Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms for a reason. It’s a constant stream of information at our fingertips: breaking news at a moment’s notice, memes galore and cultural commentary await us. It can be overwhelming.
How can you cut through the noise?
By being intentional with the opportunities you receive to share your authentic voice and perspectives. A Twitter chat is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Social media doesn’t just have to be for entertainment. If you’re a Creative, social media can be used as a tool to build awareness and increase visibility around your mission. Many of us think that we have to have a huge following on social media to heighten our visibility. That is not true. Your voice and the subject matter that you share, if consistent, will help you build your brand.
Since 2015 the #blkcreatives Twitter chat has been one of the leading Twitter chats for Creatives of color. We’ve hosted monthly chats that have organically obtained over 1 million impressions and hundreds of thousands of impressions. The impact of the chat goes far beyond what it does for the brand. This chat has led to Creatives starting their own projects and movements, has helped Creatives launch products, and has helped lead Creatives to bigger and better professional opportunities. When you participate in our Twitter chat, you’re positioning yourself to be seen by hundreds of like minded individuals who help you solve whatever challenge you’re facing.
The tips below will give you the basics of how a Twitter chat runs so that we you begin to not just share on social media but to stake your claim in the industry. Use these tips for ANY Twitter chat that you are a part of.
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a real-time conversation between two or more people on Twitter at a particular time. Think of it as a live interview with tweets.
How does it work?
For a Twitter chat, there is a host, guest panelists and the audience that come together to discuss a specific topic, one often selected by the host. The host will share questions using Q1 (Question 1), Q2 (Question 2) etc and the guests will respond to to the questions using A1 (Answer 1), A2 (Answer 2).
— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 2, 2016
Tagging each question and answer with a number (Q1, A1, Q2, A2) serves as a placeholders for the different points of discussion throughout the chat. It allows everyone to be on the same page at the same time. Using the chat hashtag in the responses allows us to keep track of the conversation before, during and after the chat.
Every participant in the chat – whether you’re the host, a guest, or just a participate will use the same designated hashtag in all of their responses. (example: For the #blkcreatives chat, we use #blkcreatives)
How can I participate?
The great thing about Twitter chats is that even if you’re not an official guest, you can still participate. You can respond to the same questions using A1, A2, etc. Use the chat’s hashtag. Answer the questions as if you’re talking to a friend. This will help people learn more about who you are and what you represent online and off.
You can either respond to the host, quote the tweet and respond, or create an original tweet to respond to the questions. As long as you’re using the chat’s hashtag, you’ll be included in the conversation.
How do I make the most out of this chat?
– Make sure you’re following the host and all of the chat’s guests. If you want to get the most of your Twitter chat experience, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the ‘who’ of the chat. What information can you learn from them? What problems can you solve by engaging with these people and their audience? Once you follow them, you can begin your research.
– Search the hashtag to find other people who will be attending the chat. This is a great way to plant seeds for future networking and opportunities. By following this step and introducing yourself on Twitter to others, this gives people a chance to learn more about you and your mission. Building a network online will transfer over to real life relationships as long as the connections are genuine.
– Answer the questions in full. This is a chance for you to use your voice in an authentic way. Remember, you can only cut through the noise on social media by using your voice and Twitter chats can be a way to practice articulating your mission and your value in 140 characters. Like our good friend Tracy G always reminds us, preparation is key in moving past fear. If you’re someone who struggles with expressing yourself and your work aka self promotion, a Twitter chat is a low profile way to get the ball rolling. Also, adding your voice makes for a more diverse discussion for everyone involved.
– Respond to other people’s tweets throughout the chat, not just the guests and the host. There are hundreds of people who participate in these chats and you never know who can be a lead. As you continue to engage during the Twitter chat, you’ll also increase your following. This is important because this increase will be from like minded individuals that can help boost your brand.