You’ve decided to host a Twitter chat. What’s next?
The five steps below will help you maximize the exposure for your brand and take full advantage of the content.
1. Select a Social Media Event Management Tool
A management tool provides a landing page with event details to include in promotions and allows people to RSVP and leave comments. You can also invite selected users to join the chat.
Many of our clients like to use Twtvite. The tool is free if your event is free and you don’t need to send invitations. If you do, there’s a nominal fee.
2. Measure Success with Analytics
Analytics are key for evaluating success and understanding the amount of traffic to your site generated before, during and after the chat.
There are many options, including Google Analytics, which is free, and a variety of paid tools.
When evaluating your stats, it’s important to remember that your tool may not be accounting for every single visit to your site that results from a link you post on Twitter during the event.
According to The Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to Measuring the ROI of Twitter and Vine, if a user shares your link via a third-party Twitter application (HootSuite, Buffer, etc.), your analytics tool won’t pick it up.
You can however make sure that all links included in tweets you post during the chat (and are retweeted by others) are counted toward traffic generated from the event by creating a specific tag that’s added to the end of the link. The tag lets the analytics tools know that the link originated on Twitter.
Google URL builder is a great free option that connects to Google Analytics. You can also create tags through many paid analytics services.
3. Make It Easy to Follow with a Hashtag
Help people follow the conversation and continue it even after the chat is over by creating a hashtag that’s simple and easy to remember.
Be sure to set up a hashtag tracking tool to understand how much the hashtag was used. You can combine these numbers with your other analytics to get a complete picture of the success of the chat, which is especially helpful if you’re planning to host multiple chats with the same hashtag and want to see how it trends over time.
Topsy is a free tool that shows you how your hashtag performs over time and breaks it down into smaller increments (past hour, day, two days, seven days, 30 days and all time). You can even examine stats for a date range and see how the hashtag was used specifically in links, photos, videos and by influencers.
If you’re looking for a paid option, Hashtracking provides real-time analytics down to the minute. You can also track a campaign, event or follow a trend.
4. Jumpstart the Conversation Pre-written Tweets
Preparing a few tweets in advance can help to get the conversation going and/or to pick things up if there’s a lull. One of our clients held a Twitter chat to help raise awareness of a medical condition and created several tweets with different questions related to the condition to jumpstart the conversation.
5. Turn the Content into a Story for Sharing
Make sure you leverage the content generated as much as possible so that people who weren’t able to join can see what happened and become a part of the larger conversation.
Storify can help you share the content in the form of a story by pulling in the tweets from the event and then allowing you to enhance it with additional details including related narrative, status updates, photos, etc. from social networks.
Your story can then be shared across social networks and embedded onto your site like a video. The tool also allows you to notify people quoted in the story so that they can help you share the content.
Have other tips? We’d love to hear them!