We all know that Twitter was conceived to exchange information in short message format. But it has evolved to much more. There are Tweetstorms, Tweetchats, Twitterwalls, etc., which are creating a lot of commotion about the usage of Twitter. People are getting disenchanted with the users of these practices but are they really all that bad? Maybe not? And what strategy should follow to counter these negative comments?
A Twitter storm is stretching the Twitter term Microblog to become a real (full) Blog. Twitter was certainly not build for this with its 140 character limit. However, some people are splitting up their text and start splitting their story into separate messages. Each item is numbered so that the reader can follow the thread. Of course, your followers are getting a lot messages in a very limited timeframe thus polluting their Twitterstreams. However, with so many people on Twitter, it is great way to spread your story. Will this change how people are using Twitter? Maybe not… Who knows you might even some extra followers, though unlikely.
The biggest danger is that due to fast pace of tweeting, many of your followers might get disenchanted and start unfollowing you.
My thoughts: Personally, I think you have more to lose than to win by creating such as storm. If you have a (long) story to tell, I think you should be using a real blog and use Twitter to direct traffic to your blog.
A Tweetchat is live moderated Twitter event around a certain topic using a specific hashtag. Tweetchats are planned events which are announced on Twitter and on websites. Typically, there are 5 to 6 questions put forward that will be asked during the course of 1 hour. To participate, all you need to do is tweet during the set times using the designated hashtag. Of course like with a webinar, It’s also possible to just follow the conversation by searching the hashtag without engaging.
One thing you have to remember, is that during a Tweetchat in which you actively participate, you will also create a large number of tweets thus also polluting the streams of your followers. Again this might lead to people unfollowing you. However, if they pick up on the hashtag and discover the great conversation, it could be considered as a good thing.
My thoughts: I have recently joined a number these Tweetchat sessions and it has brought me 3 pieces of value:
- Information gathering – much like a webinar you get and can absorb knowledge about a certain topic. People share freely and publicly information. A great place for learning!
- Contribute, Collaborate and Engage – Twitterchats provide the ideal platform to exchange ideas, provide content, add value and bounce ideas off eachother, ask questions, etc. in a specific (public) spotlight.
- Get more relevant followers – everyone on the chat can relate to the topic. So by sharing relevant and valuable information with other members on the chat, you can easily discover new interesting people and increase your twitter followers.
Conclusion and recommendation:
I think you need to think carefully about starting a Twitterstorm or Tweetchat from your personal account. There will big spikes in you twitter activity and we all know that your followers are not waiting for this. Maybe the solution could be that you create a clearly defined account for these types of twitter activities whereby you make sure there is a good connection with your personal account. This way you can participate fully and not disenchant your followers.
Finally, I want to end this post with 3 questions:
- What do you think about Tweetchats and storms? And my suggested approach?
- What interesting Tweetchats do know and do you participate in? My favorites are: #s4lchat, #HSENTchat #contentmarketing and #HRchatBE (unfortunately stopped in march)
- Are you hosting Tweetchats with your target audience (clients, partners, etc.)
I love to hear your reaction!