We owe Twitter a huge thanks because, without it, Edgar might not be what it is today or even here at all.
Our founder Laura Roeder began her career selling Twitter marketing courses. The idea for Edgar came to her when she was using Twitter to promote her business and wanted a better way to schedule and manage her tweets.
So we’ve got a special place in our heart for Twitter, which is why the last few months have been especially fun for us.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, we decided to re-shift our focus to generating more engagement and building a community on Twitter. One of the ways we chose to do this was by participating in Twitter chats.
Then, we quickly fell hard for Twitter chats and now they are absolute favorite activity on Twitter.
Our ongoing love affair with Twitter chats has taught us many things and improved our metrics in many ways so we thought we’d share with you!
What are Twitter chats?
Let’s back up first and discuss Twitter chats. Twitter chats are public conversations on Twitter where users chat around a specific hashtag. By using hashtags, you can follow along with the conversation and connect with other users that you might not be following.
If we want to use an IRL (in real life) example, then just think of a group meetup around a specific topic. That’s exactly what Twitter chats are — expect they take place on Twitter. This can be an added benefit if you are someone who likes to network from the comfort of your couch.
Typically Twitter chats are led by one or two moderators who ask questions and Twitter chat participants answer the questions and engage with each other’s answers.
Twitter chats can happen on a recurring basis such as weekly or monthly or they can be one-time events. Personally, we like recurring chats because it gives us an opportunity to engage with our audience.
There are Twitter chats on many different topics and industries. Tweet Reports has also curated this fantastic list of Twitter chats.
Now let’s talk about our learning lessons from 3 months of Twitter chats and what you can learn from our experiment.
What Have We Learned?
1. It’s important to never stop learning
We always knew we could learn from Twitter chats but we had no idea just how much we would learn.
There are a million ways to build a business and market it. But when you’re focused on staying in your lane on growing your business, it can be easy to forget that there are many others out there who are doing things differently.
During Twitter chats, you hear from others about their own strategies, tactics, and methods and that insight can trigger new ideas for you and your business. With a Twitter chat, you are able to reach a group of people interested in the same topics and willing to share their expertise and advice — for free!
2. Your best source of inspiration and ideas is often right in front of you.
When you are a content creator, you might find that sometimes it can feel like a chore to come up with content ideas. Rest assured that every creative hits a wall sometimes and just cannot think of another blog idea no matter how hard they try.
But we learned from Twitter chats that your inspiration is probably sitting right in front of you. For us, connecting with and listening to other small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers provide us with a constant source of inspiration for blogs, emails, and social posts. The funny thing is, this audience was sitting right in front of us the entire time! We just had yet to find a good way to listen to them!
3. Engagement builds trust
This is one of the biggest social media laws to remember. Even though you’ve probably heard this rule a million times, you might need a reminder for it every now and then.
The more we engaged in Twitter chats, the more we felt connected to our followers and the more they felt connected to us, which lead to more social shares, more website traffic, and more users. But more on that in a minute.
4. People want to chat with a person, not a faceless brand
A few weeks into our Twitter chat experiment, we stopped identifying ourselves as Edgar and instead our Digital Content Manager who was participating in chats started identifying herself her name. Once we made this small change, our engagement on chats skyrocketed!
People don’t want to chat with a faceless brand, they want to connect with an actual person! Don’t hide behind your handle, share your personality and name with the world!
After three months of experimenting with Twitter chats, we can safely say that we’re sticking with this strategy and it’s not just because we’ve learned so much. Two very important things happened during our Twitter chat experiment.
All of our metrics increased, including impressions, followers, engagement and link clicks. Every month, we saw each of these areas increase. In fact, in some of these metrics, we saw a growth rate 10x higher than the previous months.
We also formed a strong community. We found a group of smart, engaging, interesting individuals that we now lovingly call our “Twitter BFFs.” We turn to this group for ideas, support, advice and laughs throughout our day and they’ve become a valuable part of Team Edgar.
In fact, this community inspired us to start our own Twitter chat every Wednesday 4PM est, the #SoloBizChat, a place to discuss ideas, give advice and share support for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and freelancers.
What can you learn?
Besides trying Twitter chats for yourself, the most important takeaway for you is this:
Constantly evaluate your strategy and ask yourself, “What else can I be doing to grow?”
Before this experiment, Twitter has been part of our marketing strategy since Edgar first started and we were already seeing excellent traffic and conversions from the platform. However, we challenged ourselves to experiment with our strategy because we knew that there was more we could be doing and we knew there was more we could be learning.
The magic of social media and entrepreneurship, in general, is that you can always experiment and try new avenues to see what takes off for your business. You never know what you might learn!
Have you ever tried a Twitter chat? If so, do you have a favorite chat?