The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Productivity

Twitter Chat

Want to meet likeminded people from the comfort of your office?

Perhaps you’d like advice from a veteran in your niche. Maybe you want to grow your network and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’d simply like to touch base with some interesting folk.

Whatever your reason for reaching out, Twitter Chats are a great way of doing so.

All you need to get started is a Twitter account. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved, starting with the basics.

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a group of people who get together on Twitter to talk about a specific topic.

There are Twitter chats about pretty much everything you can think of, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Fashion
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Spirituality and Faith
  • Music
  • TV shows
  • Learning foreign languages
  • Job hunting (and networking with recruiters)
  • Publishing and writing
  • Leadership
  • Local issues

Chats take place on a regular basis, usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, at a specific time, and usually for one hour.

During the chat, people taking part use a specific hashtag so that everyone who’s taking part in the chat gets to see their tweets.

Why Take Part in a Twitter Chat?

Twitter is the networker’s social network. It’s the perfect place to reach out to new people and grow your network.

Twitter Chats are one of the best ways of meeting new people, not least because the people taking part in the chat want to talk to you.

You can use Twitter chats to:

  • Network with other business owners and leaders in your niche. As you get to know people, you can share ideas, contacts and useful information.
  • Meet other people with similar interests to you. Whatever you want to talk about, there’s likely a Twitter chat for it. And if there’s not, you can always set one up.
  • Educate yourself. Twitter chats are good entry points if you want to expand your knowledge on a particular subject. They’re a good place for asking any questions you have. So why not take the plunge into a completely new niche or topic using a Twitter chat? You never know where the journey could take you.

How Do You Find a Twitter Chat?

There are many different ways of finding Twitter chats. These include:

Looking out for the chats your friends are taking part in. If your friends are part of the conversation, then it must be a cool chat to take part in, right? Also, you have the added benefit of knowing someone who’s in the chat “room”.

Running a Google Search. Type “Twitter chat” and the topic you’re interest in into the Google search bar. You’ll find all kinds of relevant chats.

Using a Twitter chat database. A number of different websites collect databases of popular Twitter chats. Our faves include:

Got your own favorite place for finding Twitter chats? Let us know in the comments, below.

What Should You Do in a Twitter Chat?

The best way to get involved in a Twitter chat is just to take the plunge. Find a Chat on a topic you’re interested in, turn up on the day, and type the hashtag into the Twitter search bar. By doing this, you’ll be shown a stream of all the tweets in the chat.

When you’re ready to join in, send out a tweet that includes the hashtag. If it’s a busy chat, you’ll likely be surprised at how many replies you receive.

Other than that, just be a decent human being, don’t do (or say) anything your momma wouldn’t approve of, and do your best to stay on topic.

Want extra guidance? Then keep reading…

  • Many chats have a moderator – this is someone who’s in charge of keeping the conversation on track. When you join the chat, drop them a message to say hello and include the chat’s hashtag.
  • Remember that whatever you say in the chat is public and forever. All your Twitter followers will see your contributions to the chat.
  • Want to get the attention of another participant in the chat? Then retweet something they say, or ask them a question. Retweeting is always a way of showing agreement with what’s been said.
  • Most Twitter chats are not places for self-promotion. You will meet fascinating new people, who may become useful business contacts. Never try to sell in Twitter chats.

Make Twitter Chats Simple With These Tools

Taking part in a Twitter chat is easy enough. You just log-in to Twitter at the right time, and enter the chat’s hashtag into Twitter’s search bar.

However, there are tools that make chatting on Twitter even easier than that. These include:

  • Tweetchat. This tool creates a chatroom for any Twitter chat, so you can keep up easily and take part in the chat without constantly re-typing the hashtag.
  • Twubs features a schedule of popular chats, and also provides a chatfeed so you can follow any live Twitter chat.
  • TwChat allows you to create a chatroom for any hashtag.

Start Your Own Twitter Chat

After you’ve taken part in a few Twitter chats, why not start your own? When you do, you can:

  • Start with a launch party. That way, you’re not committing to regular chats. A launch party allows you to gauge interest, and (if lots of people show up), start with a bang.
  • Get your chat listed. Once your chat is up and running, make sure you get it listed in all the major chat directories (see above).
  • Invite guest interviewees. Inviting guests grows your community (many of them will come back for other chats), and it keeps things fresh and interesting.
  • Be strict on yourself in keeping to the schedule. If you need a break, pass on responsibility for organizing the chat to someone else.

What’s Your Chat Experience?

Have you taken part in a Twitter chat? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments section, below.

If we’ve inspired you to go out and find a Twitter chat to take part in, let us know about that too.

topsy search

For your online marketing to perform at its best, there’s a ton of stuff you need to do. Track your social metrics, connect with influencers and curate awesome content to name just three.

Fortunately, this needn’t be as much of a headache as it sounds. Especially when you’ve got Topsy to hand.

Topsy is the Swiss Army Knife of Twitter. You can use it to check your social stats, hook up with influencers, find some of the best content online, and much more.

Here are 4 ways you can use Topsy like a pro.

1. Check Your Blog’s Performance

Want to see how your content is performing on Twitter? Twitter’s own tools only allow you to do this in a limited way. That’s because when you run a Twitter search for your website, it only shows the latest tweets linking to your site. And you have to run a separate search for each page you want to check the performance of.

With Topsy, you can check the Twitter performance of your whole site with a single search.

You do this using the search term site:yoursite.com. For example, we’d search for site:lorirtaylor.com.

