Melissa Kimble

Putting The Soul In Social Media + Digital Strategy

The Only Twitter Chat Guide You Need to Read

 

The first time you attend a dinner party can be very nerve wrecking. Should I bring anything? Where should I sit? What if I don’t like the food? Is it polite to ask for seconds?

This experience is similar to someone attending your Twitter chat for the first time. Like any other host, you want to make sure that your guests feel prepared, welcomed, and relaxed.

 

How can you do this? By making sure you curate an amazing experience before, during and after the chat. Most importantly, you’ll want to tell a good story and not just bombard your guests with information.

This perspective yields two immediate benefits:

1) It allows your Twitter chat to be relevant to your desired audience

2) It will encourage people to return to your chat and share it with others.

In this post, I’ll teach you 4 things:

  1. How to purpose your chat to create a community around your brand
  2. How to choose topics that drive engagement and sales
  3. Best practice for choosing guests and where to find them
  4. How to boost chat engagement by focusing on your attendees

Why run a Twitter Chat?

While a Twitter chat is simply a Q&A discussion on Twitter in real-time, it is also an opportunity to share another side of your brand. Every day, your audience comes in contact with your brand in a very direct and straight-forward way. This chat however, can be an opportunity for everyone to relax and unwind, allow their personalities to come forward, and gives your audience the stage and the microphone. Scheduling this chat during a time where your audience is the least distracted (i.e, evenings) is best.

These chats are a great way to learn the story of your audience, what they need, and how they’d like to have their needs met. Think of it as an intentional mashup of a quick study and a real-time exercise on learning about your audience. Don’t just focus on your special guests. Focus on how your audience responds to questions and comments, what they share with other guests and which points of discussion strike up the most engagement.

 

Keeping in mind all of those elements, here are the top things you’ll need to flesh out your story:

Components to focus on

1. Purpose of Your Chat

The objective of any great Twitter chat is to create a community around your brand. A community needs many different types of people involved for it to thrive. This is not a time to make a sale, rather it’s a time to be of service to anyone that comes in contact with your brand during the chat. Use this experience as an opportunity to help others. There will be plenty of time later to make a sale , for now, make a connection.  

What do you want the purpose of your chat to be? Finding new customers? Improving your current customer experience? Teaching customers how to utilize your product or service?

Setting the intention of your chat with your purpose will make it easier to select a topic.

2. Topic/Theme of the story (be specific, dig deep, use of hashtag that is simple)

The topic or theme of the story must be made clear. Instead of making the chat about a broad topic, use it to hone in on a specific aspect of your niche. For example, if your company creates courses to help first time homebuyers, you can select a certain aspect of that journey to discuss during your chat such as “getting financial paperwork in order” or “how to purchase homeowner’s insurance.” Your chat should indirectly allow your audience to dig deeper into your company’s mission and values.

A quick way to pick your topic:

  • List out your business goals and divide them into categories.
  • Line those categories up with the needs of your audience. Where do you see alignment?
  • Make the connection and pick a topic.

A great way to tie in your purpose and your topic is with your hashtag. Keep it simple and make sure that it directly reflects your brand name.

3. Guests/Characters

The most important part of your story, are your characters – in this case, your guests. When creating a dinner party, you want to make sure there is a good mix of personalities and backgrounds to ensure that the conversation is robust and dynamic. The same goes for your Twitter chat.

A good rule of thumb is no more than four primary guests, who will share their insight. The number of followers of each guest helps your numbers but you want to ensure that the guests mix well as individuals and as a unit. Allow each guest to reflect a different aspect of your brand to keep the conversation interesting.

To find the right guest, search your current Twitter landscape and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Who are you following within your industry that you engage with on a regular basis?
  2. Who does your audience follow and why?
  3. Who does your audience share and engage with the most?

Make sure that this particular guest has insight that aligns with your Twitter chat topic and has knowledge that your audience is seeking. Email them with background on your brand, what you hope to accomplish with your Twitter chat and how both audiences can benefit from the information shared during the chat.

4. Engagement/Involving your audience

The best discussions are  ones that involve your audience. Allow them to ask questions. Highlight and share their feedback. Encourage guests to chat with the audience directly throughout the chat and create a space where the audience can ask questions.

You’ll know if you’ve created a successful chat by these three elements: You’ve connected others while being of service to your audience, you’ve connected others while creating a community around a shared experience, and you’re connecting others while building brand awareness.

Notice that brand awareness is not the top benchmark. Why? When you’re entertaining guests, the focus is rarely about you. It’s about them.  People will remember you more often when you are helpful, not when you spend the whole chat talking about yourself.

And lastly, don’t forget to track your hashtags. Use tools like Keyhole to track impressions, reach and exposure to measure how impactful your Twitter Chat was. The data can be used to see which of your guests, questions, and attendees drove the most engagement. Use the information to optimize your future twitter chats.

 

Note: This post originally appeared on Keyhole.

freestocks-org-72172-unsplash.jpg

My Keyword For June: FOCUS

NOTE: If this is your first time visiting my site WELCOME! I'm the Founder of a digital movement for Black Creatives, the social media strategist for a national publication, and an advocate for underrepresented groups in the digital space. I love God, writing, Jay-Z and tacos and will be sharing my thoughts on personal and professional development, social media and more. 

