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How To Run A Twitter Party

7 Comments 29 October 2010

Drumming up activity on Twitter can take several different forms. But say you want to avoid some of the worn tactics that end up resembling popularity contests (sign-up forms, follower gatherings). Hosting a Twitter Party (or Chat) can be an excellent method of promoting conversation on your topic of interest, and at the same time provide your company, blog, or what-have-you with some valuable publicity and a high likelihood of gaining more followers. A recent party by @upliftingmoms resulted in over 1,500 tweets, and lots of interest for communityofmovement.com. Here’s how it happened:

First, understand that a Twitter Party is simply a scheduled gathering where participants go to discuss whatever interests them. As such, the form your party takes will be largely determined by your planning and execution. Start by choosing a catchy hashtag and then spread the word. Think bigger than Twitter to accomplish this goal. Yes, of course you’ll want to tweet about your upcoming party and encourage retweets, but people should also be able to find out all they need to know through search engines and static web pages. Either set up a page devoted to your chat, or use your already existing blog/site, and see what you can do to get info (time zone, topic, guests, etc.) posted on other pages as well.

Regardless of your topic, it’s likely that your party isn’t the only option for discussion, so offer incentives. It may seem like a shame, but giving prizes is a sure-fire way to make sure people show up. This is reality. Take advantage of it. For the party promoting health & fitness site communityofmovement.com, @upliftingmoms provided prizes such as a gift card for yoga apparel.

With your party scheduled and some promotions in place, turn to planning the actual chat. If you’re aiming for something other than a free-for-all, then assume the role of moderator and write a list of questions beforehand. Depending on your resources at hand, it also works well to bring in a guest and run the party as a sort of interview, so long as the interviewee is someone everyone respects. Emily Roemmich of @busymomblog was chosen to moderate the @upliftingmom’s party, and her solid foundation on Twitter as a mother/blogger drew attendants . . . Being prepared to keep up with the volume of posts generated by your party is necessary to make sure everyone feels involved and recognized. Retweet certain comments and list everyone involved on the chat web page; this way, no one gets lost in the mix.

The benefits of a successful Twitter party can extend beyond the life of the Chat itself. Archive interesting threads and use them as promotion for future parties. Follow up with everyone post-party, announcing prize winners and maybe a sneak peak at what to expect from your next party . . . Don’t be terribly disappointed if your party isn’t an instant hit. Instead, host it again same time next week or month. The best way to ensure growth is consistency. There’s a lot going on out there, but putting in the time and effort to plan, host, and follow up on a decent chat will lead to results, even if they’re not instant. As you move forward, don’t be afraid of trying new formats or talking to new guests. You never know what will click, but once you find it, expect Twitter to do its viral thing and your traffic to skyrocket.

What’s your experience with Twitter parties? Let us know in the comments.

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Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. Erin says:

    Great post on the advantages of Twitter parties and how to have one! Giveaways are a reality, but from many of the tweeps I’ve talked to, a good topic of discussion is also a huge incentive on getting them to show (guest experts are also a plus). If anyone having a party wants to list it on our calendar at TweeParties, it’s free! We also tweet about all parties on the day of the event and send out info in a weekly e-newsletter.

  2. socialmediamom says:

    Hey Erin,

    Good topic of discussion and guest experts are great tips - thanks for mentioning TweeParties, it’s a great looking site!

  3. J.A. Hudson says:

    I just read about a Chicago restaurant owner/entrepreneur who’s holding a twitter/social media birthday party — first time ever I’ve heard about something like that! Super creative and I like that he’s trying to get more engaged and personal with his followers. And it’s not just focused on him either — it’s benefitting a local nonprofit organization, it’s gonna be at one of his venues so it helps market/promote that, and it also helps promote his blog, where he writes things all about Chicago (there’s more info here: http://bit.ly/eYWxzp). I think it’s a really good way of showing how and why to have a twitter/social media party… a good cause, promoting yourself and your business/blog without being too direct about it, and engaging with your followers.

  4. Nicola says:

    Super love this! Thanks :)


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention How To Run A Twitter Party -- Topsy.com - 29. Oct, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Collective Thoughts, Social Media Mom, Social Media Mom, Askoli -rise with us, SocialMediacs and others. SocialMediacs said: How To Run A Twitter Party: Drumming up activity on Twitter can take several different forms. … http://bit.ly/arVcPK (via SocialMediaMom) […]

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