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by Kieran Sait on 17th February 2014
Over the past few years, Twitter chats have become increasingly popular across a number of industries, providing a fantastic way for your business to reinforce its brand, gather data and build relationships with followers.
The sessions normally work by a chat leader inviting followers to partake in a thought-provoking discussion, using a specific hashtag to keep conversation limited to your niche. Here at Koozai we like to use the hashtag #koozchat.
These conversations offer a great way for your business to engage with existing followers, other companies, prospective clients and competitors by channelling a variety of topics and debates. They also help your brand increase its exposure, strengthen relationships (and create new ones) and capitalise on the moment by sharing useful solutions, actionable tips and guidance.
By using these chats effectively, the end result can leave your business as a trusted voice and thought leader in your sector and have your fans coming back for more and more.
Alternatively, if your brand has a strong enough following on Google+ then a Google Hangout might also be beneficial, but for the purposes of this article we will be concentrating on Twitter.
On top of a wealth of brand and PR benefits, Twitter chats also provide many opportunities that can be easily reflected in your business’ content marketing strategy.
Below I have put together a four step plan that can help reinforce your content marketing efforts.
With any content marketing plan, curation is perhaps the most important aspect.
Generating a continuous flow of ideas is paramount to maintaining a sustainable and successful strategy, especially with a large proportion of businesses now allocating a quarter of the overall marketing budget to supplement their content marketing activity.
The information gathered in your social chats can be utilised to produce extremely useful material that can spark brand new editorial ideas. Participants will likely expose a new trend that they have encountered, identify key issues within the industry or share some ground-breaking insights on new avenues and opportunities for your business to explore.
With this information your marketing department can then brainstorm a number of new themes to address as part of their content strategy. The benefit of this being that the material you produce will not only be unique but will also be completely relevant to the specific needs of your audience.
A top tip for anyone thinking of hosting a conversation is to always make sure you have meticulously captured all of the data. At Koozai, we record every aspect of our koozchat’s using Storify to provide a chronological overview of the conversation.
From this record we can then pick apart the most constructive comments and construct content to help our readers; spotting the most common questions that are being asked, the predictions that are being made and the core themes that have emerged. We then seek to address these across a series of blog posts and helpful videos.
That said, you don’t necessarily have to simply rely on your own Twitter gatherings for ideas; there are thousands of other brands running their own which you can tap into for inspiration. Getting involved in other discussions is also a good way to attract new people to take part in your own.
So now you have found your ideas it’s time to get creating, whether it’s producing on-page content, pursuing off-page opportunities or posting on social media.
Have you compiled a list of problems that need solving or areas that require deeper insight? If you have, then it will be extremely beneficial to follow these up with a detailed article, video guide or even an in-depth whitepaper that provides an actionable process that your readers can really put into practice.
Reviewing your recent chat, is almost certain to highlight some key influential thought leaders that were involved. It might be beneficial to reach out to this person and then ask them to write a guest post on your site to share some of their insights and expertise with your readers.
By using online services like Storify and SlideShare it is possible to actually transform the entire Twitter chat itself into content for your site; adding the conversation to a blog post that will not just promote your brand but also prompt readers to participate in the next one.
The possibilities are endless.
Once you have created your content there’s no need to stop there! You’ve got to keep the ball rolling!
Repurposing converts your existing content into new types and helps to improve the delivery and lifespan of your work. If you have found a topic that is rich in detail but might be considered somewhat of a bland subject, then selecting a new method to present that information to your audience will undoubtedly increase its uptake.
For example if you were writing a post on new changes in advanced coding, as highlighted by a contributor to your Twitter chat, that is typically very text heavy. So converting this into a ‘how to’ video guide, with code underneath that they can easily copy, might prove to be a lot more appealing to your visitors and subsequently increase the level of engagement they have with your text.
It’s also worth noting that each individual learns in their own way, whether it’s through audible or visual stimulus, and so tailoring your material to address this will ultimately widen its reach and drive more engagement between the reader and your piece.
Generate more content by re-purposing your existing material into some of the formats listed below:
A useful example of content repurposing is opting to condense an in-depth whitepaper into a series of ‘tweetable’ tips. This can effectively create an entirely new social media campaign for your business, perhaps by creating a week-long Twitter project where you can cover one topic a day over the course of a week, all in an easy to digest format.
Once you have finished disseminating your content, the final step is to review its performance. This will help you understand whether or not the material you have produced, informed by your recent Twitter chat, has had a positive impact or not. This will also help you judge just how valuable they are as a source for content and will prompt your social media teams to carry out even more in the future.
Cat has put together a handy list of tools to help with this.
Google Analytics can provide you with rich insight into how well your content is being received. The key indicators to watch out for are traffic, pageviews and dwell times.
If certain content has seen an increase in referral traffic you can be pretty sure that your information is working in all the right ways and should look to produce similar articles in the future.
Page Views can be used to assess the readership of your content; a useful practice is to compare these figures against material you have produced in the past to gauge its success.
Dwell times will provide an approximate indication of how engaged readers are with your content – the longer the dwell time the higher their attention and focus on your article. It is important to note that this should only be treated as a rough sign as dwell times can be skewed by instances of inactivity.
In the long term you can also use Analytics to assess how the conversations you have hosted and the subsequent content you have created has impacted on your traffic year on year and, more importantly, how many of these articles have incited conversions by your users
You can also evaluate your performance using metrics from social media and on your blog. Twitter can be used to measure retweets, positive mentions and favourites. Your blog will show pingback that your media has received on industry leading sites and indicate engagement through the feedback you receive in the comments sections.
Please, feel free to share your thoughts on any other ways that Twitter Chats can benefit content marketing in the comments section.
Business man working with laptop and thinking about new projects via BigStock
Business man holding light bulb in his hand via BigStock
Kieran Sait works as a Content Marketing Executive at Koozai. His most recent work before joining us was for the BBC’s Natural History brand: BBC Earth, where he gained valuable skills in content development, website strategy, social media management and branding. He is an avid fan of film and also holds a strong interest in new technology.