What's the ROI of a Tweet Chat?

by Dhara Naik  Twitter is all a buzz these days and brands everywhere are trying to implement a plan that aligns with their overall Social Media strategy. So as a brand, should you host a tweet chat? And like most brands, you’re probably wondering, what am I going to get out of a tweet chat?

To answer these questions, I sat down with my colleague Michele Weisman, moderator of Likeable Media’s  Twitter chat on Sunday nights at 10 pm Eastern Time. I asked her a few questions to shed some light if you’re considering the benefits of hosting a tweet chat. Here’s some food for thought from our conversation.

What are some of the benefits of hosting a tweet chat?

Tweet chats really allow you to engage with your community and meet many different people that you wouldn’t otherwise connect with on Twitter. Essentially, a tweet chat allows you to attend a virtual networking event , “shake hands “ and connect with people, which is a great business opportunity. In one hour you might be able to exchange “business cards” with more people than you would at an offline networking event. Likeable has connected with brands such as DKNY, Chipotle, CBS Sports and MLB during our weekly tweet chats and we’ve found that the conversations continue all week long even after the chat is over.

What are some things a brand should think about when deciding on a tweet chat topic?

The theme of a tweet chat should incorporate the brand’s mission or core values. It’s important to focus on what you know and use your strengths to be an expert on a topic that ties in with your brand’s mission. So a local pizza shop could host a great tweet chat on how to make amazing pizzas or share tips and recipes with their followers. If you think there’s a particular topic your audience would love to learn more about, but you’re not necessarily an expert, you can invite a special guest and give them the spotlight and potentially even form a partnership with them.

What about the size of your community – does it matter if your following is small or large?

It doesn’t really matter how many followers you have, it’s really about how you market the tweet chat and the topic that matters most. The conversation can still be engaging and the ultimate goal is to keep the chatter going among the members of your community. It certainly takes time to grow a community and this is one way to cultivate and build your following.

How can brands leverage brand ambassadors for a tweet chat?

There are several ways to engage brand ambassadors. One way is to give them a special role such as allowing them to moderate the chat, select the chat topic or brainstorm questions . Another way is to announce that they’re a brand ambassador at the start of a chat or host one that is just for brand ambassadors. By allowing brand ambassadors to play an active role in the chats, they’ll be more likely to tell their followers to join the chat, thereby allowing you to gain more followers.

What are the three key ingredients to getting the most out of a tweet chat?

Well, it’s important to create engaging conversation and ask lots of follow-up questions to interact with everyone. It’s also beneficial to host a tweet chat every week, if possible, or on the same day and time to build awareness about your chat and gain momentum. Lastly, your topic should be based upon something that is positively associated with your brand because tweet chats are all about building relationships and potential business leads.

So if you’re contemplating how a tweet chat fits into your brand’s Twitter strategy, I hope you’ve been enlightened by these tips! To learn more about tweet chat etiquette, check out The Before, During and After of a Twitter Chat by Brian Murray. And check  out the 5 Twitter Chats You Shouldn’t Miss by Mallorie Rosenbluth.

What do you find beneficial about tweet chats? Share your thoughts in the comments!