• Twitter Chats: Powerful, Purposeful Format for Real-Time Awareness, Discovery & Research

    This week I participated in my first Twitter Chat – also known as a Tweet Chat or Twitter parties in consumer circles – as a guest and was intrigued by the possibilities for B2B marketing.

    This Chat, hosted on Twitter, was called #CSRchat (CSR = Corporate Social Responsibility).  Our goal in using a Twitter Chat was to create awareness and drive discussions around Business4Better, a new movement and conference my company (UBM) and its partners are bringing to market as part of our CSR program.  The mission of @Business4Better is to help businesses and nonprofits build more purposeful partnerships that positively impact the communities they serve.  We based the chat around just released CSR & Community Engagement research to gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that shape the CSR and community engagement landscape.

    A few tips I learned from the participants and master moderator Susan McPherson (@susanmcp1) in preparing for our Twitter Chat:

    • Prep key questions and answers in advance.  You will have plenty of impromptu questions and discussions to respond to in real time, so having these in advance helps you keep pace.
    • Concise answers are in 140 characters or less (I challenge you to try it!). Besides being a great technique for tightening your communications, this allows you to build on dialog and ideas to keep discussions flowing.
    • Do your homework to find influencers in your market to participate. In addition to inviting your network and social followers, take the time to discover and reach out to the biggest influencers on the topic to build and richen the participation.
    • Start with meaty content, themes and topics worthy for discussion. It’s not necessarily about you or your product but about the biggest drivers, issues and ideas shaping your industry and customers.

    My colleague @VictoriaHarres created a blog to share Practical Tips for Prepping for a Twitter Chat.  She also recommeded using TweetChat.  It proved to be a very useful tool to help you see, manage and participate in the discussion, as you only see tweets from this specific chat and not from your full Twitter feed.  Think of it of having blinders on to focus; a near impossible task these days.  It also automatically appends the hashtag of your chat, eliminating the distraction while leading or participating in the chat.

    Results are being calculated. On quick review, we had 39 new influencers who started following our brand and we are compiling the conversations to turn into content we can use in other areas of our marketing, including content for our web site and at our events.

    Upon a bit of reflection, here are some ways you may apply and use Twitter chats in the B2B marketing world:

    • Creating conversations and discussions around emerging and inmportant issues (content meets social marketing)
    • Launching new research or provocative information you want to share with your community
    • Discovering influencers and building followers who are aligned with your business, issue and/or market
    • Hosting Pre-event chats to have speakers ignite and accelerate conversations around key themes and topcis that will be featured at your next f2f or online event

    I see potential and will continue to experiment.  Let us know about your experiences and ideas around using Twitter Chats to engage and advance discussions in your marketing and community efforts.

    Scott Vaughan is the Chief Marketing Officer for UBM Tech, the global leader in technology media and business information. UBM Tech Marketing Services deliver integrated marketing campaigns and programs including media solutions, lead and demand generation, events, online communities, content development and custom solutions.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
    Twitter Chats: Powerful, Purposeful Format for Real-Time Awareness, Discovery & Research, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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