Social Media Roundup - Twitter Chats


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On Jan. 23, the Army hosted its first Twitter Chat. The Twitter Chat collected more than 200 hashtag mentions and more than 130 @ replies during the 45 minute chat.This Social Media Roundup will discuss the Army's Twitter Chat and offer tips for planning your own Twitter Chat.

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Social Media Roundup - Twitter Chats

  1. 1. Social Media Roundup Twitter Chats
  2. 2. Social Media Roundup AgendaOn Jan. 23, the Army hosted its first Twitter Chat. The Twitter Chatcollected more than 200 hashtag mentions and more than 130 @replies during the 45 minute chat. This Social Media Roundup willdiscuss the Army’s Twitter Chat and offer tips for planning your ownTwitter Chat. What is a Twitter Chat? The Army’s Twitter Chat Planning and promotion Executing the Twitter Chat Measuring impact Other successful Twitter Chats Tips for success
  3. 3. Social Media RoundupWhat is a Twitter Chat? A Twitter chat is a lot like any other online chat where people gather to talk about a specific topic. One of the great things about Twitter chats is that they connect people despite geographical barriers to a central area (Twitter) where they can interact in real time. To join a Twitter chat, you just need to know what hashtag is being used. A hashtag is simply a way to search topics on Twitter and is recognized as a word preceded by a “#,” such as #USArmy or #ArmyChat.
  4. 4. Social Media RoundupThe Army’s Twitter Chat  On Jan. 23, the Army hosted its first Twitter Chat. A member of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) hosted the chat and answered questions about the Army’s Social Media program and social media best practices.  Leading up to the Twitter Chat, the Army promoted the event through the Army Live Blog, Twitter and email. OSMD also reached out to thought leaders on Twitter and encouraged them to participate.  The promotion resulted in solid participation. In addition to the 200 hashtag mentions and more than 130 @ replies, the Twitter Chat also generated some news coverage (
  5. 5. Social Media RoundupPlanning and promotion As mentioned in the last slide, planning and promotion is important if your Twitter Chat is going to be a success. Simply executing the Twitter Chat is not enough, you need to get the word out and bring people to the event. Before you start promoting the Twitter Chat, you need to settle on a topic, a date and time, and a hashtag. Once you have those three elements, you can then promote the event on Twitter, blogs, Facebook and email. Reach out to thought leaders who work closely with the topic you plan to discuss. Encourage them to participate and ask them to spread the word. If you don’t promote the Twitter Chat and the hashtag, the event will not be a success.
  6. 6. Social Media RoundupExecuting the Twitter Chat  Once the promotion and planning is complete, it’s time to execute the Twitter Chat.  Make sure you announce the Twitter Chat 30 minutes before it begins. Then, when it’s time to start, open up the Twitter Chat with a welcome Tweet introducing the host and the topic.  Twitter Chats can be chaotic, so it’s important to use a social media management tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck to track all of the questions coming in.  Don’t spend too much time on one question. Twitter Chats are a contact sport, it’s important to engage with as many people as you can during the designated period of time.
  7. 7. Social Media RoundupMeasuring impact After you’ve thanked everyone for participating in the Twitter Chat and sent out your closing Tweet, you should take screen shots for archival purposes and collect data. Sites like the Archivist and are free resources that provide your organization with data that can help illustrate the effectiveness of your Twitter Chat. Make sure you note the number of Tweets containing your hashtag and the number of @ mentions. This will help demonstrate the overall reach of your Twitter Chat. The graphs and data above can be accessed using the Archivist website.
  8. 8. Social Media RoundupOther successful Twitter Chats  Several other organizations have used the Twitter Chat method to reach out to their audiences.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) hosted a “Office Hours” Twitter Chat on Nov. 28, 2012 where people asked questions about financial aid.  The Department of Defense Press Secretary George Little hosted a Twitter Town Hall on Feb. 7, 2012 where he interacted with hundreds of Twitter users.
  9. 9. Social Media RoundupTips for successHere are a couple helpful tips to keep in mind when organizing your own Twitter Chat. When scheduling your Twitter Chat, make sure you schedule it at a time that will maximize participation. Try to schedule it around noon, or later in the evening. Try to avoid early morning or rush hour periods. Don’t forget to include the Twitter Chat hashtag at the end of every response. People are following the hashtag, not your Page, so if you fail to use the hashtag in a response, nobody will see it outside of the person you’re answering. Be ready for anything. Anyone can use your hashtag, so be prepared for people to highjack your hashtag and Tweet unrelated or inappropriate content. Be prepared to address hashtag highjackers in a professional manner. Keep support close. You don’t have to manage a Twitter Chat all by yourself. Other members of your team can follow along with the Twitter Chat and help you answer questions if the chat gets too overwhelming. Have fun. Twitter Chats are a great way to communicate to a large audience. Be ready to roll with the punches and enjoy yourself. Twitter Chats can be chaotic but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Have fun with it.
  10. 10. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.2/6/2013OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON