I think of twitter as the water cooler for small business owners – a place where many go for a bit of interaction during their coffee break. Join and start conversations and you’ll soon find your followers growing. And one of the best ways to get involved is to join in with twitter chats.
These are organised sessions, usually an hour long, where tweeters with a shared interest get together online.
Twitter chats come in 2 flavours – networking hours and question and answer sessions.
Both use hashtags – if you want to join in, just add the relevant hashtag to your tweets.
Twitter Networking Hours
These can be location or interest based. The local ones are a time for businesses from the same area to get to know each other, e.g. #yorkshirehour. The special interest ones are for people in the same industry or even a particular area of interest in that industry, e.g. #vintagewedhour for wedding suppliers who love all things vintage.
- Let people know what you do
- Follow new people
- Retweet others
- Join in conversations
- Endlessly repeat your sales message
- Set up a string of automated tweets and not actually go on twitter during the relevant hour
- Gatecrash a local chat if you have no connection with that area
- Use the hashtag everywhere outside the chat hours
Q & A Sessions
These are slightly different. One person usually leads the way by posing the questions while everyone else chips in with their answers.
Again they can be a good way to raise your profile within your areas of interest. And you can pick up some very useful tips and ideas too.
Often organised by larger companies as they take a bit of effort, but smaller businesses are also using them.
How to find relevant chats
Chats tend to come and go so any list will only be accurate for about a week at most. The best way to find them is often from looking at your twitter stream and checking out the hashtags. You can also try searching for hashtags with your location, eg #mytownhour