Twitter Chats for Business

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Twitter chats offer businesses the opportunity to connect with customers, increase brand awareness and build credibility.

Twitter chats, also known as tweet chats, are a live virtual meeting of Twitter users at a certain time to discuss a specific topic. During a Twitter chat, users follow the chat’s designated hashtag in a stream to view the conversation. Often times, a moderator facilitates the chat. To join a Twitter chat, all a user needs to do is tweet a message using the designated hashtag.

Research and find Twitter chats that are relevant to your business and/or target audience. Browse helpful sites like Tweet Reports or Tweet Chat for a list of Twitter chats.

You can choose to just follow a Twitter chat and not actively engage (often referred to as “lurking”) but that doesn't do much good for building awareness. Actively engaging in a Twitter chat is a great way to build credibility and demonstrate your knowledge of a particular topic. Many Twitter chats allow the opportunity for participants to introduce themselves at the beginning of the chat. If you're participating on behalf of your business, it's a good idea to let chat participants know who is behind the tweets.

You can prepare for a Twitter chat by jotting down a few main points that you would like to share. Twitter chats can often move fast, so composing a few posts prior to the chat is helpful and allows you to ensure that they don't exceed 140 characters (including the chat hashtag). During the chat, share your expertise on the topic but don't overly promote yourself or your business. Be sure to keep your tone conversational. After all, it is a chat.

Retweet posts of chat participants that add value to your network, but don't go overboard. You can usually share a transcript of the chat with your network after the chat. You may meet new people and gain new followers through the Twitter chat. Be sure to follow back and keep the conversation going beyond the chat, if necessary.

Now that you know the basics of a Twitter chat, practice your skills by participating in one this week. Which Twitter chat do you plan to join?

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