The following Twitter chat FAQ is for those keen on hosting either the #BldgREChat or #USAMfgHour.
Twitter Chat FAQ
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat, also called a Tweet Chat, is a scheduled discussion about a specific topic on Twitter during a set time. It is usually no longer than an hour.
It is completely open to anyone to take part, but it requires participants to use a specific hashtag. Each Twitter chat has its own hashtag.
The Tweet chat is always educational and insightful for its audience. It is not sales-fest for the host. It is the host’s chance to shine as a thought leader.
- #BldgREChat: This chat is for builders, realtors, home service pros, technology and other related businesses serving these industries. The chat’s schedule is Wednesdays at 1:00 PM-2:00 PM, Pacific Time.
- #USAMfgHour: This chat is for U.S. manufacturing companies and all manufacturing advocates. The chat’s schedule is on Thursdays at 11:00 AM-12:00 NN, Pacific time.
Although the chat is not a sales fest for hosts, the host will have an opportunity to talk about what they do in the beginning and/or at the end of the chat, if relevant.
Who is behind these chats?
This chat is a labor of love, and here are the people or companies behind each Twitter chat.
- #BldgREChat: We Co-Chair this chat with Beth Bigelow at Home Building Solutions LLC and Steve Chin at Steve and April.
- #USAMfgHour: We Co-Chair this chat with Kirsten Austin at DCSC Inc., Julie Basello at Radwell International and Dan Bigger.
What is my role as the Twitter chat host?
Basically, your role as the Twitter chat host is to manage the chat.
What do I mean by that? Basically, you can’t possibly respond to everyone nor offer an in-depth knowledge about your topic.
As the host, your role is to:
- come up with the topic
- start the conversation using your pre-approved questions
- offer your pre-approved expert answer
- use the hashtag of the chat the entire time you are hosting
- have fun!
As the host, you direct the chat and make sure that the discussion stays on topic. Also, you aren’t really moderating a tweet chat the way moderators steer a normal panel discussion. Instead, the host simply starts a conversation, throws out a question, provides the answer, and then engages with the participants.
What is the role of the chat organizers?
Here is what we do:
- market the chat for you to our followers/fans days before your scheduled chat
- assist you during the chat; we are a DM away if the unexpected happens (because things happen!)
- participate in the conversation and help you direct it
- support YOU to succeed as host
What does the chat leadership team need from me as host?
We request the host to provide at least three topics that the chat leadership team can choose from.
Then, once the topic has been selected, we ask the host to send the respective chat team the questions and answers for the chat fairly well in advance (ideally, two weeks) before the scheduled chat. This is so we can prepare the marketing pieces needed to promote your chat.
What if I have an emergency? Can I cancel the chat?
We know emergencies happen. What we can do is that we will still run the chat on your behalf by using your questions and answers and tag you so you get credit and visibility. It is still YOUR chat.
How does the Twitter chat look like?
Here is how to plan the chat.
|1:55 PM||Thank the participants |
or additional question
|Legend:||* Q= question, A=answer|
Can I host the chat though I have not attended one yet?
Hmmm, unless you have done other chats before besides #BldgREChat or #USAMfgHour, it is to your company’s benefit that you attend at least a couple of tweet chats you want to host first. Try to get to know the participants.
Do I need a tool to host a Twitter chat?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you use a tool to pre-schedule all your questions and answers. The chat goes very fast, and that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about during the chat.
Do I need images for the chat?
The #USAMfgHour organizers request you use social media graphics for your questions and/or answers.
The #BldgREChat organizers do not require graphics.
If you are going to you social media graphics for the chat, the recommended size for Twitter is 1024 px x 512 px.
What topics do you discuss in the Twitter chat?
Anything that is useful to the business and manufacturing community would be acceptable. You can also check out the topics we’ve covered in the past from here.