How to Have a Twitterchat or Tweetchat

r3socialmedia
Roxanne Roark Social Media Marketer, R3 Social Media

Posted on March 22nd 2013

How to Have a Twitterchat or Tweetchat

twitter chatSo you want to have a twitterchat. You’ve participated in a few, or you’ve heard about how great they can be, and now you would like to have one of your own.

Research Existing Tweetchats

Well, firstly, I recommend you DO participate in a few tweetchats, or at least watch a few, so you can get a good idea of how to lead one. Watch the leader or leaders and see how they moderate the chat. Pay attention to how they give out questions, because there are a few ways to do it. Find the style you like, and make some notes.

A few good chats that I know of are #KidneyChat (Mondays 8PM PST), #kbtribeChat (Wednesdays 2PM EST),  and #SolarChat (every other Wednesday 2PM EST).

Practice Tweetchatting

The best way to get an idea of how things are run is to participate in a Tweetchat. Ask questions, answer questions, and retweet posts you find valuable.

Plan Your Tweetchat

Now that you have a really good idea of how to handle your own tweetchat, you’re going to want to figure out the hashtag you are going to want to use. If you want to host a tweetchat for an ongoing chat, make sure you use a hashtag that isn’t time sensitive, such as including the year or month #ExampleChat2013. Unless you plan for this tweetchat to be a one-time event, I suggest using a dateless hashtag, such as #ExampleChat, like those I mentioned above.

For a one-time chat event, using the date or year in the hashtag is more acceptable, since the date or year will accompany this one-time chat event, and won’t be used again.

Once you have a few ideas for the name of your tweetchat, you’ll need to research your hashtags to make sure 1) they aren’t in use and 2) they don’t mean something else, to others. Essentially, if you make coffee, and one of your hashtag ideas is #CoffeeChat, you’ll want to search the internet for “#CoffeeChat.” When Googling “#CoffeeChat” I found a blog post from someone saying she planned on using this hashtag for her purposes, in a weekly twitterchat, but the post was from October, 2012. So, I went to twitter and searched for #CoffeeChat. I saw LOTS of posts for #CoffeeChat, but they weren’t focused. Obviously, people use this hashtag for LOTS of different things, such as catching up with old friends.

So as you can tell, you’ll need to make sure that people are not using the hashtag you want to use.

Register Your Hashtag

hashtag chatOnce you have found your hashtag, go to Twubs.com and use their service to “register” the hashtag so it is linked to you. This is great for branding! Twubs offers this service for free, and you can sign up/in with Twitter.

Once you have registered your hashtag, you can use Twubs to follow along with your tweetchat, and it will even add the hashtag automatically.

using twubs for tweetchatsTwubs also lets you embed a live stream of your tweetchat or twitterchat onto your blog or website, giving it even more exposure.

Follow Your Impressions

Using tools such as TweetReports.com can help you figure out how many people you reached, and the progress you have as you continue with your twitterchats. (Plus, it’s just fun to see the numbers, right?)

Other Tips:

  • Test your tweetchat with a few friends. Get a few friends to join you in a practice chat, so you can use your tools and get some feedback.
  • Set a schedule for your tweetchat that you will follow. The last thing anyone wants is to be part of an awesome tweetchat, and then watch it fizzle out as the leaders move on or simply forget.
  • Start out with a few good questions. Come up with 3-5 questions you would like to have your audience answer.

Do you host a twitter chat? Let me know what it is in your comments!

r3socialmedia

Roxanne Roark

Social Media Marketer, R3 Social Media

Roxanne R. Roark is a blog author as well as owner of R3 Social Media. As a Social Media Marketer with years of experience in customer service as well as Social Media, she brings a vibrant, friendly attitude and personality to brands online through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other platforms.

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Comments

Roxanne - just want to clarify that registering with Twubs is not an official Twitter hashtag registration. Twubs is only one of many tools people use to filter tweets for tweet chats. I host #GetRealChat on Tues nights. We use tweetchat.com and are working on some tools and platforms for chats as well. 

Hashtag.org use to be popular for registration. However, there is no "official" registration process required or truly offered for hashtags that I know of.

 

Best of luck to you on your chats. 

Hello, Pam. While I am fully aware there is no official registration process and registering a hashtag is certainly not required, I do recommend doing so. Hashtag.org is another popular service to use, but I chose Twubs for my article.

I appreciate your feedback! Thanks for commenting.

Hashtag.org is another service you can use to register your hashtag. However, they do not also offer the service to embed your stream, nor do they allow you to follow along with the conversation. You could also choose to register on both services!

 

Hi Roxanne...you've really explained this in a very neat manner and really do appreciate it. Along with the things you mentioned, I would like to know your opinion about registering your Tweet Chat on all the relevant Tweet Chat Schedules across the web so that it will get some exposure in addition to promoting it through your own social-media connections. Do you register your Tweet Chat on the Tweet Chat Schedules? I understand that there is one maintained using Google Docs by Hashtags.org. Also are you a fan of registering  Twitter accounts on Twitter directories such as Twello?

Will be nice to hear your thoughts.