3 things to know before hosting a Twitter chat

We are in a world of infinite scrolling and relentless trolling, putting brands under constant pressure to try something novel in order to succeed. You might wrack your brain and come up with a brilliant idea and execute it to perfection, but still not see great results. This doesn't mean your idea was bad—instead, it could've failed because you talk at your audience and not with them.

Brand-building is a two-way street—the more you are receptive to your audience, the more you get noticed. This is why brands have now started to believe in the power of user-generated content.

One of the ways to do this is to host a live Twitter chat. We recently hosted one, and we wanted to share some things we learned that can help you do the same for your business.

1. Don't always talk about your product

As a product owner, it's natural to want to subtly plug your product in every conversation. There is no harm in being a little sales-y, but remember people can easily spot when you do that.

Your followers follow you for a reason, in spite of the information overload that already exists. So start making a difference by showing your expertise—give solutions to their problems, state real-life examples, and drive home some valuable insights.

2. Don't have a Twitter base? Twitter chat is definitely for you

If you think you need a solid Twitter base to host a chat, that isn't completely true. We had the same thoughts, and that's one reason the plan stalled in the ideation stage for so long.

Just go for it—even with a limited fan base—and you will come to realize people don't just follow great brands, they follow great ideas. When you choose an interesting topic and give your audience a chance to interact with you in real time, you are already turning them into your brand ambassadors. And the result? You will automatically see an increase in your follower count and brand awareness.

3. Influencers are not scary people

Do you know what makes a Twitter chat successful? Finding the right people who can have meaningful conversations with your target audience. And there isn't a better way to help your audience than introducing them to subject matter experts.

If you dread reaching out to influencers, thinking they will turn on you publicly if things go south, you should know they are normal people like us and they understand that mistakes happen. In fact, they will often be more than happy to guide you through the process if asked.

Key takeaway: Influencers are not scary people—just busy. They work on schedules because they are supporting so many brands out there. Reach out to them with a proper plan, and you will likely get their support.

Before moving on to the next part, a checklist, here's what our Twitter board (ha, we just coined it, and no, not a subtle plug here) looks like:

Twitter chat checklist


Your Turn

Have you tried a live Twitter chat or any other engagement activity that got you user-generated content? Leave a comment and let's all learn together.


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