#ContentWritingChat, the secrets of running a great Twitter chat

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Secrets of Running a Great Twitter Chat (Celebrating One Year at #ContentWritingChat)

Did you catch #ContentWritingChat this week? In honor of our Twitter chat’s birthday, we celebrated in the only way we know how. With a party, of course!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Secrets of Running a Great Twitter Chat (Celebrating One Year at #ContentWritingChat)

We figured there was no better way to celebrate #ContentWritingChat’s first birthday than by talking all about how the chat came to be and how we’ve grown it to where it is today. I guest hosted this week’s chat alongside our CEO, Julia, and it was a blast!

The questions were slightly different this week as well. There were questions geared specifically toward Julia and I and questions that everyone could answer. This allowed us to answer questions about the chat, while still giving our participants something to answer. Ready to dive into the recap? Let’s get started!

Q1: For Julia: Discuss the backstory of why you created #ContentWritingChat. / For everyone: What do you look for in a great Twitter chat (and one that you add to your weekly schedule)?

How did this chat get started and what makes a great one? We’re spilling all the details!

Julia created #ContentWritingChat as an educational community around content. She certainly made that happen! She also wanted the chat to be an extension of her book and her podcast, which also launched in 2016.

What makes a great Twitter chat, in my opinion? I like chats that teach you something new and that have an engaged community. It’s always great when you can leave a chat having learned new tips you can implement for yourself.

Georgina feels the same way. She likes chats that provide her with actionable tips she can use.

For Sarah, she likes chats that have great topics, thoughtful questions, hosts and guests that are engaged, and great insights from participants. She’s also a big fan of puns!

As Jenn said, a great chat need to have interaction. If the host of the chat, the guests, and the participants aren’t engaging with one another, what’s the point? After all, a chat is meant to be social!

Bill enjoys chats that have a great topic, a well-respected guest, and deeper conversations that go beyond the Q&A. You don’t have to just stick with the questions asked in the chat. You can feel free to get deeper into the conversation with other participants. That’s what makes chats so great.

Varun looks for an engaged community and the exchange of knowledge. Learning something from chats makes them even more valuable.

As a one-person team, Kristi uses Twitter chats as a creative outlet. The best ones allow her to brainstorm and learn new things. Plus, it’s great having that social aspect built into a day where you’re otherwise by yourself. It’s a virtual Twitter date every single week!

Q2: For Rachel: Tell us what inspired you to get involved in helping manage #ContentWritingChat. For everyone: What are your favorite Twitter chats to join?

I’m sharing how I got involved in the Twitter chat and we have plenty of new chats for you to join with these suggestions:

Prior to joining the Express Writers team and taking over the behind-the-scenes tasks of the chat, I had already been joining Twitter chats regularly. I had even hosted some in the past. Starting to work on this chat was a great fit and it has been something I’ve truly enjoyed.

It should come as no surprise that our own team member, Tara, is a fan of #ContentWritingChat! She also enjoys #semrushchat, #bufferchat, and #brandchat.

Just like Jacob, we are huge fans of Buffer’s #bufferchat. We’re there every week!

#semrushchat is another weekly stop for us here at Express Writers!

#TwitterSmarter is definitely a chat you need to join!

This is a great round-up of chats from Tony. Have you joined any of these?

Q3: For Julia/Rachel: How did you get people interested in #ContentWritingChat? How did it grow? For everyone: What are your tips for getting the most from joining a weekly Twitter chat?

Getting people interested in your chat is easier than you might think! We’re sharing the “secrets” behind growing the chat!

Julia is right! Getting people to join your chat isn’t really that hard. If you already have a list of contacts, invite them to join you. It also helps to tag people in “reminder” tweets before the chat begins. We have grown the chat strictly through word of mouth and it works!

If you want to get people to join your chat, you need to invite them. You have to spread the word and this is the best way to introduce them to your chat.

One great tip is to make sure you join the chats that are of interest to you. There are Twitter chats on a variety of topics these days and you’re sure to find one that you’d enjoy. Don’t forget to interact once you join.

Don’t just answer the questions when you join a Twitter chat. You need to actually participate by engaging with other participants.

Andrew also agrees that it’s important to engage with others during the chat. Start discussions by replying to the tweets others post.

It’s also important that you’re not just sharing your own answers, but listening to others as well. Not only is it an opportunity to start a conversation, but you could learn something too.

This is great advice from Bill! Make it a point to follow-up with people after the chat concludes. It’s actionable advice that will have you seeing results and forming strong connections.

Never be afraid to ask questions if you have them. Chats are filled with amazing communities of people who are willing to answer your questions and provide help. All you have to do is be willing to ask.

Christie comes prepared to learn by having a notebook by her side. If she learns something new, she’s able to quickly jot it down. This is a great way to ensure you don’t forget any valuable information you picked up during the chat.

