How to save your client money when managing a Twitter chat

November 17, 2011


Twitter chats are like any other campaign or event we run for clients. Without an outreach plan, they won't be successful. (Image credit:


Want to save your clients a few thousand dollars? I knew that would get your attention. But seriously, the next time your client asks about hosting a Twitter party/chat, you can save them a few thousand dollars by recommending they forgo working with a vendor and manage the chat themselves from start to finish. Plus, a side benefit is this approach allows you to keep more of the client fees in your agency instead of farming them out as out-of-pocket costs.

The one advantage a vendor does provide is a built-in community. So if your client decides to take this type of event on alone, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the event a success:

1. Vendors have a built-in community, but your client does too. It’s easy to get the idea that Twitter chats are a “create the hashtag and they will come” type of event. But to be successful, they require a significant amount of outreach and promotion. That’s the part the vendor often takes care of, but you can manage it for your clients too. Plus, reaching out to people who are already fans of the brand is smart because those folks have an affinity to your client and want to see them succeed. Therefore it’s easier to ask them to help spread the word. And they’re doing it because they like your client. Not just the vendor hosting your client’s event. So use your client’s owned channels to share the event with their followers.

2. Set up a Facebook event. If an event is on my Outlook calendar, I will be there. And the same usually goes for when I RSVP to an event on Facebook. If you can get people to RSVP, it sets a reminder on their Facebook home page that they see every time they login, Don’t underestimate the power in that. Plus, a Facebook event is easy content to share.

3. Reach out to bloggers with whom the client has worked. If your client does blogger outreach, there are likely some people the company’s worked with who have become “friends of the brand.” Those are folks who you can ask to help promote the Twitter chat. And they’ll likely be willing to do so. When you reach out, ask whether they’ll be able to do a blog post or maybe just share the event on Twitter and Facebook. If they say the latter, offer to send them suggested tweets to share the event.

4. Reach out to friends and people who are active on Twitter where it makes sense. It may seem a bit awkward at first, but don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and connections you’ve made on Twitter to help you promote the chat. However, when you do so, keep one thing in mind…Only reach out when you can draw a link between the event and the person. For example, if your chat is focused on a cause and you have friends who are active on Twitter and often support causes, that would be a fit. Or if your chat is about food and you some of your connections are foodies, that would also be a fit. Again, offer up different levels of participation and ask if the suggested tweets would make it easier to share the event.

5. Call it a Twitter chat, not a Twitter party. Right or wrong, fairly or unfairly, there is a growing negative connotation with Twitter parties. There is also a seclusion factor. I have heard from some people who feel like Twitter parties have “regulars” who always show up at every party for certain vendors. If you call it a chat, you’re likely to get a more diverse audience and you’re client is more likely to be taken seriously, IMO.

So do you feel like you can manage a Twitter chat without a vendor now? Or do you think I’ve underestimated the value of vendors? What do you think about Twitter chats in general? Are your clients still asking for them?

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Mikinzie 10 pts

Great post, Justin. While we do some of our parties slightly differently per the client’s requests/ branding situation, I think this is a great article that brings up a valid point. Twitter chats are an easy and cheap way to get quick results for clients. And they aren't just for consumer clients either; there is an opportunity for B2B brands to promote thought leadership through these types of initiatives if the audience is there. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more brands take advantage of this opportunity in 2012.

JGoldsborough 226 pts moderator

Mikinzie Seems like there is a stereotype out there amongst some companies that Twitter is only for a one-off conversation here to tweet a deal there and that if you want to host a Twitter event, you need to pay a vendor to do so. We need to be better showing our clients the community that can be built on Twitter. Part of the issue with parties is that they are one-time-only, where as chats constitute a regular gathering. A place for people to hang with like-minded peers. Brands get credit for facilitating relationships like that, online or offline.