Twitter chats are starting to become more and more popular and there are reasons for it, 1) promote your brand organically 2) gather like minded participants for intriguing conversation 3) they are easy to set up 4) traffic and reach from the chat is easy to measure 5) It's not another boring webinar
A recent 45 minute chat we hosted with a publishing partner reached 39,000 twitter accounts and generated 93,000 impressions. The chat generated 100 new followers and exposure for the conference we are promoting.
$0 CPA is really nice. Any inbound traffic from organic impressions is a win regardless of %.
Anyway, here's a few quick steps/tips that I learned while organizing this chat
Associate your topic with conversations already happening on twitter i.e. #tags. Identify a few relevant hashtags, monitor the conversation and curate your chat around active conversation. Don't be afraid to base you chat around 1 really great question. "Who is the greatest rapper of all time?" Jay-Z no 2Pac no Eminem etc
If this is your first chat and you don't already have a significant following or promotion channel find a partner. Allow the media partner to moderate or republish the chat's content. Double the promotion Double the fun.
Twitter chats can run a little wild sometimes. You are going to get the feeling some people participating feel like Miss America and their responses have to be so profound, twitter itself will shut down because they just tweeted the tweet of all tweets. Setting the conversation up like an interview or panel will keep the conversation around your questions and content will be more focused.
Four or five questions should get you through an hour over conversation, but it is really important to structure the tweets so conversation makes sense. Append "Q1:" to the beginning of the question and remind participants to return with "A1:" or "A2:" which ever is relevant. Your #tagchat also needs to be in each tweet as well so tweets don't go off into the twitterverse unaccounted.
Helpful tools as follows
Tweetchat helps with the real-time organization and structuring your tweets
Tweetreach measure your #tag reach
Storify organize the best of you chat and publish it to your blog