This week on WPblab we’ll be discussing how to market your WordPress niche with Twitter Chats. It should be a fun episode learning how to interact with a twitter chat and how to run one yourself using your own hashtag.

Twitter Chats – using hashtags: (#) + ‘keyword’ to filter/track related posts on a specific topic

Back in the 90’s AOL had chatrooms with names where you could talk to people about a common topic. Anyone was welcome and it was public. Twitter chats are the modern day version of that.

Hashtags help you to filter and search twitter – Twitter chats are “LIVE” versions of that search where people are commenting and participating in real-time

You can register your chat on twubs.com but NO ONE can own a hashtag (since anyone can type and use them). It’s important for your hashtag to be unique. If you see a hashtag that was once used but is no longer, you can always ask the original parties who used it if it’s available, but better to select something no one is already using.

Twitter chats can take 3-4 hours a week to manage.
If you are starting one from scratch, ask some friends to join you when you launch!
You’ll need 6-10 questions – extra brownie points if you post them in advance to blog/social media for people to see and plan ahead!
Try to set a specific time for your chat every week & hold them regularly so people always know when to tune in – don’t forget that people need to be reminded, too
Also, do a recap / summary post after the chat for people who missed out.
You want to pick good questions that will produce good answers to help further the conversation! It’s like reverse engineering a blog post. Know what answers/discussions you are looking to have and work backwards to develop the questions that will get you there.
Consider adding a category to your blog for the twitter chats to keep an archive of the recaps
If you get stuck looking for a topic, ask your audience and give them credit for the idea
Be committed – it can take up to a year to develop a solid chat

A twitter chat is a lot like a talk show except everyone gets to answer at the same time – you need to keep things organized or a busy chat can easily get out of control. Use a format like Q1) … Q2)… and encourage your participants to use A1)…. A2) for their answers. Try to discourage hitting ‘reply’.

Twitter Chat tools
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Twubs.com
example: http://twubs.com/NPChat
Tweetchat.com
example: http://tweetchat.com/room/npchat
Tchat.io
example: http://www.tchat.io/rooms/npchat

TweetReach.com – get stats on last 100 tweets

When you attend a twitter chat and interact, you know you’re chatting with real people, not bots – you will usually pick up followers and not just random followers, but quality ones

Make a Twitter List based on your chats to help track people who are participating. Then you can engage with them during the week when the chat is not happening.

The main purpose (from a strategic viewpoint) of attending or running a twitter chat is to establish yourself as a leader or expert in that niche

Don’t be afraid to ask higher profile twitter users or users with a lot of influence who are related to your topic to join you in hosting one of your chats!

Oembed -allows you to embed tweets on your blog and/or website

Favorite your own tweets – it’s “bookmarking”! Then when people answer your questions, heart all of them. As soon as chat ends, take another 30-60 mins to go back to your profile “likes” and work backwards to find the answers to the questions. Right-click and select “copy link” and then unfavorite and then go to the next. Pick the 3-5 best answers!

Project on GitHub called ‘T’ sferik – twitter client for terminal: https://github.com/sferik/t

If you do host a chat, it’s highly recommended to add that information to your Twitter bio – when people click the hashtag, it will suggest people for them to follow

Promoting:
use the right social network to promote – think of your audience.
Best promotion is blog post. In your blog, try to include a feature/plugin that allows them to add the chat to their calendar.
Post about it in relevant groups, but ONLY if you are a giver / active participant. A little bit of generosity goes a long way.

Find out what your ‘niche’ is – what is that you do that makes you special! What is that you love, what kind of clients do you take on the most? Is there a theme or a pattern to how you spend your time or who you work with? Are there things that you are really good at?

Look at your twitter analytics – what do your followers / friends have in common? Is your account the right account to run this specific chat on? Make sure if you are going to run a chat – make sure it’s line with you, your areas of expertise, and your audience.

Repurpose content – look back at your old blog posts

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Thanks for helping with our show notes!
Cheryl LaPrade @yaycheryl
Sherie LaPrade @heysherie
James Tryon @jamestryon

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