Are Tweetchats A Fit For Your Company?

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By Maureen Jann

I know that marketers are time-starved and often siloed in their efforts.  Balancing top performance with everyday life is challenging. So, we marketers are left with a quandry: how can we get fresh perspective without a huge time investment? The tool I use most often is twitter. More specifically, I participate in tweetchats.

What is a tweetchat?

Tweetchats are conversations on twitter bound by a certain hashtag, guided by a set of questions and based on a theme or topic for the session. It’s frequently hosted by a company or person, features an expert and attracts a community of marketers from around the world. Topics can include, for example, freelance challenges to content marketing or technical search- engine optimization tips.

#MarketingNW tweetchats

Ready to try it out? I’ve got some good news for you. Point It, the digital marketing agency I work for, has partnered with MarketingNW to launch a tweetchat serries the last Friday of each month, featuring industry experts from the Pacific Northwest. Although the talent is local, the community members are international and bring a wide variety of perspectives and best practices that help sharpen the participant’s skills.

Launched in February, we’ve had the pleasure of featuring Ted Leonhardt (@tedleonhardt), coach to freelancers and a Fast Company columnist, on the topic of Nurturing Creativity in the Workplace.

In March, we were delighted to have Rod Brooks(@NW_Mktg_Guy), PEMCO Insurance CMO (see his article “The Top-Five Challenges), to chat about customer-centric marketing. And in April, the chat leader was Sean Van Guilder, the director of SEO at Point It, on the subject of SEO for Content Marketers.

Should you run a tweetchat?

Running a tweetchat is a fantastic way for a company to build relationships with industry influencers. But, as with all new endeavors, there are a few things to know before you try to launch your own tweetchat.

I’m the host of the #MarketingNW tweetchat, a marketing industry tweetchat consultant and a weekly participant in tweetchats around the world. From that experience, here are a few tips that I think will help you conduct a successful tweetchat:

• Frame the experience: Make sure you articulate who you audience is, what your objectives are for the tweetchat and what type of guests will help you achieve those objectives.

• Do your research: Establish how frequently you want to host your tweetchat and choose a time when there are fewer of them in your industry, so as not to compete against similar chats.

• Name the chat appropriately: Go online and research existing tweetchats, hashtags and even check out Urban Dictionary, to avoid conflicts and to draw the right crowd.

• Plan ahead: Book experts and identify topics two chats ahead, so you can draw people from one tweetchat to the next.

• Invite your posse: Reach out on twitter, via email and personally to create a ready-made audience that will help ensure that our first few tweetchats are well attended.

Get in the game

Tweetchats are new, but they can be a very effective way to reach your audience. Like with any new marketing endeavor, plan carefully. Make sure the tweetchats align with your larger marketing goals and get you where you want to go.

If you’d like to see a tweetchat in action, we encourage you to join us for our next tweetchat at #MarketingNW at 12pm Pacific Time on Friday, May 26. Check the MARKETING Events section at marketingnw.com for the May chat leader.

If you’d like to join us, sign up for a reminder on www.pointit.com/tweetchat

Maureen Jann is the director of marketing for the digital marketing agency, Point It. You can reach her at maureenj@pointit.com.

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