By Jill Kurtz, Owner of Kurtz Digital Strategy

Add twitter chats to your marketing strategy for 2018. Twitter chats, or tweet chats, are a fantastic way to bring people and ideas together, help grow connections, and grow relevance as a thought-leader. Twitter chats also facilitate knowledge sharing and engagement.

A Twitter chat is a live event that takes place through Twitter at a specific time and uses a designated hashtag. The chat host poses questions and, with everyone using the designated hashtag as the common thread, people respond and create a back-and-forth conversation.

If your target audience is active on twitter, this could be a great communication tool for you.

Define Your Twitter Chat with a Hashtag

To start a Twitter chat, begin with defining a hashtag. The hashtag describes what the conversation is about in two or three words. The hashtag should be simple, short, and easy to remember. Make the hashtag known by using it everywhere you promote the chat.

How to Develop Great Tweet Chats

Start with a plan.

Identify your reasons for starting a tweet chat. Understand the target audience, so you can come up with topics that engage and connect you with the right people.

You may decide that you need to start your own chat. Or, save time and find a relevant chat to join. Use Twitter to search for relevant hashtag terms. If there are related chats, you will see those hashtags pop up in the results.

Learn the process.

Get familiar with how a tweet chat works by joining Twitter chats. Check out how it is marketed and promoted. Learn how the moderator manages the conversations and the kind of information that makes a chat interesting. Pay attention to the uses of tagging, retweeting, and other techniques that bring in more people to the conversation.

You cannot benefit if you don’t participate, so get something relevant out in the stream. The goal is to offer meaningful contributions and make new connections.

Managing Your Own Chat

When hosting your own Twitter chat, you have to develop a style that will entice people to exchange ideas. You need to be prepared to ask questions and share information that will make the conversation lively and informative.

Provide summaries as the tweet chat continues. Also provide links, photos, and helpful media to keep the conversation interesting. Overall, the key to a successful and engaging tweet chat is to keep the information fresh and flowing.

Marketing Your Chat

If your chat is related to an event, get started 2-3 weeks before the event to build a following. General chats can be promoted with less lead time. Setting up a regular interval, such as once a month, helps to build a following.

Don’t forget to follow-up! Follow the people who participate in the chats, whether it is your chat or one that someone else initiated. If they follow back, you created a valuable relationship focused on a mutual topic of interest.

Learn about other social media strategies that you can incorporate into your 2018 digital strategy at the blog, Communication in a Web Saturated World.