How You Can Use Twitter Chats to Attract And Inform Customers
Twitter chats are all the rage right now. A lot of companies are starting to use them to engage customers. As an HVAC company, Twitter chats can offer you the opportunity not only to reach out to your current customers and educate them on important topics, but also to reach new would-be customers and get your brand name and immense knowledge of the industry in front of them.
What Is Twitter Chat?
Sometimes called a Tweet Chat, a Twitter Chat simply uses a pre-set hashtag at an appointed time. Everyone who participates uses that hashtag and thus joins in the Tweet party. Example:
As you can see, it is simply a conversation, where people use the hashtag on each post and they can reply and @ one another with responses. Ideally, you’ll get a lot of questions that will help you show your knowledge.
Why Twitter Chat?
Social Media Examiner believes Twitter chats are an excellent way to build your online community quickly. The bigger your community, the more people you will reach and the more will retweet your tweets. This means more potential leads. It’s all exponential in nature. With 100 followers, 2 might share what you put on Twitter. With 1000 followers, the number increases to 20 or more. But, you also reach those who follow those people when they retweet you. If you’re lucky enough to tweet something that goes viral, the possibilities are endless.
According to Statista, as of the third quarter of 2015, Twitter is nearing 1 billion registered users. Of course, not all those who join Twitter will be active at any given time (Twitter logs about 100 million active users daily) and not all will live in your area, however, some will and you have a large pool from which to choose and it appears to grow daily.
If you are on a budget, it will only cost you a little time and research to find out (a) what your followers want to know more about; (b) which topics people are searching for; and (c) how to best utilize the format.
Tips for Heating/Cooling Events on Twitter
It is easy to point to some of the success stories out there in the Twitter Chat world. According to Social Times, #BlogChat creates more than 6,000 tweets through its Twitter Chat. Some of the top chats seem to center around blogging and online marketing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop a very successful chat about your industry. Your goal likely isn’t to produce 6,000 tweets a week, but to get a new lead or two out of each chat and that is very doable.
- Do a little research before choosing a topic. What are some questions your customers ask most often? Is there any area that hasn’t been covered that you have knowledge of? Do some keyword research on Google to discover the terms most people are looking for in your industry. Finally, check out what hashtags are already trending on Twitter and figure out if you can tie that into your chat somehow.
- Choose a day and time to host the chat. For example, Mondays from 7-8 p.m. However, you should still allow people to ask questions even after you close the chat. This will keep the lines of communication open.
- Once you’ve chosen a name (i.e. hashtag) for your chat, and chosen a day and time, it is time to start advertising. Let all your current customers know about the chat and first day and time you’ll host it.
- Announce the chat on all social media channels and send out an email.
- Take out an ad on Twitter.
- Organize your employees and family and friends to make sure you have at least a few people at your first chat. Be honest about who they are, though. No one likes being manipulated, but they can appreciate your family and friends attending your first chat as long as everyone is honest and not trying to trick them.
- Plan out material before the chat. The way most chats go is that the moderator will throw out a question or fact and the participants will tweet back with information, questions, and follow-up.
- Have some bonus material in case no one is participating. You have to fill an hour, so have some facts typed out in Tweet length (under 140 characters, including your hashtag) that you can share if there is radio dead air for your Twitter chat.
- Remember to follow up when the chat is over. Thank any guests you invited that participated (such as an expert, one of your technicians, etc.). Let everyone know the chat log is available and where. Remind them of when the next chat is and encourage them to invite family and friends.
Try to choose topics that the majority of your customers and potential customers will be interested in and your chat should be very successful. It’s yet another way to generate new leads without spending a lot of money. In an age where everything seems to be digital, this is a good way to reach current customers and new customers alike.
Would offer ideas for how HVAC companies could use this as a promotional tool to attract leads. Would explain what a Twitter chat was, give examples of how other companies have used them successfully and then offer some specific tips for utilizing this for heating/cooling online events.
More than likely, your competition isn’t using Twitter chats yet. This means you can be at the forefront of this trend and reach customers via an online forum in a way no one else has thought of. As a bonus, you’ll have a lot of fun in the process. It’s an interesting way to gather new leads.
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