Monthly Archives: June 2013

Running a Successful Author Tweet Chat in 12 Easy Steps

Twitter is a great social network to grow a following around your book. But the quirky social network can bewilder even the most savvy of authors. Many find growing their follower base the most challenging part of engagement. One way to do grow that base of people is to host a tweet chat.

A tweet chat is a per-arranged chat focused on a topic and uses a hashtag to link tweets from the chat into a virtual conversation. And, of course, this takes place on Twitter.

how to run a tweet chat

Before we move into the 12-step program to host a tweet chat, you might be interested in these management and research tools for hosting a participating in a discussion on Twitter.

Management Tool

  • Tweetchat: A platform that give you a clean platform to engage in a tweet cat without distractions.

Tweet Chat Directories

  • Gnosis Starts Tweet Chat Directory:This give you a listing of tweet chats by week and gives you a brief summary of each chat’s topic.
  • Twitterchat 411: This site is down at my last visit, but I’ll update later when it has been restored.
  • Google Twitter Chat: Comprehensive Tweet chat directory with lots of detail for those liking that stuff.

Twitter Chat Reporting

  • Tweet Reports (paid): For a small fee, this service creates professional grade tweet chat transcripts.
  • WTHashtag (Free): This is a free reporting service that #Blogchat uses – it’s the world’s largest chat on Twitter. Unfortunately, Mark Collier, the host of #blogchat is reporting the free service is down, said Twitter’s change in terms may be the culprit. (Watch this one, however, it could come back).
  • Tweetdoc (Free): A tweetdoc is created by entering the appropriate hashtag orsearch term that you’d like to document.

Now that you have tools to host a tweet chat, here is the 12-step program, which is adapted from SpinWeb’s post. That post was the most comprehensive of all that I read. The difference between their’s and ours is in the tools listed above.

12-Steps to Success

  1. Choose a time convenient for people to attend. Know thy audience. If you’re doing a business-to-business chat and your audience is a group of professionals then you may consider running that tweet chat during business hours. This is especially true if your audience doesn’t spend much time in social networks outside of business hours.
  2. Find an influential and organized moderator. A person who is organized, cordial and can keep a conversation moving forward are important trait for moderator. Choose that person wisely.
  3. Choose an easy-to-use hashtag. A simple hashtag helps people remember a chat, and helps with keeping the conversation archive-ready.
  4. Promote your chat in other social networks. Use your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – all of your social networks to promote the chat. You’ll pull more people in that way.
  5. Use TweetChat to run your event. This tool helps you organize a tweet chat, automatically adds the hashtag to tweet, and it offer the option of creating a room for a chat – makes it easier to promote the conversation in social networks and on a blog.
  6. Greet your participants. Just like any party you organize, don’t forget to invite people. You can’t have a tweet chat unless the gang shows up.
  7. Keep the conversation moving. Adding humor and insightful commentary to the conversation will help the tweet chat move forward. After all, Twitter is a fast moving social network.
  8. Number your questions to keep them organized. This tip helps during the chat because it bring order to the questions being asked, and it will bring order to the transcript after the event has ended.
  9. Be orderly, civil and reasonable. Ah, do I really need to add anything to this one?
  10. Share links and resources quickly. Because Twitter is fast moving, it’s important to get resources to people while a topic is top-of-mind. Otherwise, a resource that comes out of context may confuse some. Later it may muddle the transcript.
  11. End the chat professionally. Yes, everything must come to an end. Send out a 15 minute warning, a 10 minute warning, and a 5 minute warning. When the time has come to end the chat, be prepared thank people for their time, remind them of the next tweet chat, and end with informing the participants of when, where and by what time they can expect to download the tweet chat transcript.
  12. Create and publish a transcript after the chat is complete. This does two things, really. First it gives the people sponsoring a chat history. Secondly, it gives participants a document they can refer to later to glean new insight, knowledge, and perhaps content ideas for themselves.

People who join tweet chats are looking for insights and information – perhaps inspiration for their own content endeavors. But for the sponsor of the chat, this type of event draws your community closer and helps with positioning yourself has a thought leader. How have tweet chats helped you?