Research Existing Tweetchats
Well, firstly, I recommend you DO participate in a few tweetchats, or at least watch a few, so you can get a good idea of how to lead one. Watch the leader or leaders and see how they moderate the chat. Pay attention to how they give out questions, because there are a few ways to do it. Find the style you like, and make some notes.
The best way to get an idea of how things are run is to participate in a Tweetchat. Ask questions, answer questions, and retweet posts you find valuable.
Plan Your Tweetchat
Now that you have a really good idea of how to handle your own tweetchat, you’re going to want to figure out the hashtag you are going to want to use. If you want to host a tweetchat for an ongoing chat, make sure you use a hashtag that isn’t time sensitive, such as including the year or month #ExampleChat2013. Unless you plan for this tweetchat to be a one time event, I suggest using a dateless hashtag, such as #ExampleChat, like those I mentioned above.
For a one-time chat event, using the date or year in the hashtag is more acceptable, since the date or year will accompany this one-time chat event, and won’t be used again.
Once you have a few ideas for the name of your tweetchat, you’ll need to research your hashtags to make sure 1) they aren’t in use 2) they don’t mean something else, to others. Essentially, if you make coffee, and one of your hashtag ideas is #CoffeeChat, you’ll want to search the internet for “#CoffeeChat”. When googling “#CoffeeChat” I found a blog post from someone saying she planned on using this hashtag for her purposes, in a weekly twitterchat, but the post was from October, 2012. So, I went to twitter and searched for #CoffeeChat. I saw LOTS of posts for #CoffeeChat, but they weren’t focused. Obviously, people use this hashtag for LOTS of different things, such as catching up with old friends.
So as you can tell, you’ll need to make sure that people are not using the hashtag you want to use.
Register Your Hashtag
Once you have found your hashtag, go to Twubs.com and use their service to “register” the hashtag so it is linked to you. This is great for branding! Twubs offers this service for free, and you can sign up/in with Twitter.
Once you have registered your hashtag, you can use Twubs to follow along with your tweetchat, and it will even add the hashtag automatically.
Follow Your Impressions
Using tools such as TweetReports.com can help you figure out how many people you reached, and the progress you have as you continue with your twitterchats. (Plus, it’s just fun to see the numbers, right?)
- Test your tweetchat with a few friends. Get a few friends to join you in a practice chat, so you can use your tools and get some feedback.
- Set a schedule for your tweetchat that you will follow. The last thing anyone wants is to be part of an awesome tweetchat, and then watch it fizzle out as the leaders move on or simply forget.
- Start out with a few good questions. Come up with 3-5 questions you would like to have your audience answer.
- Have a few interesting facts or little-known pieces of information about your topic ready. If the chat is slow, this information might encourage some participation from people that might just be watching.
Do you host a twitter chat? Let me know what it is in your comments!