 

 

"Essentially, our fear of power is our fear of becoming who we really are. This fear keeps us settling for less instead of striving for more, shrinking to fit rather than playing full out, clinging to safety to avoid taking the leap."
- Barbara Stanny, Sacred Success: A Course In Financial Miracles

I decided that this month's theme of focus will be my direct response to fear. Fear of what, exactly? Fear of new territories, new levels and an improved (close to new) version of myself. During the first half of this year, my responsibilities have grown, my platform has expanded in a way that wasn't planned for, and thanks to devoting more time to self-care and self-awareness, I'm learning new things about myself everyday. 

Change is scary. Anytime you're confronting something new, fear will come. Inspired by my #blkcreatives call with Tracy G, I'm learning to befriend it. It's time to push down on the pedal and keep myself in tact by focusing on my mission, my capabilities, and my purpose. 

What I'm Looking Forward To In June

- Effective planning. I'm learning more and more about what works and what doesn't work for me and this month I'm putting that into action. The #1 key to effective planning? Giving yourself the time and space to plan for the plan. (More on that later)

- Updating services and offerings as a social media professional. This page will be updated throughout the month, stay tuned. 

- More #blkcreatives building. As I'm spending more time on building a team and really understanding the backend of the brand, we're also creating content and experiences for our audience while building new partnerships. Learn more about my site for Black Creatives here.

- Producing more original content. Not only will I be blogging more on my site but I'll also be working on a few content based passion projects that I'm really excited about. The writer in me needs an outlet, so I'm creating one. 

- MAJOR NEWS ALERT. I'm attending The White House Summit on the United State of Women June 14th in Washington DC! 

United-State-Of-Women-Melissa-Kimble

 

Convened by the White House, this Summit will rally together a remarkable group of women to celebrate what we've achieved, and how we're going to take action moving forward. I'm BEYOND honored to be attending and can't wait to share my experience. If you're also attending, tweet me and let's connect! 

Top Tools For The Month

 

 Picture from  Emmelie's Instagram Feed . 

Picture from Emmelie's Instagram Feed

- Emmelie De La Cruz's Make Yourself Marketable Personal Branding Planner. Now that I have more clarity around my purpose, it's time to officially put her amazingness to use. 

 Picture from Tonya's  Instagram Feed . 

Picture from Tonya's Instagram Feed

- Getting my personal finances are a priority every month for me so using Tonya Rapley's My Fab Financial Planner is a staple.

- Sprout Social is my personal favorite for social media management and planning. I love all things Sprout Social, so expect to see the company mentioned often here. 

Affirmations For The Month

I am focused on the call that God has placed on my life.

I am focused on bringing structure and order into my life.

I walk in abundance, all of my needs are met.

I move from poverty thinking and my finances reflect this change.

I am intentional about sewing because God will be intentional about my success.

I am my biggest cheerleader. 

Looking forward to a month full of FOCUS. What are you striving for this month? Leave in the comments or tweet me

Lessons from the 2015 NFL Draft

melissa-kimble-nfl-draft-2015-volunteer-things-i-learned.jpg

Inside of 'The Huddle', the Social Media Command Center.

 

Earlier this month, I had an incredible opportunity to volunteer with the amazing team over at Choose Chicago for the NFL Draft. This was the first time in over fifty years that the Draft had not been in NYC and it was a pretty huge deal for the city. I was in awe at the production of the three day event which brought out hundreds of thousands of fans. Even as a professional, I love to volunteer as often as I can within the industry because with social media the learning never stops. Here are a few keys things I picked up from my experience:

 

On Paying Attention To Detail:

“People want more experiences in their life and the little things make a difference.” - Dawn Hudson Chief Marketing Officer, NFL

The Draft, as you would expect, had a huge turnout. Over 200,000 people ventured through the fan-driven experience and the NFL left no stone unturned. From the layout of the activities, to types of small prizes shared, to creating virtual touch points for fans to connect with the brand after the event, the small things shined through during the event.

On Customer Experience:

“For many people, this [NFL Draft] is their SuperBowl. Many won’t ever get a chance to even see a professional game in person. This is their chance to connect with the NFL and we have to make sure we’re creating amazing experiences.” - Peter O’Reilly Senior Vice President of Events, NFL

Fans First was the theme of the weekend and the brand wasted no time emphasizing this simple motto. As lead volunteers, we were expected to uphold a very high standard of customer service to ensure that this experience was memorable. This experience really reminded me of how the NFL is a part of American culture and has different meanings for people of all backgrounds and ethnicities and the brand does a great job of putting the customer first.

On Excellence:

“We strive for perfection but we settle for excellence.” - Fernando Beltran Engagement Manager, Disney Institute 

Each interaction with the organization called for volunteers to embrace excellence as their commitment during the Brand experience. Going above and beyond wasn’t just a theme for the weekend, it’s a theme for the brand overall. Fernando’s quote really stuck out to me as I think about my own professional development in that perfection is never attainable but quality is non-negotiable. 

 

I’d like to work on helping brands prepare for real-time events from a social/digital standpoint and I’m hoping this volunteer experience will lead me to build out my best practices for major live events and conferences. The energy of the entire event was awesome to experience and yes, I even got to keep the jacket. :-)

Special thank you to Nycole Hampton and Mike Paradiso for allowing me to be work alongside Choose Chicago. 

Interested in learning how I'd like to help brands prepare for real-time events?

Email me: melissa@melissakimble.com

NOTE: All quotes were taken directly from the speakers at the Fans First training and all pics are property of Melissa Kimble.

 

For other business opportunities including #blkcreatives partnerships: melissa@blkcreatives.com