. 

So yes. And if you would like to do it as well, here are some easy steps:

1. Choose a hashtag for the chat. We used: askpat.
2. Promote the TweetChat in all your communication channels, not just via Twitter
3. Set a time/date (we used early evening when Twitter sees most use)
4. Draft back up questions to fill the time before questions start rolling
5. Sign into tweetchat.com, log into your Twitter account
6. After your chat, post a summary within a few hours

Hope you’ll give it a try. Let me know if you do, if you have questions as to how to do it, or if you think the whole thing is a waste of time!

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.