Q4: For Julia/Rachel: How do you pick guest hosts for #ContentWritingChat? For everyone: What do you like to see from guest hosts when you join a Twitter chat?

How do you pick guest hosts for you chat and what makes a great one? It’s pretty simple! Here’s what you need to look for:

When the chat started, Julia made a list of potential guests that were aligned with the values of Express Writers as a brand. These days, Julia and I both collaborate on guest host ideas. If I think of a potential guest, I send it over for her approval before contacting.

We choose our guests because we know they can bring something of value to the chat. We want to be able to learn from them and so does our audience.

You want to make sure you choose guest hosts that are going to make people feel welcome. It’s so simple, but very important. You don’t want a guest who ignores chat participants.

Christie also agrees that engagement from hosts and guests is important. You want everyone to be involved in the conversation.

A great host cares what others have to say. They should interact with participants by answering questions and starting conversations.

Jacob feels there should be a mix of leading and interacting when it comes to guest hosts.

Great answer from Zala! All of these are important factors in a great guest host.

Guests should provide a fresh perspective for the chat’s audience!

Q5: Julia: Share how you got your first sponsor for #ContentWritingChat. For everyone: How long have you been joining #ContentWritingChat and what’s your favorite thing about it?

While most of our chats are not sponsored, we have done them before. It’s a simple way to monetize your chat, but it’s important to remember not to turn the chat into a sales pitch. In this question, Julia shares how she landed that first sponsor.

Our participants shared how long they’ve been joining our chat, plus what their favorite thing about it is. We received some lovely answers from this one!

After the chat reached a certain status, Julia reached out to our friends at Search Engine Journal to see if they would be interested in trading event tickets to their summit for advertising spots during #ContentWritingChat.

When their ads were incorporated into the chat, they were spread throughout the hour. The priority was always to make sure they didn’t take away from the value the chat provides. We didn’t want it to come off like a sales pitch or anything of the sort.

For me, I joined the Express Writers team in January of 2016 when the chat was only a couple weeks old. It’s been amazing to see it grow from the very beginning to where it is now.

Lexie from Netvantage Marketing has been joining our chat pretty much since the beginning. It’s great seeing familiar faces and brands every week!

While Jamie has only been joining for a few months, it’s amazing to know that the chat felt welcoming right away.

Tony said he started joining Twitter chats in September or October of 2016. After he discovered one chat, he started joining more. They can be pretty addicting, right?

We’re totally blushing! It means so much to hear great things about this chat of ours.

And we love having Jenn bring her GIF A-game each and every week!

This is awesome to hear!

This makes our hearts happy, Zala!

As Julia said, we are truly grateful for everyone who has joined our chat and continues to be part of our community.

Q6: For Rachel: Share tips on how you put together a blog recap for a weekly session of #ContentWritingChat. For everyone: Do you read posted recaps of the chats you join?

Not all Twitter chats share a recap on their website afterwards, but we’ve been creating one since the very beginning. Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say about reading those recaps:

When creating the recaps, I try to pick some of the top tweets. Those tweets are ones that provide value and will be helpful to anyone who missed the chat and relies on the recap to catch up. I also try to include tweets from as many participants as possible to make sure there’s diversity.

Recaps are truly the best way to go back and see what your missed during the live chat hour, especially because they can be so busy.

Debi enjoys chat recaps because they contain some of the most intriguing answers from the chat. It’s a great way to go back and look through the conversation again. You just might find something you missed!

This is a great idea from Michael! You can go back through a chat recap and you might find new people to engage with.

With a chat recap, you’ll never have to worry about missing tips on those hot topics!

Jacob, we hope this inclusion in the recap makes you feel special! 🙂

Q7: For Julia/Rachel: Share a few key tips for anyone wanting to start a Twitter chat. For everyone: What was your favorite #ContentWritingChat of 2016? What would you like to see in #ContentWritingChat in this New Year?

Are you convinced it’s now time for you to start your own Twitter chat? Julia and I have some tips. Plus, we got some great recommendations for another year of chatting in 2017. Check out these responses:

Ask your audience if they would be interested in joining a Twitter chat. If your audience is interested, you’ll know it’s a good idea to move forward with. Then, choose a topic for your chat and select the date and time you’ll host it. Don’t forget to invite people and share all the details with them! To keep them coming back, provide value with every chat.

Julia has already created a document with notes on how to launch a Twitter chat. When asked if they’d like to see this as a full blog post, everyone said yes!

We had a great time at the holiday GIF party, too! We just might need more of those around the holidays.

Chats about social media are always popular ones with our audience.

Maybe you’ll see some of these topics in a future chat!

We’ve actually had a chat on this topic in the past, but it’s one we could definitely revisit for a future Twitter chat!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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