If you’ve ever participated in a Twitter chat you know that they can be interactive, fast paced, informative, and well sometimes – intimidating. Now try hosting one.
Fear not! It’s not quite as scary as you might think. The key to hosting any effective Twitter chat is simply, preparation.
You’ll need a game plan and the central focus of that plan will be your absolutely unique hashtag. Don’t forget, this will be what pulls your respondents together as one community. Your hashtag should be yours alone, and send a clear, concise message about what this chat plans to communicate.
You can do yourself a favor too by drafting your top 5-10 questions & answers before this chat. Perhaps distribute these to a few key players in your network ahead of time, it may just allow for a more robust conversation.
Next step? Arrange the time and date of your Twitter chat. Consider that some of your potential participants may live alternate time zones, or that a similar chat could be taking place on the same day – or worse same time. Effectively scheduling your chat will be key to ensuring the best possible turnout of participants. So find that day and lock it down!
You’re also going to need an efficient moderator (or two!). The fact is, the larger chat the more hands you’ll need. Maybe your moderators are team members, or perhaps they’re a guest expert in the chat. No matter who they may be, they’re integral to keeping conversation focused, summarizing discussion, and engaging people that may be outside of your own network.
This leads us to the next step: Promotion! Use the media available to you to in order to get the word out, but don’t be afraid to ask partners in your network to amplify. What does that look like? Often sending your network promotional materials, like shareables or introductory social posts can be all that’s needed to encourage others to spread the word.
Got all that? Now you’re ready to start your chat!