Does your business use Twitter? If so, you may be interested to know how you can implement the social network’s chats as a marketing tool, and in this post we’ll be covering five ways you can do so.
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a virtual meeting scheduled, organized, and named by a relevant hashtag where remote participants tune into the Twitter platform and the organizer poses topical questions.
But have you considered using them as a marketing tool? As the use of hashtags on Twitter continues to flourish, conversations based on specific hashtags, or Twitter chats, have become commonplace.
And while you may be familiar with using Twitter chats for personal networking, you may not know that brands can also use them to achieve business goals.
How to benefit my business with Twitter chats?
1. Connect with customers and prospects
Currently, organizing an event is the best way for a company to meet with its potential and current customer base to strengthen their relationship. Also, since not all companies can host a conference or a face-to-face seminar, they can opt to host a Twitter chat.
The key to hosting an effective chat where your company connects better with your customers is to choose a topic that resonates and catches their attention. Some examples include Whole Foods, with its weekly food chat; HubSpot, with its chats where it discusses the science and data of inbound marketing; and
As the host of a Twitter chat, you can expect to gain many new followers each time you hold the chat, and likewise, you will build your social influence (i.e., Klout ) when you are retweeted and mentioned during each chat.
As your chat grows in popularity, your company will become synonymous with the Twitter chat topic and, therefore, you will achieve recognition as a leader in your space.
2. Build authority
Certainly, many companies use networking with the goal of becoming an authority in the eyes of their customers and in their industry in general. Therefore, appearing as a guest in a Twitter chat to answer questions about your area of expertise is a sure way to increase your authority.
But how do you get invited to a Twitter chat as an expert? Well, most likely you should actively participate in the Twitter chats you’d like to be invited to.
You can also try contacting the chat host and tweeting with him or her regularly. Basically, stay at the forefront of the host’s mind and act as a valuable resource in the chat to earn the opportunity to be invited.
Now, if you prefer to take a more proactive approach, send an email and tell the host that you would love to be a guest on the chat at some point. If the host knows you and thinks you’d be a good fit, he or she may agree.
On the other hand, be sure to update your Twitter profile appropriately before the chat. For example, if you are a social media expert who is going to be a guest to talk about Facebook, include a link in your Twitter bio that takes new chat followers to your Facebook services, book, or product page in order to generate leads.
3. Create one-to-one relationships
If you become an active participant in Twitter chats, you will undoubtedly have more opportunities to form partnerships, new business relationships, and even gain more recognition and trustworthiness in your industry, as you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge to customers and colleagues.
What’s more, every time you participate in a chat and post valuable comments and tips, you will gain new followers while generating leads for your business as people in the chat visit your profile to connect with you, so make sure your Twitter profile is updated to help people learn more about you and your business.
4. Stay informed
So far we’ve talked about giving you a glimpse into Twitter chats as a participant and guest. However, attending your industry’s chats as a spectator can be a great educational experience. Here, your goal is to find Twitter chats where other professionals and experts in your industry gather to discuss common topics.
For example, in Cases on Formal and Informal eLearning Environments, there is a chapter devoted to a case study on how higher education professionals used the weekly #sachat as a learning resource for student affairs.
5. Promote your brand
After some time closely exploring the trends of your target audience on this social network, you will be able to identify the particular Twitter chat that attracts your potential customers.
Therefore, it will be time to approach the chat host and talk about sponsorship. Some sponsorship packages vary depending on the Twitter chat you are interested in, but many include some of the following opportunities:
- Mention of your company as a sponsor of the Twitter chat during the chat itself, as well as in articles and social updates on other channels used to promote and/or summarize the chat (Facebook, Google+, etc.).
- Promotion of your products and/or services during the Twitter chat.
- Positioning of your business as a featured guest of the Twitter chat, allowing you to work with the host on questions that help you market your business.
- Advertising banners on web pages/websites dedicated to the Twitter chat.
As you realize, there are many ways to take advantage of social networking. Perhaps many marketers think it’s all about the banner ads and even the design of their website, but a tool like Twitter chats is certainly very functional.
Finally, keep in mind that before you decide to be the guest or host of a Twitter chat, be sure to find and observe a chat within your industry to find out how they work. There are many Twitter chats that occur regularly, and you can find them via Tweet Reports or by Googling your keyword + Twitter chat. Good luck!