How to Find Guests for Your Twitter Chat Marketing Event
Twitter chats can take on a couple of different formats, but regardless of format, you need to find guests in order to market your brand. You can host a town-hall type format where it’s just you and your community, or you can invite special guests to participate.
The beautiful thing about the online social media world is how many people fancy themselves experts and have something to promote. Authors, bloggers, independent musicians, online talk show hosts, podcasters, and a variety of professionals are interested in sharing their knowledge online. What follows are some ways to find these people:
Social networks: The people who you follow on the social networks, or who follow you, have interest in your topic. How many of them are experts or have something to share or promote to your community? Many times, you don’t have to look farther than the friends, followers, customers, and brands who are sharing with you online.
Publishing companies: Book publishers want their authors to succeed. See who has anyone of interest. Many times, if you follow publishers on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see they’re promoting their authors. See who is a good fit.
Brand pages: Similar brands also have experts who like to share. Don’t be afraid to reach out, as it can be the start of a beautiful collaboration.
Colleges: Teachers and professors are a gold mine of information and enjoy sharing with others. Invite them to take part in your Twitter chats.
Web search: Search Google or Yahoo! to see who the movers and shakers in your world are and invite them to chat.
Crowd sourcing: Ask your community members who they’d like to see as a #chat guest.
Now, whenever you interview anyone for anything or invite them to participate in a community project, it’s always a good idea to let them know what’s in it for them. If you can present your chat as something of value, they’re less likely to say no.
Here are some of the ways to sell a Twitter chat:
Visibility: Let your guests know your community has great reach. Each person who participates in your chat has the ability to reach hundreds of people, depending on their amount of followers. Estimate all your participants by the amount of people who follow each, and the amount of people who view the hashtag can number in the thousands — the bigger chats average millions of views.
Stats: If you use a service such as hashtracking.com to put together your Twitter chat stats, share some of these stats with potential guests so that they can see the value. Let them know the average number of participants, the reach, and how many new followers you gain after each track.
Influential participants: Every niche has their influential members. If you have influential regular participants, do share this information with your guest. But don’t look like you’re name-dropping, as that can be a turnoff.
If you can’t find a guest for a particular week’s chat don’t sweat it. You can find plenty of things to talk about with your community. Sometimes the community-driven chats are livelier than those involving guests.
Twitter chats are easy to market and promote. If you have a network and a platform, you have the ability to tell people about your chat.
Blog: Use your blog to announce each Twitter chat. Touch on the discussion topic and announce any special guests. Be sure to link to your guest, which will catch her attention and encourage her to share the link with her own community.
Twitter: Announce your chat at least once or twice per day. Though you’re limited in characters, try and name the topic and guest and don’t forget the hashtag.
Facebook: Try announcing the time, hashtag, and date at least once per day.
Google+: Share with everyone in your circles.
LinkedIn: Career-oriented chats are especially of interest to the folks on LinkedIn.
Your community: Ask your community to help spread the word. Don’t spam them, but do say Please share when tweeting, blogging, or putting it out on the other social networks.
Your guests: Ask your guests to help promote the event to their communities.
A community calendar: Create a shareable calendar listing all the #BWEChat dates, topics, and guests. Plan at least a month in advance.
You want to promote your Twitter chat in the same way you promote your business. Share it with your community without being pushy, smarmy, or spammy. Invite them to participate and share with their communities.
You’re not going to get the same interest in every topic every week, but you’ll find you do have at least a couple of loyal community members who show up each time.