When you do, you’ll see a result like this:

TOPSY IMAGE 1

It includes:

  • The total number of tweets for a specified time period (1 hour, 1 day, 7 days, 30 days, or a custom range)
  • A list of your top trending tweets
  • A chart showing your Twitter performance

What’s the best way to use this information?

First, you can track your performance over time. Check your stats each week, and note them down. That way, you’ll see whether your Twitter shares are going up or sliding down.

Second, you can compare how you’re doing with other sites in your niche. Just search for one of your competitors to see how many social shares they’re getting.

Talking of beating your competitors, you can also…

2. Get Ideas for Top Performing Content

Topsy shows you which of your blog posts are the top performing on social media. When you see which of your content performs the best, you can create more content like that.

Now for a sneaky tip. If you’re stuck for ideas of what to write about, you can also run a Topsy search for your competitors’ blogs. Then you’ll see which of their content is top performing. Of course you should never copy, but you can use this as inspiration for your own blog.

Getting ideas for content isn’t the only way you can use Topsy to keep your social schedule full. You can also use it to…

3. Curate Top Notch Content in Your Niche

Need help filling up your Twitter feed? Then run Topsy searches for relevant terms in your niche.

For example, we might run a Topsy search for “social media marketing”, like this:

Topsy Image 2

You’ll see the most popular articles on social media marketing over the past 8 hours. Again, you can choose a period of time for your search to cover (1 day, 7 days, 30 days or a custom range).

How does this help?

  • You can add the content you discover to your Twitter feed – and other social media feeds.

You can also use it to come up with your own content ideas (as in point 2, above):

  • You can riff off the articles you discover when you’re coming up with new ideas, because you know the topics of the articles are popular.
  • You can check out the articles and write a response. By joining a popular conversation, you’re putting yourself in the firing line for traffic.
  • You can quickly find the most popular new stories in your niche. Then you can provide your own angle on each story on your blog.

Finally, you can use Topsy’s analytics tool to compare the relative popularity of different areas in your niche.

For example, we ran a search for “social media marketing”, “content marketing” and “blogging” and found that they all have a similar level of popularity on social media:

Topsy Image 3

4. Discover Your Influential Fans

Getting in touch with the right influencers can have a huge impact on your business.

That’s because influencers have a big following and people listen to what they say.

You’re probably aware of some of the influencers in your niche. But the fact that you’re aware of them could mean they’re not the best influencers to know? Why? Because the more widely known they are, the less likely they are to have time to help you.

Instead, the best influencers to know are those who are already on your side. How do you discover these?

Run a search for a recent article you’ve published to your blog. Use the URL link to the article, rather than the article title. It’s best to choose an article that you know had a lot of social shares.

For example, we ran a search to our article 25 Social Media Tips from the World’s 5 Biggest Power Users (What Do They Know that You Don’t?).

Once you’ve run the search, you’ll see the option to select “All Tweets” or “Influential Only”. Yup, we’re interested in the influential tweets. So go ahead and click “Influential Only”.

You’ll end up with something like this:

Topsy Image 4

These are influencers who have already shared your content. So if you’re looking for people to connect with and ask for help from, you can’t go far wrong starting with these.

Over to You

Have you ever used Topsy to run a pro search? What did you discover? Let us know your Topsy tips and hacks in the comments section, below.

Twitter Ideas

The interwebs are greedy. The more great content you create, the more you’re expected to create.

But what happens when the well runs dry? What should you do when you’re parched for ideas?

How can you create awesome content, day after day?

Turn to Twitter, and you’ll find a well of inspiration that’s ever flowing.

Here are three simple techniques you can use.

1. The Andrew Chen Method

Entrepreneur and angel investor Andrew Chen uses a simple three-step formula to help him come up with things to write about.

  1. Tweet an insight, idea, or quote.
  2. See how many people retweet it.
  3. If it catches, then I write a blog post elaborating on the topic.

Sharing an idea in a tweet only takes him a minute or two. If the tweet gets ignored, he’s not lost much at all. But if it’s picked up and retweeted, he knows he’s got a great idea that he should expand upon.

2. Check You’re Writing in the Right Direction

Spirituality author and storyteller Donald Miller uses Twitter while he’s writing books. He shares ideas from the book to find out whether his readers will appreciate what he’s writing about.

Miller explains:

I recently used Twitter to find out what themes and ideas would stimulate thought. I would tweet an idea I was writing about, and if it got re-tweeted or stimulated conversation, I was more eager to use it in my book.

Here are Donald’s four steps for getting ideas on Twitter:

  1. Tweet a chapter idea and ask if anybody has given the idea any thought. If you hear crickets, skip that chapter.
  2. Got a powerful one-liner? Tweet it and see if it gets re-tweeted. You might turn that one-liner into a complete paragraph or more.
  3. Stuck on an idea? Tweet and ask anybody if they’ve read an interesting article about it. Twitter is a great resource tool.
  4. Use Twitter to summarize an idea. The great thing about 140 characters is it makes you condense your thinking, which is often the essence of good writing.

3. Split Test Headlines

Leo Widrich of Buffer App uses Twitter to split test headline ideas. Here’s the steps he follows:

1.) Find 2 headlines for an article that you think will perform well.
2.) Tweet both of these headlines at roughly the same time, at least 1 hour apart. Here I’ve found that doing the 2 Tweets both in the AM or both in the PM works best – 9am is much more similar to 10am, then say 12pm is to 1pm. So going with clear “morning” or “afternoon” times is crucial.
3.) Compare the data for which headline to settle on.

In one test Widrich conducted, one tweet got twice as many clicks as the other tweet, so he had a clear winner.

Over to You

Have you ever used Twitter to come up with ideas? What techniques do you use?