I’m sick of being buried beneath the wave of comments in #BufferChat (seriously, you’ll get 200+ tweets in under 10 minutes, see image below), so I came up with an easy trick for keeping up.
I share that below, along with two other tips that should help you successfully connect your content marketing efforts with this growing medium.
(This is before the chat even really got started, nearly 200 new tweets in 9 minutes.)
Some Twitter chats have gained serious momentum this year. Personally, I like #SEMrushChat and #BufferChat, but there are many, many others worth checking out.
Twitter chats are popular for three reasons primarily:
1) Community – it’s an opportunity for folks to learn and grow from one another, and implicitly: to network
2) Exposure – it’s an opportunity to get your name/content out in front of a large audience
3) Entertainment – between selfies, animated gifs, and basic questions like “where are you tweeting from today?” it’s a fun diversion
So how can you capitalize on this seemingly growing trend?
It can be difficult, especially as chats get so large you can’t even keep up with the flow of comments!
Find below three tips that should help you get the most out of your participation in Twitter chats.
And if you’re interested in starting your own, check out this great guide from SEMrush.
Before the Twitter Chat: Creating Online Content
It’s a major turn-off when people promote their own stuff on a Twitter chat, unless it is painfully obvious that it’s relevant, and even then good etiquette usually entails including a remark acknowledging that you’re being self-promotional.
Twitter chats will usually announce their subject matter ahead of time (a week in advance if it’s weekly). Though that doesn’t tell you precisely what questions they will ask during the chat, that’s a pretty good indicator of what ballpark you should be shooting for if you’d like to be ready with a piece of your own online content that’s “painfully obviously relevant” to share during the chat.
During the Twitter Chat: Keeping Up
Twitter chats usually follow the format of:
Host: “Q1 [question]”
Participants: “A1 [response]”
To avoid a lot of reloading and scrolling, I keep two tabs open. On one tab, I keep the host’s Twitter account open. This is the easiest way to see when a new question has been asked (and therefore determine whether the next several minutes of tweets will be relevant).
On a second tab, I have a search for the chat and the responses I care about (e.g. #bufferchat a3, if I care about the responses to Q3). This filters out all the answers to questions I don’t care about, and the side-commentary that can be fun but is largely a distraction from the valuable tips and content I’m looking to get during the chat.
Will you miss some important/valuable responses doing this? Probably, as not everyone follows the convention of using A3 (or whatever) in their tweeted responses. But in my opinion, it’s well worth the trade-off of being significantly more efficient in your consumption and participation in the Twitter chat.
After the Twitter Chat: Sharing Online Content
Some Twitter chats will sum up the results of the community’s responses in a summary image that they tweet, some will provide recaps after the fact. Either of these pieces of online content are great resources to point to as symbolic of the chat as a whole. Some chats will provide entire transcripts, but those are less useful, as there’s a lot of side conversation in there (thereby diluting whatever points you’d like to use the content from the chat to demonstrate).
By sharing the summary image or recap, or by linking to them in your own social media, blog articles, etc. you provide the necessary context for whatever message you’re trying to get across, without forcing your audience to A) have participated in the chat B) re-read the entire chat to understand where you’re coming from.