There are many reasons why brands are on social media ranging from marketing, to customer service to community engagement and more often than not brands are on social because someone told them they needed to be.

No matter what the reason is for a brand being on social media and no matter how they’re currently using it the one thing we know for sure is the noise on social is only growing each day.

Let’s take Twitter for example…

The reason twitter handles and hashtags are now on every blog post, tv show, email signature and live event is because it’s a fire hose of real-time data.  This real-time feed of information is what separates Twitter from other social networks but it’s also what makes it overwhelming and by far the most noisy place in social media.

To filter this noise you can follow people, hashtags and create lists, allowing you to customize and slow down the noise, so that you view the real-time data that matters to you.  This is great in theory but who do you follow, what hashtags do you use and how do find people that are engaging and creating conversations on social not just adding to the noise?

These are all questions that everyone on twitter is asking but for brands they must take it a step further because nobody signs up for Twitter saying “I want to see every link, blog post and marketing slogan of my favorite brand.”  Brands who got on twitter in the early days found the best way to get noticed was to buy followers, hi-jack hashtags and tweet out as much and as often as possible.  Times have changed and the brands that are finding value on Twitter focus now on sharing content that helps, showing they care, having conversations not just communication and finally telling their story to humanize the brand and ultimately build loyal customer relationships.TwitterChats Bar Everyone knows your name via @iSocialFanz

No easy button for building relationships on twitter

With Twitter’s real-time firehose news-feed getting your tweet scene by your target audience becomes a daunting task, which requires social listening, social automation, social amplification and some luck.  Beyond being scene by the target audience brands are starting to understand the importance of letting their followers know they’re heard.  Many brands are doing this by saying “thank you” for “favoriting” a tweet which is a great start but that acknowledgement doesn’t create conversations let alone build relationships.  So brands are stuck asking themselves:

What is my community talking about? Where are they talking about it and When?

These answers are often easiest to track at live events or conferences because people are gathered together at a specific place and time talking about similar topics and interests allowing for brands and leaders to have conversations with their target community building relationships…

“Influence isn’t about who uses a hashtag the most, its about who the community trusts, listens too and has relationships with!”

Twitter Chats are like a good local bar “where everyone knows your name”

Twitter Chats are social gatherings at a specific place and time with a common theme that everyone can join.  The number of followers you have or the amount of tweets you send in a day aren’t relative in Twitter Chats as those that engage and participate regularly give more than take and come together because they want to engage and learn.

So for brands that want to understand what their community is talking about, engage with those who are active, identify those who are currently influential and provide value, twitter chats are the place.

6 Reasons Why Brands fail at Twitter Chats

  1. You can’t automate a twitter chat!
  2. They must listen more than they tweet!
  3. You must be engaged and give before making an ask!
  4. It takes effort and commitment on weekly basis!
  5. They host or are a guest and say ME instead of WE!
  6. Self promotion, Sharing Links and Selling in chats works if you start the tweet with “A1:”

There are Twitter chats in almost every industry imaginable therefore brands don’t have to create their own chat rather find ways to show they care and want to be involved and add to the community.  This is best done by:

  • Actively participating in chats your community participates in.
  • Empowering and training employees to engage in chats building their personal brand and establishing credibility with the community.
  • Sponsoring chats so that you’re helping build the community without asking for anything in return.
  • Allowing leaders and employees to be guests on chats sharing their stories and insights with the community.
  • Inviting and hosting the chat community at live events as ambassadors and influencers.
  • Upcycling conversations, content and feedback from chats as community or user generated content highlighting that the brand is not only listening but promoting and sharing what the community is saying.

As someone whose has been participating in twitter chats for many years as a guest, host and active participate the most successful chats grow from a chat with specific hashtag at a specific time to a community of people sharing and engaging 24/7 utilizing the 1 hour chat as the meeting place to find new members and collaborate as a community.

Over the years I’ve found tremendous value not only in opening doors for my personal brand but providing insights and building relationships that allow me to build influencer programs as well as evangelize the companies and clients I represent.

With that being said I couldn’t be more excited to announce that I’ll be kicking off three new social communities this month, launching first with #CloudTalk on October 2nd at Noon Eastern time.  Cloud Talk Promo

As someone who’s worked in technology for 10+ years not only is cloud changing computing and how we use the datacenter but it’s transforming how we communicate, do business and drive innovation.  Cloud might be a popular buzzword but it’s time Cloud had a social voice and that voice is yours.  Cloud Talk will be sponsored and made possible thanks to IBM and Avnet Cloud Solutions.

#CloudTalk will be highlighted by a weekly twitter chat and video hangout with special guests while also creating conversations with the community through a weekly podcast, blog content, sponsored events, ambassador spotlights, guesting blogging and so much more.

Stay tuned for more news about #CloudTalk and the other communities we are launching at Broadsuite as well as some how to guides for participating in twitter chats, the best tools and tips for hosting your own chat and more.

16 Top Twitter Chats (Social Communities) from Brian Fanzo

If you’re interested in being a guest or sponsoring one of these social communities please email or tweet me at @iSocialFanz