What is a Twitter chat?

A Twitter chat, or a live chat, is a public conversation that happens on Twitter, usually gathered around the same hashtag (i.e #legalchat).

Some chats take place at a set time and day on a weekly or monthly basis, some chats are a one-off. They can be used to host a Q&A with a particular person, or to discuss a pertinent topic.

Why you should start one

  • It'll provide added value to your followers.
  • It'll gain you new followers, as others will be intrigued by what is going on.
  • It's a great way to find out what your customers are thinking, what their issues are, etc.
  • It'll help you build a real community around your brand.
  • It can be a great way to provide customer support.

How to make yours a success

  • Advertise it in the week ahead so that everyone is aware of it. It might be helpful to create a page on your website or blog about it as well as using twitter to promote it. Create a handy picture on canva for people to share. Let influencers in your industry know about it.
  • Be clear about what time/date it will take place on (and in what timezone). Make sure no competing chats happen at the same time.
  • Select an easy to remember (yet distinctive) hashtag. Check that it doesn't already exist first before settling on it.
  • Give it a specific theme to revolve around.
  • Collate the results of your chat for posterity afterwards, using a tool such as Storify

It's also a good idea to get other people on board to help you with the chat, to divide the responsibility. One of your colleagues could be responsible for welcoming new members to the chat for instance, while another could summarize the discussion helpfully.