Twitter Chats: the What, Why, How + Networking meeting
Event date: June 10 2014
Posted by: Amelie Walker-Yung

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Webgrrls had another fun and informative night at ThoughtWorks NYC on June 10! Always eager to learn more about the latest tech topics, NYC Webgrrls started off their first meeting of the summer with a discussion of Twitter Chats led by Chapter Leader Nelly Yusupova

What are Twitter chats, anyway? And how can they help market a business? These and many other questions were answered on Tuesday night.

Nelly began by defining Twitter chats, which are open, moderated conversations on a specific topic. They center around one hashtag that participants use to follow and take part in the chat. Twitter chats are usually promoted ahead of time and are typically scheduled for 30 minutes to an hour.

Why run a Twitter chat? It is a great way to attract like-minded people and create a community. This builds trust and gains followers for your product, business or initiative. You don't need hundreds of people to have a successful Twitter Chat. Even a small group can have a productive chat, and each participant using your hashtag is helping promote you.

If you want to run a Twitter chat, Nelly outlined 5 steps:

  1. Prepare - Decide on hashtag. Find co-hosts, never run a Twitter Chat alone. Write out questions and even answers ahead of time.

  2. Schedule - Set time and length of chat and when you will Tweet your questions.

  3. Promote - Announce your Twitter chat to your followers, on your website, and on sites that publish Twitter Chat schedules like TweetChat.com.

  4. Run - Let the community do most of the talking, as you and your co-hosts Tweet welcomes, questions, and retweets.

  5. Publish - Archive the chat on your website or blog, to extend its use beyond the time of the chat itself.

Nelly and other Webgrrls also suggested websites that provide tools to manage, enhance and archive Twitter chats. Some of these included Twubs.com, HootSuite.com, Hashtracking.com, and Storify.com.

After the discussion, it was networking time! We started with the introductions, the heart and soul of Webgrrls meetings. Each attendee got 30 seconds to tell the group about themselves, plus something that they needed and something they could offer. This way, everyone knew who was in the room and who it would be most beneficial to connect with. Informal networking wrapped up the evening, everyone connecting more personally with those who came to their attention during the introductions.

Join us next month for a Reddit as a Marketing Platform discussion! Have a greats idea for a topic? Let us know!
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