14 Twitter Chat Pro Tips

14 Twitter Chat Pro Tips

Multimedia from this Release

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 6:00pm

Twitter is a wonderfully accessible and democratising platform that lends itself perfectly to engaging in CSR and Sustainability stakeholder conversations. The audience of available agenda related professionals, brands, NGOs and enthusiasts is breath-taking in scope and also accessibility.

One increasingly important opportunity that Twitter provides is the Twitter Chat. You can corral an audience around a specific theme for a focused amount of time (usually 60 minutes) by using only a hashtag (#). It’s not a given that you’ll get people turning up, that of course takes effort to promote your event, but done right you can access influence and knowledge for incredibly insightful debate.

Twitter chats are a powerful way to be seen to transparently engage with various stakeholder groups and CSR / Sustainability Reporting in particular are increasingly common, but any communications issue in general can be facilitated.

Here’s 3BL Media’s Pro Tips on how to get the most out of our own #3BLchat (see below) or Twitter chats in general as an audience participant.

Before the event:

1.  If you generally use twitter.com to access the platform you may want to consider using a more comprehensive tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. These can help you more effectively track multiple conversations and searches in real time.

2.  Set up and save a search for your event hashtag a few days early and check in every now and then to get a flavour of the conversation and participants.

3.  Follow and say hello to the host and any guests to help get your profile onto their radars before the rush of the event.

4.  Prepare any resources (and check working links) you think will be valuable to share with the audience participating.

5.  Share the event with others in your network to amplify the knowledge base and improve your own social capital.

During the chat:

6. Use a big screen! Smartphones are great for dipping in and out of Twitter, or maybe to spectate, but to effectively keep up with a busy feed and to add your own content to the discussion you’ll fare much better with a laptop or a decent sized tablet.

7. Engage! Spectating is fine and a safe bet if you’re new to Twitter chats, but the real value as always is in engagement. Ask questions. Offer opinion. Retweet and favourite other people’s content. Share your own resources or learning (and try to include images, video, infographics, etc whenever you can).

8. Don’t forget the hashtag! Make sure you add it to every tweet you want that particular community to see.

9. Show you’re human. Social media isn’t about dry answers, data and links being shared, be human. Offer personal experience, say thank you, smile, even a joke or two adds to the sense of community rather than a broadcast.

10. Follow the crowd. Check out all the participants in the event and make sure you follow anybody that can add value to your network.

After the event:

11. The discussion can often carry on beyond the advertised timing of the event so try not to dash off straight away, and check back on the hashtag feed later or the next day.

12. Some Twitter chats are summarised by tools such as Storify after the event. This is an edited script of the chat which can be useful for those who missed the live event, or if you want to revisit the debate. 3BL Media also posts a debrief blog with a full list of the resources shared by the audience. Click here to see the latest blog from our #3BLchat on engaging Millennials.

13. Check through the feed again for new people to follow and make sure you reach out individually to anybody that you think you should build a deeper relationship with.

14. Stay in touch. If you liked the event make sure you sign up for any email or news alerts to not miss out on the next one!


The next #3BLchat is Wednesday 19th February, at 1 - 2pm EST on ‘CSR / Sustainability Reporting: A marathon not a sprint’- don’t miss it!