Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide: How to Run a Twitter Chat that Benefits your Business

twitter-influenceOne phenomenon that has sprung up since the advent of Twitter is the Twitter Chat.  Based around a hashtag, Twitter Chats are most often used to promote an event as a one-time Chat; or to enjoy a group discussion around a niche topic or interest on a regular, recurring basis – for example, a weekly meeting of the South Dakota Bird Watching Society.

Here’s how it works:  A hashtag is created for the Twitter Chat.  If it is for a particular event, the hashtag would be used extensively to promote it:  If for a recurring event, the hashtag might be used every cycle.  The recurring chat might be held weekly, monthly or at any other interval your group decides on; for example, every second Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.  (There are also streaming, continuous Twitter Chats, but these are rare.)

If yours is a closed group and your Twitter Chat is open only to members, the hashtag would be circulated internally, from within a forum or in a monthly newsletter, perhaps.

On the other hand, if your hashtag is being used to promote a specific, one-time event (or a course, book launch, product launch or workshop series) you want to get it out there and spread it as far and wide as possible.

That’s where Twitter Chats come into their own…


Why Hold a Twitter Chat?

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteTwitter Party, Tweet Chat, Twitter Chat…it doesn’t matter what you call it, each of these terms means people getting together online at a specific time or on a specific day or week; and talking about your hashtag topic – in real-time.

It’s the “real time” element that gives Twitter Chats their sparkle, bonding people together as a unique, exclusive group.

A great Twitter Chat leaves people feeling connected to each other, much as if you were to meet someone in person at a weekend conference in Toronto, Canada.  The feeling is:  “Oh, I know her.  We were at that conference together – we sat together at dinner every night.”  Or if you went to boarding school together.

Your Twitter Chat also has the potential to generate a trending hashtag on Twitter.

Once you’ve participated in a great Twitter Chat, you’re now forever part of the same “club”.  You start following the people you met at the Twitter Chat; and whenever you see a new tweet from that person, you read it and pay attention… because you know that person.

Real-time interaction on a common topic not only creates bonding, it can also generate two emotions vital to group event success:

  • Anticipation
  • Excitement

It also firmly cements both the event and its date firmly in the forefront of people’s minds, as well as generating new followers for your Twitter account.


Step 1.  Say Hello to TweetChat

Before we go any further:  You don’t need to think solely in terms of creating and running a Twitter Chat, however – you can also join Twitter Chats strictly as a networking tactic to gain visibility and strengthen your personal branding by finding and participating in multiple Twitter Chats around a single topic.

TweetChat provides a calendar of ongoing or upcoming, official Tweet Chats.  You can select a topic and follow it, participating at the appointed time.


You may or may not be asked to authorize the TweetChat app when you enter a hashtag and press “Go”.


To join TweetChat:

  1. Go to the TweetChat calendar
  2. Select a topic and note the hashtag.


  1. Click on it
  2. Schedule and set notification to your preferences, and start tweeting and searching the hashtag.

(Note:  You can also check out the online “room” it will take place in, if it’s a specific-time event.)  This would be the website URL (where you can find out more about the event – before or after joining), webinar link or chat room.


You can also find Twitter Chats at:

And if you search, you’ll also find that various interest groups, or government groups like the National Institute of Health, will often provide a schedule of Twitter Chats for the year, month or season.


Step 2.  Deciding on Your Own Twitter Chat

Before you can plan a successful Twitter Chat for yourself, you need to decide on:

  • The topic
  • The date, time and time zone
  • The Twitter Chat frequency (will this be recurring or will it be a one-time event?)
  • The Twitter Chat’s unique hashtag
  • The location

Selecting the actual hashtag is the most vital part of this process.  You don’t want to choose a hashtag that anyone else is using – particularly if it is already associated with something negative.


Make sure you search Twitter for your proposed hashtag, to ensure it is unique.

Also search to see if your hashtag already exists.


Your Role as Moderator:

But as the Twitter Chat host or moderator, you will have other responsibilities and tasks to perform:

  • Deciding on and creating an agenda
  • Deciding on the event format
  • Booking an online chat room or webinar room, if you need to
  • Promoting your event/Twitter Chat
  • Asking others to promote your Twitter Chat

Twitter Chats can be highly flexible in format, so choose the type that best suits your target audience and your business branding.


