If you’re familiar with Twitter, you’re most likely familiar with #hashtags. There’s a lot that can done with the hashtag. When it comes to engagement and community, there’s something called the Twitter Party which can be quite beneficial for many reasons. It’s unlike the traditional definition of a party. A Twitter party consists of a moderated chat based around a series of questions. Unlike a traditional Twitter chats, which are generally reoccurring, a Twitter Party is a one time deal (or series) that’s hosted by a brand or company around a certain topic in which prizes are given out throughout the duration of the party.
Twitter parties can have many benefits for many reasons. The idea of the conversation isn’t to necessarily talk about the product or service itself, but more-so around the lifestyle based around it. For example, a Twitter party hosted by a mattress company wont talk about their beds, instead they talk about tips and tricks around sleeping and finding the perfect mattress. After all, that’s what it should be about in today’s world. The hard sell is out and relating to one’s personal lifestyle is in. It also provides some personality to the brand hosting the chat. The party usually has the moderator asking the questions and a couple of other people to help in engagement and choosing winners of the prizes.
The goals of the Twitter party may vary host to host, but the main ideas are to generate conversation, engagement, and maybe even a call to action. Some steps to preparing for a Twitter Party are as follows:
- Choose your topic and create a hashtag. You want something not being used already, but that’s also relevant to the topic of the party. A unique hashtag will help with tracking later on. (Check out hashtracking to help with measuring tweets)
- Create the questions. Five questions are generally the perfect number. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on the questions and how many people you think will be participating. Remember to stick to questions around the lifestyle and not about the actual product.
- Choose your prizes. A prize for a rsvp, to the best answers and the best participants are usually the best way to award prizes. Gift cards or branded products are usually the best options for prizes.
- Choose your date and time. Middle of week, 8pm EST is usually the best time. You need to think about the audience, time zones and when people might be out of work and already had dinner.
- Announce the party. If you want time to grow hype around the party, I suggest up-to a month before hand. It’s gives people time to spread the word and add it to their calendar. Share it on your social networks and on your blog. Make it known that someone who RSVPs will win a prize. Make people excited and interested to join.
- Prepare the day of. Make sure all your eggs are in one basket. Have a timeline set for all your questions, the time spent on them, and when prize announcements are being made. Depending on the topic, be prepared for any negative questions that may arise and how you want to handle them. It’s best to handle those apart from the chat and offer different means of support. Stick to the topic as much as possible.
- Host the party. Have fun! After all, it is a party.
- Analyze your results, look at your goals and expectations, see what went wrong and what went right.
Twitter parties a great way to build awareness and word of mouth on a cheap budget. They have the potential to generate a few thousand tweets with millions of impressions in just an hour’s time. If it’s successful, you might even be lucky enough to grab the trending hashtag on Twitter.