What's a Twitter-Chat (also know as a Twitter-Forum)? It's a planned time in which you throw out a topic to your followers and engage in a thoughtful conversation.
Whether you're debating your industry colleagues on a marketing strategy or brainstorming with your customers about a new product, it's an invaluable tool to glean invaluable feedback.
Honestly, there are some topics that are better left to the masses rather than in a stale, cold conference room with dry-erase markers and a white board. For something truly out-of-the-box, the best group to learn from are your followers.
They're not involved in your day-to-day and really don't have an investment in your company. Instead of thinking of your bottom line or debating what's the next big thing in marketing, you're going to get fresh ideas.
1. Pick a Topic
A chaotic situation on Twitter is a ticking time bomb ready to explode. You're risking tangents, off-the-topic references and side conversations.
Pick a topic that you truly need input on. Keep the topic simple, straightforward and without any possibility of distraction.
If you'd like to receive feedback on how you can improve your top-selling product, then pitch the Twitter-Chat about that.
To avoid the inevitable chaos a Twitter-Chat may have, do your homework. Draw up a list of questions so that you remain focused. Gather a group of your peers and list the most important questions. Consider this a quasi-customer survey.
Cap your questions to no more than five – you'll ensure lively dialogue and you're not risking unfurling a barrage of questions.
Without participants, you're essentially Tweeting to yourself. Take some time to promote your Twitter-Chat on, of course, Twitter, your website, email marketing campaign and other social mediums. To entice your followers even more, consider offering a gift for the best Tweet.
Whether you have one person moderating or a whole team of people, you need to have someone overseeing the questions and answers. Otherwise, without a moderator, you're going to lose track. Minimally, you should have one moderator and another person keeping track of the thoughts, suggestions and ideas popping up. Further, a moderator flows with the Tweets and is able to respond with thoughtful and relevant questions.
Above all, the point of a Twitter-Chat is to listen and learn. Without that, then your endeavor is pointless. ‘Nuff said.
Have you had success with a Twitter-Chat? Want to share some advice for others? Let us know.