So, you just wrapped up hosting a Twitter chat. Time to kick back, pour a celebratory beverage, and take it easy.
Actually, not so fast.
Because even though you nailed it, you’re only halfway done.
To get the most out of your Twitter chat, you also have a little legwork to do after the curtain goes down.
You can start anywhere, but we tend to throw the self-help stuff in triage first – so let’s start there!
Remember what stood out to you personally
Of course, while you were in the zone, you probably recognized moments that could’ve gone better – and moments you straight up rocked.
Capture the good, the bad, and the best moments immediately, while they’re still fresh in your noggin’.
Take a step back and consider the aggregate conversation.
What aha moments did you have during the chat? What sub-topics kept surfacing? This is all fabulous market research, so rack your brain!
You’ll be amazed at the industry pain points, solutions, and stories that surface during these chitchats, so preserve them in a Google Sheet, a Word Doc, or an etched stone tablet – you know, somewhere practical.
Compare what you remember with actual numbers
How you felt the chat went and the learning moments you walked away with matter – in fact, they matter a lot.
But, like your old stats teacher used to say, “truth is in the numbers!”
(Our old stats teacher also used to say, “One more paper airplane and it’s straight to the principal’s office with you,” but that’s less relevant right now.)
Twitter’s analytics section provides valuable insights into follower growth, top Tweets and influencers, engagements, trends, and more. We recommend exporting reports so you can slice and dice them how you like.
Want even more info? Find some tools to fill in the holes. Something like Twitter analytics reports in Union Metrics is perfect for tracking specific hashtags, which is muy importante for your chats.
(Remember, your chats need to rally around a unique hashtag! More on that here.)
So, track your stats – both the qualitative (gut check kind) and the quantitative (number kind). If you’re putting the energy in, make sure it’s paying off!
Then, keep that momentum rolling.
In the past, we’ve stressed the importance of getting your feet wet by joining in on Twitter chats before you take the plunge into hosting your own.
Whether chat hosting is old hat or you’re a total newbie, continue to participate in other chats. It’s a great way to learn from others!
Keep things going with an afterparty
Ending your Twitter chat on time is good etiquette, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer up options for people who want to keep the convo going.
For example, maybe you announce when you’re stepping away (and people can stop expecting new questions and answers from you), but encourage others to keep talking to each other using your chat’s hashtag.
If you make this a regular thing and keep building momentum, you might even create a Facebook or LinkedIn group where participants can dive a little deeper into the topics you covered.
Wherever those conversations are happening, you should read back through the conversation later, and share responses to unanswered questions using your hashtag. (People might still reach out to you after the chat technically ends!)
Parties are a meeting ground. What you do with the connections you make is the difference between an acquaintance and a full-blown friend.
Professional connections, like friendships, need nurturing – so here are a few ways we like to cultivate our new connections:
- Rolodex it: Keep a participant list, so you can interact with the most committed and influential of the group. If there are contributors that make you giddy with excitement, keep track of ’em!
- Give props: Highlight key contributors publicly. (Everyone likes to be recognized for their amazingness!)
- Be grateful: It might sound rudimentary, but always thank your participants. For example, you might show your appreciation by hooking peeps up with exclusive or free stuff like a free trial period, swag, or giveaways. (This doesn’t mean unloading a bunch of t-shirts with your old logo. Make it about THEM, not your office decluttering efforts!)
We get by with a little help from our friends – so ask for it!
Whether it’s from your internal team or your followers, it’s okay to lean on people every now and again.
After a chat, ask your internal team for feedback. Heck, ask your friends for feedback! Other people might have great ideas for how you can change things next time – questions you could ask, changes to your timing, that sort of thing – so don’t be afraid to solicit some opinions.
Get your ducks in a row for the next shindig
Unless you’re holding a Twitter chat for a one-off special event, reoccurring chats drive loyalty with a community around a shared interest.
That means as soon as your chat wraps, you need to get working on the next party.
(We know, we know – no rest for the weary.)
The good news is, you already have your topics planned out in advance! (We believe in you.)
You’ve applied actionable takeaways to your chat strategy, and you teased the date, time, and topic for your next chat sesh at the end of the latest one, right?
Okay, keep going with those promotions. There are a few things you can do to cut back on the heavy lifting (This is where Edgar comes in!):
- Set it and forget it: Schedule your promos in advance, so you can strategically tease out updates. (“Forget it” is a figure of speech, though. Check in like always to see if people have questions or comments leading up to the thing!)
- Recycle: Things move fast in the ol’ socialsphere. Chances are, most people aren’t seeing your posts, so share them again and again to avoid being lost in the shuffle.
- Personalize automation: Leave the audience interaction to an actual human – like, say, you. Crack open your Rolodex of chat participants or identify a handful of top contributors, and extend a personal invite to them via an @-mention. Let them know how much you value their participation!
Pull off this routine a few times, and soon it’ll be easy as pie! (Which can actually be tricky to make sometimes, but you get what we mean.)
Speaking of efficiency…
Find content opportunities in all you do
We mentioned that Twitter chats are a breeding ground for market research (seriously, you can’t pay for this knowledge!), but they’re also an easy content solution.
(For more turnkey content ideas, check out this post!)
Here are a few content creation ideas you could spin out of your Twitter chats:
- Images: Screenshot your fav Tweets or use a free graphics tool to style up favorite quotes and takeaways for social distribution. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due (peeps love the love), and include your chat hashtag.
- Storify: Turn what people say on social media into a story by stringing together photos, images, videos, and Tweets from or related to your topic.
- Blog: Use your blog to announce upcoming chats and capture show notes, but also let chats fuel your blog content via topic ideas, embedded Tweets, and quotes from industry experts.
- Twitter Moments: Use Tweets from different participants to string together Moments, which are kind of like fancy slideshows that viewers can scroll through. (Here’s how it’s done.)
- Recordings: Whether you want to fire up your webcam or you prefer to rock the audio, record a quick recap of key takeaways and commentary.
The possibilities are endless. Start small, and before you know it, you’ll be a chat-hosting machine!
How do you keep the momentum after YOUR Twitter chats end?
Any hosting tips and tricks?
What’s worked or not worked?
Are you hosting (or participating in) any Twitter chats we should check out?
Let us know in the comments below!