Typical Twitter Chat event formats include:

  • Open discussion Q & A
  • Discussion with Q & A afterwards
  • Webinar or teleseminar
  • Weekly or monthly group meeting, with the moderator introducing the topic and others providing input
  • Continuously streaming Chat (e.g. creating hashtags like “#AskMeAbout” and letting your target audience know you’ll be available to answer questions; or using that hashtag to find topic material for your next fixed Twitter Chat)

The only hard and fixed rule is:  “Decide on the format your target audience would find most comfortable.

 And also decide whether you want your Twitter chat to be:

  • A continuous Live Twitter stream
  • A one-time event, with pre- and post- promotion and follow up
  • A regular recurring event

That brings us to Rule # 2:  Choose the Chat type that will best increase your business branding and keep you in touch with your target audience.


Step 3.  Promoting Your Twitter Chat

After you have decided on your event type and hashtag, it’s time to start promoting it.

  1. Submit your event to for their Events Directory


It will then appear in’s Event Calendar.  (Note you can also instantly share your event from this location across several social networking platforms, once your event populates in the calendar.)


  1. Tell your Followers about your event in your Twitter feed.
  2. Ask them to share your Hashtag – either publicly, if all are welcome; or within a certain group, if it is a closed Twitter chat.12-buzz
  3. Blog about it.  Talk about what people will learn or gain; create a contest around it; show why it’s going to be priceless and unique.
  4. Create a buzz.  Share it across all your social platforms – not randomly:  Create a Sharing Campaign!


What your Twitter Chat will do is indelibly stamp you as an authority figure in your niche… if your event is well-run and delivers on its promises.

And you can use Twitter Chats to promote paid as well as free events too.

The important thing is to get the conversation going.  Don’t spam – but don’t be shy about asking others to use your hashtag.

Do your best to ensure it’s a fun hashtag to use!

What Makes a Great Event Hashtag:

Creating successful hashtags can be absurdly simple so don’t re-invent the wheel.



 Obvious keywords that everyone instantly thinks of for a product, business or event (e.g. #HollandParkFestival, #RoyalBaby)

   Keywords that only make sense to an elite group – providing your event IS for that elite group.  Your hashtag should make them want to “prove” they know what it means. (e.g. #BrassicaWorld)

   Fun keywords (e.g. #WhenPushComesTo Shove)

   Hashtags that make people want to finish a line (e.g. #YesterdayWe)

   Short keywords (e.g. #InkFest)

   Keywords that invite engagement (e.g. #AskObama)

   Keywords that act as reminders to recurring group events (e.g. #MondaysWithAbi)

Acronyms (e.g. #FVwmsa)

   Overly long hashtags (e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)

   Obscure hashtags that only make sense to an elite group (e.g. #BrassicaWorld) when you’re promoting an event to the general public

   Boring hashtags (e.g. #carboattraingoing)

   Hashtags whose actual spelling causes visual confusion to the point of “hiding” the actual meaning (e.g. #carrusttutorial)

   Hashtags in all lower case letters (particular if the hashtag is long:  e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)


Going for the obvious keyword is often the best strategy, as the Twitter Development team succinctly states here:


The trouble is, obvious keywords (e.g. #love) are often already “taken”.

That’s when you have to get creative.


Step 4. Tracking Your Twitter Chat Hashtag

Once your own unique, custom hashtag has been created, you can search it in also; this will show you:

  • How it’s behaving – or trending
  • Who has tweeted it
  • Your hashtag’s most “Prolific Users”
  • Estimated tweets per hour
  • Related hashtags

In particular, checking its usage over a 24-hour period can tell you which times are best to promote it.  Seeing actual usage also tells you not just the times, but when your target audience is online.


You can also use other apps and tracking sites, such as Tagboard.


On the down side, Tagboard has no analytics, but it is a fast, simple interface that instantly shows you a Pinterest-type display of search results, if you type in your hashtag.



Keyhole is definitely another tracking choice you should explore further:  For one thing, it provides a special tab for promoting and finding Twitter Chats!


