how to make your Twitter chats soarIf you follow my social media activity, you would have seen a lot of it last week.

That’s because I was on:

So as you can imagine, there was a lot of chatter (pun intended) around them. And boy did I get a great refresher – and learn some new tips! – on some really easy and quick tweaks to turbocharge your Twitter chats.

1. Create and use an image to promote your event

We all know that a party fizzles out without any guests, which means you have to make sure folks know about your event… so that they can show up!

The best way to draw attention to your pre-event promotion on social media is to include an image with your event listing, and then include it with your promotional status updates.

For example, here’s the Facebook event cover photo for the February #measurePR Twitter chat – btw, come join next Thursday, 12-1 pm ET, Madalyn (yay!) and Kami Watson Huyse (double yay!) will be stopping by.

promotional image for the February 2018 #measurepr Twitter chat

Make sure you include:

  • headshots of your guests and/or the host, depending on the format of the event
  • the hashtag and/or any other unique identifier for your event (for a Twitter chat this will be at least a hashtag)
  • the 4-1-1, i.e. date, time, etc.

ManageFlitter does this really well, as you can see, and I’m going to be switching up the #measurePR image format to follow suit:

2. Create images to guide the event in real time.

These should mirror the copy you use to open and close the event, including the event guidelines, and so on.

When I saw ManageFlitter doing this for #SocialROI, I could have kicked myself!

I always begin #measurePR with a few tips and guidelines, but it’s sooo easy to also create a few images and then use them through the event.

Lesson learned!

3. Prepare your answers ahead of time.

Most digital event organizers send guests the questions ahead of time; it helps the latter make sure their content is as useful and valuable as it can be.

Whether you’re a guest yourself, or are prepping your clients/spokespersons to be guests, write out your answers ahead of time

I always suggest this to my guests, and Madalyn suggested I do it too, which I don’t typically; I do prepare but am usually comfortable enough with my subject matter to go off the cuff.

I was amazed at how much time it saved me during the chat, even as I edited a few in real time!

And over and above that, it really helped me organize my thoughts, examples, and so on. Lesson definitely learned. 

4. Use Twitter’s multi-tweet thread functionality.

Twitter started rolling out the multi-tweet thread feature in December 2017. I’ve seen mostly journalists and politicians use it, but decided to use it for the #SocialROI chat (click through and you’ll see what I mean).

I loved it! And I realized this makes a difference in two ways:

  • It displays the guest’s answers as a cogent stream of thoughts; and
  • when people are dipping in/out of the chat, it helps them get caught up with the Q&A much more quickly.

Now, unfortunately you can’t thread tweets sent as replies to the question, which is a bit weird.

But what you can do – and what I’m going to try the next time – is grab the image that displays the question, and then either:

  • quote it in your first tweet as a reply, and then add the rest of your tweets to that thread, or
  • simply add it in at the top of your multi-tweet thread of answers. 

However, if you choose option #2 above, I’d make sure to begin your tweet with “RT [Twitter handle]…” and then plug in the rest of the question as a status update.

This will make it very clear that you are not the author of the original question, which is just polite. 🙂

5. Prep your multi-tweet threads in a separate window.

As I plugged my answers into the multi-tweet threads, I noticed that they take a few seconds to post to Twitter… and sometimes up to a minute or more, if you use a lot of multimedia, such as GIFs, etc.

So keep an extra Twitter tab open, where you can pre-populate your multi-tweet threads even before the specific question has been fielded.

Then, when you see the question come across the Interwebs, go ahead and publish it.

This way the host (and everyone else) won’t be sitting around for what can feel like an eternity, wondering if you’ve disappeared into a “shithole country” an internet black hole.

6. Incorporate multimedia like GIFs into your tweets.

As you can see from several of my answers, I used GIFs liberally to make my point. I do love me a good GIF.

And everyone else loved it too!

In fact, when we debriefed after the official post-#SocialROI debrief (so meta…), Madalyn told me she enjoyed the GIFs so much, she started to wonder which one I’d use next… heh!

via GIPHY

So when you’re getting ready for your next Twitter chat, take a few minutes to do just a little more prep ahead of time, and watch your chat engagement soar!

Image: Pixabay, CC0 1.0

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke