This post is a guest contribution from Rebecca Viner.
You want to start building community around your blog/personal brand. You’ve been participating in chats and communities, and you’ve been thinking about forming your own. You don’t want something that takes too much time out of your day, but you do want something that really gets people talking. You’re weighing up the pros and cons of a Twitter chat vs a Facebook/Slack community, but you’re still undecided.
Why host a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a one-per-week/one-per-month event.
After putting in the work to set up your first Twitter chat, further chats will become second nature to you. You won’t have to take lots of time out of your usual schedule for planning. You’ll already have defined your audience, have set a time, have chosen a hashtag, have images ready as templates and have a promotion strategy. Having your own community has no guaranteed structure to it – you may or may not have notifications to reply to, you could find yourself on there for hours on end or with nothing to do after 5 minutes. Hosting a Twitter chat is a guaranteed opportunity to engage with people on a set date, at a set time for a set duration – even if only a few turn up.
It can easily compliment your product or monthly content theme.
If you’re not sure what to have as your Twitter chat topic, you can always turn to your blog/podcast/video content or a product/service that you’re launching. If you’re creating something truly epic for your audience, then why not build more hype around it and demonstrate more of your expertise? Get them really involved and invested in your theme.
It’s effective at getting people involved – a great networking opportunity and helps you to find out more about what your audience wants/needs.
The fast-paced interaction of Twitter chats is appealing to many people who also want to build community and network but have a busy lifestyle. With a community, you might find it more difficult to get people to initially join and then participate. The one-per-week/one-per-month structure gives your audience something in their schedule to look forward to and gives them a reason to turn up. A community can be buzzing one day and the next have nothing going on for your audience, so booking out time in their schedule to interact through a chat is preferable. It also gives you the opportunity to ask the questions you want/need the answers to about your audience. Surveys can be really uninteresting for your audience to work through – through a chat they’re getting live feedback from you to their responses.
What I’ve gotten out of hosting Twitter chats…
- More Twitter followers = my tweets are added to more feeds = more opportunities to get my content, products, and services seen, shared, and purchased.
- More client enquiries came from asking about the problems my audience were experiencing, sharing my guidance for their situation and inviting them for a free #StartToSuccess session. After the chat I was then able to follow up with these prospective clients and book them in.
- More blog traffic came from being able to provide content to support my answers and what my audience needed from me in the form of sending over a link to a relevant post. If I didn’t have any posts myself about the topic, I recommended someone else’s which then shows I have knowledge of my niche/industry and increases trust with my audience.
- Enjoyment. It was really fun to connect with familiar faces as well as new people, and get to know them.
So you’re sold on hosting a Twitter chat over starting a Facebook/Slack community, but you now don’t know where to start? No worries, I’ve put together a step by step guide plus free checklist.