8 Pieces of 'Mr. Manners' Advice for Group Chats on Twitter
Twitter highlights content for users to consume. But what's clear is users are still making decisions for themselves. And marketers wanting to get in on the natural flow of conversation may be interested in learning Twitter etiquette for group chats.
While it's true that some chats start or end as promoted or created conversations solely meant for marketing purposes, often the most popular ones happen organically. For instance, on Sept. 22 in the "Worldwide Trends" listing, #CharliesAngels was a promoted hashtag—listed above all others. But its "top tweet" had five retweets vs. more than 100 for a non-purchased chat—#BestThingsAboutBeingSingle. (Hashtags are used in group chats as hyperlinks to keep a specific feed organized.)
To help marketers out, Paul Sawers, UK and Media Editor at The Next Web, wrote a blog titled "8 Tips for Running an Effective Group Twitter Chat or Debate." His advice seems to be taking hold, organically: The blog's been tweeted 544 times, "Liked" on Facebook 57 times and shared on LinkedIn 61 times, as of Sept. 23.
Here's Sawers' "Mr. Manners" advice for organizing chats that flow naturally:
1. Have one facilitator;
2. The 3 Ts: Time, topic and tag. Sawers says to pick a time and date, but as an editor's note it'd be best to include a time zone, too. As for topics, Sawers says to be flexible, but to create broad questions to guide conversation along by posting them every 10 minutes. Keep hashtags short and unique;
3. Spread the word. Post everywhere the company has an online presence, invite people and add the chat to the "Twitter Chat Schedule";
4. Sort the structure: Q&A, set questions, free-for-all … ?;
5. There's no room for self-promotion;
6. Engagement is the name of the game. Be genuine and clearly identifiable—down to which member of the company is chatting;
7. Build a community. Continue the conversation in other locations; and
8. Tools of the trade. Sawers suggests applications such as TweetDeck, HootSuite, Joint, Storify, Nurph and TweetChat can help.