Chances are if you are reading this post you are familiar with Twitter chats and are looking for some tips or tools to improve your ability to keep up with the fast pace of these chats – but just in case you are new, I will quickly do an overview:
A Twitter chat is hosted by an individual or a business about a certain topic. A chat normally runs for about an hour and is usually scheduled in weekly or monthly. Anyone can take part in a chat as in runs in Twitter under a specific chosen #hashtag that everyone then uses to communicate during this time.
Here’s an example from 2 great weekly chats #SocialRoadTrip and #TwitterSmarter:
If you search the #SocialRoadTrip hashtag on Twitter you will find all the chat results and if you join in on the scheduled time you can then take part and answer the questions from the chat using the hashtag. Chats are an awesome way to meet new people, learn something new and to grow your Twitter following!
A1: uh, uh, but, but all my friends are online #SocialRoadTrip— Bree (@OutgoingOwl) February 1, 2016
Screenshot from Twitter - The #TwitterSmarter chat
As you can see everyone takes part in the conversation around the questions asked by the host of the chat. If you haven’t joined in on a #TwitterChat yet, I highly recommend you give it a try. Now let’s get to the tools available to help you with chats.
A lot of people don’t use any 3rd party tools and take part in chats on Twitter itself and that is fine, but there are tools available to make your chat experience easier or better – here they are:
Twubs is an awesome website with tons of information available including a Twitter chat directory, live event tools, registering your own hashtag/chat and even live reports.
http://twubs.com/p/conference-tools > Event tools list.
http://twubs.com/p/hashtag-directory/twitter-chat/1064600_179 > Hashtag Directory
When you host Twitter Chats on Twubs, you and your community get a great chat experience on the web. Below are just a few reasons why Twubs is awesome:
Our Twitter Chats are built to feel more like a chat room to make it easier for everyone to follow the flow of the conversation. Best of all, by chatting through Twubs, tweets show up instantly on the chat feed. Don't wait, just chat.
When using Twubs to host a Twitter Chat, your tweets stand out so your guests can easily find them. As the host, set the theme, announce topics of discussion, and keep the chat on track. Chat moderators can feel assured their tweets don't get lost in the mix.
When you schedule and hold your chats on Twubs, people can easily find them by exploring the best Twitter Chat calendar on the web. Chats going on right now show up at the top, so you may just find your attendance numbers going up with little effort on your end.
Hosting a Twitter Chat on Twubs gives you a chance to brand your page and market directly to your live audience. Promote your organization, upcoming events, and engage your fellow chatters in ways you can't anywhere else.
Twubs have a great explainer video available – I recommend you watch it and give Twubs a try to see if it works better for you. Find the video here >https://youtu.be/6-mj6IDDjdk
TweetDeck is a tool owned by Twitter and a lot of people use it to manage their Twitter account as it is not just a tool to use for a #TwitterChat but you can manage everything with the tool including your messages, mentions and following users on lists.
Below is a screenshot of how I used TweetDeck when I was a guest on the popular #MediaChat. As you will see I had it laid out nicely so I could keep track of the host, my mentions and the chat hashtag:
TweetDeck is great because the refresh rate is fast and the images expand in tweets which are useful. Razorsocial did a nice guide on using TweetDeck which you can find here > Guide
Hootsuite is another great tool you can use for free to manage your Twitter chats. Hootsuite is also an all-in-one social media management tool with more advanced features available than TweetDeck. Using Hootsuite for your chats is great, you might find that the refresh rate of the streams might not be fast enough to keep up - but I recommend you try the dashboard yourself to see.
When you use Hootsuite for your chats your dashboard would look something like the image below:
Set up your Hootsuite dashboard to manage the conversation, as the stream for an engaged chat will move quickly. Search streams that remove retweets (-RT) or filter for questions or answers only (#hashtag AND (Q1 OR A1)) will help you to view the hashtag stream with less noise, and manage the conversation more effectively. (See the below example from @Unbounce’s #CROChat)
This graphic and #ninjatip is from the Hootsuite Blog about Twitter chats - Find it here for more great tips!
As you can see all of these tools are really helpful to help you manage a Twitter chat better. If you don't want to use 3rd party tools I recommend having two pc monitors to work with. On one monitor you will have your notifications stream from Twitter and then on the other screen live chat by following the #Twitterchat hashtag.
Twitter chats are really fun, fast and definitely successful in meeting new connections, expanding your reach and meeting possible new clients for your business. Some successful Twitter chats are sponsored by brands or businesses because of their great reach and sense of community that takes place within these chats.
Do you have any questions about taking part or hosting a Twitter chat? Feel free to ask me in the comments below.