I hate it when people whine about Twitter. Too hard to track, too much useless garbage, too many wackos and spammers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you know what you're doing (and spend a little time learning how to use it), Twitter is a fantastic tool for inbound marketing and business in general. One of the best uses is Twitter chat. Here's the formula. Someone starts a discussion labeled by a hashtag (for example #kunochat), then interested people monitor the chat by searching on the hashtag, and they participate by including the hashtag in their tweets. That's all there is to it. But what's the business use of this tool?
I use Twitter chat to engage with other marketing people, learn from them and express my opinions. Often there are potential clients involved in these conversations, so it's possible to generate qualified leads. Here's an example from last week. Valeria Maltoni, a well known brand strategist and blogger, hosts a weekly Twitter chat called "#kaizenblog" every Thursday at 12 ET. It's about Kaizen, "a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvements in all aspects of life". In most cases it's how people work and do marketing in today's challenging economy. I found out about the chat just by monitoring my lists of interesting fellow marketers via Tweetdeck. I saw some interesting posts with the hashtag "#kaizenblog", so I pulled up a Tweetdeck column with a search for that hashtag, and away I went. Here's a brief snippet of an hour-long Twitter chat.
So what did I gain from this chat, and why will I come back next week?
I'm looking forward to next week's #kaizenblog chat and I'm actively looking for new ones to join. Without Twitter, how would I accomplish this? I might be able to find forums on different websites, but you don't get the real-time feedback. Twitter makes it easy to find and participate in chats. You can engage with many people on any subject under the sun. You can benefit by learning, meeting people and raising your profile.
What are your Twitter chat experiences? Got any good suggestions?