Have you taken part in a Twitter chat? They’re similar to networking events but with a lot more gifs. People come to learn, network, share—and sometimes troll. Often hosted by a brand or media publisher, Twitter chats bring people together to discuss a set topic for an hour, usually via an open Q+A and sometimes with a special guest or sponsor.
To better connect with agencies and the people behind them, Function Point started attending #AdweekChat—a weekly Twitter chat hosted by, you guessed it, Adweek. David Griner does a great job bringing marketing professionals together every week to discuss topics like digital video, Super Bowl commercials and marketing power rankings.
If you’ve never taken part in a Twitter chat, the first thing you’ll notice is how difficult it can be to keep up. It can be overwhelming! With that in mind, I wanted to share some tips on getting the most out of Twitter chats—along with some specific tips for #AdweekChat.
Set Yourself Up For Success
A mise en place is a French cooking term for having everything in place—all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, and prepared. Having all of your tools at the ready means you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently assemble your dishes. We’re not suggesting you prepare Tweets ahead of time, but having your mise prepared goes a long way.
We highly recommend using a desktop or laptop. Staying on top of things is incredibly difficult with just a phone. More than half of participants are using a computer. Here’s what’s we have open on our desktop browser when #AdweekChat kicks off.
Hootsuite for Monitoring and Publishing
Using a Twitter client with multiple streams makes it easier to keep track of everything. At Function Point we use Hootsuite to monitor and publish Tweets. Adweek recommends Tweetdeck.
For new folks on #AdweekChat today, some tips:
-Tweetdeck is your friend.
-Keep the hashtag in all your tweets.
That’s it. pic.twitter.com/YFp9WMA3hl
— Adweek (@Adweek) May 17, 2017
To help us sort through the 400+ #AdweekChat Tweets, here are three search streams for you to try:
- #AdweekChat -RT: This helps us track any conversation using the #AdweekChat hashtag, filtered for any RTs. Half the fun of Twitter chats are jumping in and out of all the side discussions that are happening. This is a great stream for finding them.
- from: @Adweek: This gives you a list of all the Tweets @Adweek is sending out, including RTs and replies. It’s helpful because it gives you a real-time stream of questions as they come.
- Mentions: This stream is exactly what it sounds like. A place to see your mentions so you can easily respond to people.
We also pair our Twitter client with Twitter.com. It helps track notifications (likes, replies, follows and RTs). You should also use it as a backup in case whatever Twitter client you’re using has issues. There are some other functionalities that I prefer native Twitter for—mostly coming down to UX. Play around with both a Twitter client and native Twitter to see what features you like from both.
Access to Gifs
Gifs are an indispensable part of Twitter chats. They help in the same way body language does in the real world—a way to add context and sprinkle in emotion or humour. If you’re using native Twitter, there’s a handy gif button that prompts a gif image search. Of course, Giphy is a great place to find gifs. Pro tip for Hootsuite users: type “/giphy” into the compose box to bring up a gif image search.
— Andrew Roberts (@ARoberts021) May 3, 2017
— Kylee Muir (@kymuir) May 10, 2017
— Rogue Jess (@JessOB1kenobi) May 3, 2017
Twitter Etiquette and Formatting
Public or Private?
Before you jump into a Twitter chat, you’ll need to decide whether you want to participate publicly or keep a lower profile. You can @reply directly to questions, so your Tweets are only seen by those following the hashtag or a smaller portion of your followers. Or, you can tweet out publicly so all of your followers can see what you’re saying. There are benefits to both. Are you participating for your own personal learning or are you taking part so you can share more widely with your followers?
If you do tweet publicly, you should let your followers know that your Tweet volume is going to increase. You can also use it as a way to introduce yourself to the group. We answer questions publicly but if we’re taking part in a side discussion, we’ll @reply.
— Rogue Jess (@JessOB1kenobi) April 12, 2017
Also, keeping our followers in mind, we prefer to use quote Tweets so our followers can see the question we’re responding to and not just an answer to an unknown question.
Have a lot to share about a specific question? Break up your responses into A1a, A1b, A1c to give yourself more characters to work with. And of course, be sure to use the hashtag in every Tweet. It’s how hosts and participants will be able to find your brilliant Tweets.
Don’t Worry About FOMO
Cast your Fear Of Missing Out aside. Like a good house party, there will be things everyone will remember and be involved with, but there will also be many other conversations happening at the same time. Pick and choose the ones that interest you the most or that you can contribute to. As you attend week after week, you’ll get to know the regulars.
How to Win Your Twitter Chat
Okay, winning a Twitter chat is an absurd concept. But say you’re a brand and your goal is exposure. What’s the best way for you to get noticed? Have the host retweet or quote your answer.
An average @functionpoint Tweet usually earns us about 1,000 impressions. Anytime we’ve been retweeted by @Adweek we earn over 18,000 impressions. That’s at least 17,000 sets of eyeballs we normally wouldn’t have access to organically.
So how do you win over the host? The same you would in real life. Say something clever. Twitter chats aren’t that different than in-person communications. Be funny. Be informative. Be insightful. Reference and link to articles that inform your answers. Many times @Adweek will share content related to the #AdweekChat topic. Read up and share your thoughts about it.
The Graduate’s Guide to Marketing and Media #AdweekChat starts in 15 min at 2pm ET.
— Adweek (@Adweek) May 17, 2017
Also, the sooner you can get your Tweet out the better. #AdweekChat’s host is looking to find something to RT quickly before moving on to the next question. The later you send your answer, the smaller your window for getting retweeted.
Keep an eye on all of the side discussions as well. There are a ton of hilarious and insightful conversations happening away from the official Q+A. Jump in there. It’s a great way to meet some really smart people. Be sure to like, retweet, follow and follow up with people after the chat is over.
Now, it might feel odd, pandering to win the host over but it’s good to know that the best way to do it is by adding value and contributing to the community. So give it a try see how you like it. #AdweekChat happens every Wednesday at 11am ET.
Are you following Function Point on the Twitters? We regularly tweet about productivity and agency best practices. Come say hello.
Function Point alleviates the chaotic nature of operating creative agencies, internal marketing teams and professional service firms. Used by over 9000 customers across the world, the all-in-one solution helps teams connect each stage of project management. Our goal is to make productivity more personable; to warm it up and give it a heartbeat.
Interested in learning more? Book a demo with us.
Andy Au is the Communications Manager at Function Point. Previously, he held a number of marketing roles at Hootsuite, helping the company grow from 1 to 10 million users. A born and raised Vancouverite, he spends far too much time reading menus before ordering.