I love to tweet. I am a Twitter addict and I’m not afraid to admit it. One Twitter account is not enough, I have two! One for my personal rants and ramblings, and another for Manylion Bach | Little Details Design.
This is not confession about my addiction to Twitter – that will come another day. Today, I want to share with you my experience in getting involved with ‘Twitter Hour’ – a new way of marketing and raising awareness of your business online.
What is a Twitter Hour?
A Twitter Hour (also known as a Twitter Chat) is an event set up by an organisation, community or an industry leader on Twitter that is held at a specific day of the week and time. Twitter users can contribute towards a specific Twitter Hour by using a dedicated # hashtag to a conversation. Twitter Hours are usually held weekly.
For example: www.handmade-nation.com have organised ‘Handmade Hour’ on Twitter every Wednesday evening, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Handmade Nation encourages crafters to showcase their hand made work on Twitter with a photo and hashtag #handmadehour. Also, it is a great opportunity for new art and craft startups and small businesses promote their products and raise brand awareness. Follow Handmade Hour on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/HandmadeHour
Why should I take part in Twitter Hour?
It’s free and only takes a maximum two hours at a time. It is a fantastic way to promote your community, business and services as well as engaging with other Twitter users in the same industry and potential new customers. Just think of it as networking without the need of going to a hotel or venue.
If you’re hot on Twitter and tweeting is now second nature for you, taking part in a Twitter Hour will be easy for you. So get tweeting and don’t forget to add the appropriate hashtag!
If you’re not 100% about Twitter Hour, don’t worry. I hope my step by step guide will help you.
How do I take part in Twitter Hour?
During the first Twitter Hour I took part in a few weeks ago, I was unprepared. My blog was a bit thin on content, I didn’t have photos or images ready to upload to Twitter and I wasn’t ready to answer questions from Twitter users. I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights!
I wished I did some research on Google how best to take part in Twitter Hour, but I survived. Following my experience in Twitter Hour, I’ve prepared a step by step guide on how to take part:
First, SEARCH for a Twitter Hour and / or a Twitter User that matches your interest or business. A list of all UK Based Twitter hours can be found here: www.designthatfits.co.uk/news/106/25/UK-Twitter-Hours—The-hashtags-you-need-to-know
Next, OBSERVE the Twitter Hour. Don’t dive in straight away. Follow the tweets with your chosen hashtag and see what other Twitter users tweet, such as:
- Use of language – is it informal or formal?
- Interactions – how many Twitter users ask questions or give feedback?
- Use of media – photos and videos
- Nature of the tweet – are they selling or simply giving out information/advice?
- Including other hashtags to maximise reach
- Including other Twitter users
- Including contact details – website address and/or email?
Once you have observed and researched in your chosen Twitter hour, think about how would you take part.
- Tweets – A range of tweets to tweet during the Twitter hour. Aim for a minimum of 4 per hour, or one every 15 minutes. Don’t forget to allow enough characters for the hashtag.
- Photos – A range of photos to upload and tweet, especially if you are planning on promoting and selling products. Including a photo in your tweet increases engagement and reach on Twitter.
- Website – make sure your website is up to date with the latest information about your products and/or services for Twitter users to visit if they want to find out more about you.
- Orders and Enquiries – very important! If you are going to promote and sell products during Twitter Hour, make sure you are prepared and ready to process large number of orders via your Etsy shop, notonthehighstreet.com or your own website. If you’re promoting a service, make sure you dedicate time to go through your emails or enquires via Twitter the following days.
REVIEW your experience on Twitter Hour. How did it go? Busy?
- Have a look under the interactions tab on Twitter and see how many favourites did you receive, which tweets got the most retweets, how many new followers did you gain, etc. Review what worked well and didn’t work well and tweak ready for next week’s Twitter Hour.
- Don’t forget to look at your website or blog statistics as well. Was a spike in traffic to your website or blog?
- Did you tweeted that you are on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram? Did you receive more likes and followers?
- And finally, did you get any emails in your inbox or new orders?
Everyone’s experience is going to be different during and after Twitter Hour. Don’t dishearten if you didn’t get the results, extra orders or new email enquires you hoped for. It may not happen overnight. You may find that you’ll have to take part in Twitter Hour for a few weeks, trying different Twitter Hours or constantly changing and testing your tweets, before you get the results you wish.
I haven’t had any emails in my inbox after taking part in Twitter Hour yet however it has helped with raising awareness of MB|LD within the Welsh community. However, I have gained a number of followers on Twitter and a few more visitors to the blog, which I am more than happy about at this stage. I’m still in the trial and error process at the moment and I will change my tweeting tactics once my sideline is established.
Here are the two Twitter Hours I’ve been taking part in recently:
An hour dedicated to promote Welsh businesses, communities and individuals, through the medium of Welsh. Great for MB|LD to promote Welsh and bilingual stationery design for special occasions and connecting with other Welsh businesses.
Two hours to showcase handmade art and craft items as a hobby or to sell. Great for talking with other fellow crafters, sharing ideas and tips and seeing new and up and coming startups. I’ve been tweeting and sharing my latest weekend projects like my bunting and painted signs here, rather than raising awareness of my sideline.
Please note, I’m not an expert on Twitter Hour and I’m still learning myself on the best etiquette for these type of online events. I have found taking part in Twitter Hour a positive and enthralling experience for raising awareness of MB|LD as well as connecting with other new startups, businesses in a similar industry and Twitter users who simply have a passion for anything handmade.
So, give Twitter Hour a go and fingers crossed it will help your sideline or business. We might land up talking to each other during #handmadehour or #weddinghour! Tweet tweet!