Published in


How To Ignite Your Business With Twitter Chat

Here are 6 steps to utilize this powerful social selling tool.

Tweet, Tweet! Photo cred: Twenty20

With more than 300 million users on Twitter, it has become a powerful social selling tool for PR firms, social media consultants and business development coaches and others. Tweets with links, hashtags, catchy themes and creative images can lure your audience forward, driving them straight to your landing page.

How effective is Twitter Chat? The entrepreneurs I queried were universally favorable on the idea, whether they’re currently using it as a marketing strategy or not.

Speaker and business consultant Dr. Will Moreland, for example, notes that he started a weekly show, Twitter Chat With Dr. Will, to communicate with his followers. “It was great,” he says. “It is a fun way to collaborate with followers who love the platform, and I know others who have used it effectively as well.” So why did he stop? “To be honest, it lead to a radio show, and I felt I could do both,” he said. “Big mistake.”

Mordecai Holtz, Co-founder of Blue Thread Marketing, has devised entire content strategies for his international clients based on Twitter chats. Readers can find a strategy guide for building Twitter Chat plans is available here.

Online marketing pro Heather Dopson notes that Aaron Kilby, VP Marketing of Artisan Colour, is responsible for the long running #MediaChat tweet chat that has been highly successful in marketing circles and education editor Robyn Stoller-Schulman notes that tweetchats are huge in the education community and offered up an official schedule of offerings here.

The most in depth advice comes from Lisa Ilman, who I last spoke to about doubling your Instagram base. She believes Twitter Chat has the potential to ignite a client base and increase “stickiness” with customers in a way most users ignore . The under utilization is a good thing, she believes, as effective use of Chat will help you stand out from most everyone else.

For example, Ilman recently hosted a Twitter chat through her newest product, Cross Coach, that included two of her current customers. It was a tremendous success, she reports, and recommends that others who are dipping their toes employ the following steps:

1. Help your guests tell their story.

Storytelling brings an irresistible power to business. Why not help customers tell their story during the Twitter chat? Give them specific one-liners as suggested tweets that will promote connection with the audience. Dave Costlow of PledgeIt.org, for example, excels in storytelling through tweets. He had fully prepared for his chat by having his story already typed out in three tweets that outlined his organization. He explained not only how PledgeIt.org empowers athletes at all levels of sports to raise money for causes based on their performance, but tweeted out specific details of campaigns that are crushing it using Pledge It as he offered his chat.

As the chat began, Ilman told @PledgeIt and @weareTEAMology to stay within three tweets per answer. This gave them plenty of space to write the pieces of events that brought their business to where it is today. The tweets were heavily retweeted and not only caught the attention of other people on Twitter, but also made the participants feel good. Again, the good feeling is exactly what you want to earn consideration for future projects.

2. Pick a theme for your chat.

Next you must be sure to have a theme, a common ground idea or a topic that your chat participants share. Ilman had two participating entrepreneurs that I spotlighted. She spotlighted two entrepreneurs in the process, who are members of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. BFTP invests in tech startups and small manufacturers in Pennsylvania. Both of the featured participants are backed by BFTP, giving them common ground in innovation and in funding. Drawing in an audience is much easier, of course, when the theme connects to each participant.

3. Approach your clients with a picture invitation.

The first step in hosting a Twitter chat is (obviously enough,) inviting your identified clients. Although this sounds easy enough, tread lightly, she says. Be prepared, and be thoughtful about your approach. Depending on your client base and the industries you serve, your customers might not even be on Twitter yet, for example. Don’t intimidate them from participating. Instead, use their newness to Twitter as an opportunity to learn more about both Twitter and Twitter chat. To lure your clients to participate in the chat, understand what is important to them, she suggests. How can a Twitter chat help them build business? Grow their community? Learn a new social media platform? Be sure to highlight these benefits in your invitations.

4. Offer Twitter training prior to the chat.

When Ilman reached out to Linsey Covert, Founder of TEAMology, for example, she had already done her homework. She knew that Covert didn’t have a Twitter account set up yet. In the invite, Ilman let participants know that this was an excellent chance for Twitter newbies to get their feet wet. Then she offered Twitter consulting services prior to the chat to walk through how to set up her account and the important features. They discussed which hashtags to use for the chat, and she explained how hashtags can be used for tweeting in general.

Covert’s company TEAMology is an initiative that helps students understand the value of teamwork at an early age. So her hashtags could consist of words like #schools, #teamwork and #students. “The great thing about teaching a customer something new like this is that you are naturally putting yourself in a position to reflect your value and expertise,” Ilman says. “One-on-one training is the perfect way to do that.”

5. Use compelling graphics.

Having a banner announcing the Twitter chat for pre-promotion helps to get the word out and also provides added value to the participants. By putting featured guests in the spotlight with an aesthetically pleasing banner, you give entrepreneurs a gesture they’ll remember when they want to hire for future projects, Ilman says.

6. Follow up after the Twitter chat with Twitter tips.

It’s vital to touch base with participants after the Twitter chat, Ilman says. By now, you have likely connected with them several times, and should use these touch points to provide seeds of valuable information and service that will whet their appetites for more. Then surpass their expectations by providing a list of Twitter tips to guests that will help them gain additional traction and momentum on Twitter after the session. Include your contact information and a page of the ideal services you can offer to them and others as well.

Using these six steps made the CrossCoach Twitter chat a great success for all parties involved, Ilman says. From this virtual event, Ben Franklin Technology Partners received considerable promotion. PledgeIt.org and WeAreTEAMology.org increased followers on Twitter by over 15% apiece. The event press release reached more than 200 publications and improved SEO traction for all.

Ilman has already been asked to prepare another proposal work with one of the chat’s participants, which is producing additional work for business at www.lisaillman.com.

Overall, she maintains, Twitter chats can be a great way to deepen relationships with your clients if you execute well, Ilman and others maintain. Tailor your strategy to your customers, she says, and your incremental business will soar.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share and recommend it so others can find it!

Would you like to be a published thought leader?

If so, get my free Definitive Guide to Thought Leadership ebook right here.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about turning your knowledge into business. Additionally, you can download the 7-Step Thought Leadership checklist and subscribe to the free Snappington post newsletter here.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store