Tracking is important – but it’s only helpful if you learn from it and apply what you learned to your next Twitter Chat.

The really important take-aways to note are:

  1. Choose your hashtag and event to suit your audience
  2. Check to make sure it is not related to an offensive hashtag or already being used
  3. Actively promote your hashtag and event (and ask others to do so too)
  4. Don’t spam (no multiple tweets from  one person, five times an hour)
  5. Track your hashtag and learn from its peaks, lows and performance

But there’s one more important step to take…

→ Create your next Twitter Chat!

Profitable Webinars Made Easy


Webinars are a profitable and popular way to disseminate information to a lot of people at one time. It’s just like an in person seminar except that it’s performed over the Internet. You give presentations just like you would in person with slides, handouts, and other companion information. It is essentially a web based seminar. You can teach a class, deliver a lecture, conduct a workshop, and host an interactive Q & A event via webinar.

1-audienceThe technology allows event hosts to deliver their information to multiple locations at the same time because the attendee simply needs to be able to sign on to a computer terminal with Internet access to participate in the event.  Usually attendees can participate in a variety of ways from chatting in a chat room, to raising their hand electronically to speech, by using a microphone.

If you have a lot of information you want to disseminate to a number of individuals or groups but don’t want to spend a lot of money doing it, a webinar is your answer. Participants can join from anywhere, home, work, any country — as long as they have a computer and an Internet connection they can join.

They are economically feasible for small or large groups. What’s more, they are secure, in that unauthorized people cannot enter the webinar. In most cases the participants only have to download a small program to help them access the event, have ear phones with a microphone, the special link or password to join, and they are in.


Why Have a Webinar?

Many reasons for having webinars were mentioned above, but let’s get specific. Hosting a webinar can advance your business to the next level. It can jump start and excite affiliates, and customers alike. Face it, events are fun but they can be expensive and hard to plan. Webinars can be planned from the comfort of your home office, or from any location with computer access and an Internet connection.


Lead Generation

Webinars are an effective way to generate more leads. But you’ll need to book speakers that excite your target audience. A targeted topic will also help draw both speakers and attendees. By providing targeted content through a webinar platform with planned speakers you will position yourself to become a thought leader who provides credible, valuable and usable information about your niche.

To generate leads with a webinar you’ll need to ask for information at registration. That information should be sent to an email marketing mailing list segmented for potential webinar attendees. In this way you will be collecting leads via your webinar sign up process. By marketing the webinar, you’re marketing your email list.


Earn More Money

2-presentationAnother great reason to host a webinar is to make more money. Even if your initial goal is to get more subscribers, with more targeted subscribers you’re going to generate more income in the long run. But, if you charge for your webinar you could make more money in an hour than you thought possible. Imagine if you sold the hour for just 10 dollars each. If just 100 people attend the webinar you will have earned 1000 dollars for the hour. Granted you have to spend time developing the event, but imagine if you perfect the event and create a series conducting weekly webinars. How will that add to your bottom line?


Advance Content Marketing

The other thing that webinars do is simply disseminate content in a new way. From one hour long webinar you can create a year’s worth of content all from one event if you set it up right. Just get four to six speakers, record the event, then repackage the event in multiple ways to generate almost unlimited content all year long.

Once a webinar is over you can break it down to shorts that you use in your email marketing blurbs or as an eCourse. You can also transcribe it and create an eReport out of the event. Some people are creating Kindle books out of webinar materials. The sky is the limit with the amount of and different forms the content can take from just one webinar event.


Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes your goal is simply to improve customer satisfaction over a product. You might invite only people who have bought your product or service to a webinar that is exclusive to them. Your goal in this case is perhaps to conduct a Q & A to help customers utilize a product or service more fully.

Your objectives for having the webinar can be more than one of the above, but it’s better if you focus on just one or two objectives in order to create marketing materials that work. Determining objectives and setting goals indicates what metrics to study when deciding whether your event was a success or a failure. Having metrics to look at will assist you in perfecting future webinar events by identifying what works and what doesn’t work. By doing so, you’ll be able to develop a best practices manual for webinars of your own that is fully targeted to your unique market.