How Twitter Chats Increase Your Following

<p>Hashtags and no, I'm not talking about a new way to smoke...uhh, nevermind. Think Twitter hashtags and you'll be on the right page. There's a really good chance you use Twitter and frankly, I'll be pretty surprised if you don't considering 98% of the those who read this blog are business owners or do business, and have a <a href="http://twitter.com/mikestenger" target="_blank">Twitter</a> account.</p>

I've recently been participating in something on Twitter that is pretty amazing and at the same time, highly underestimated. That's Twitter chats which is basically where there's conversations around a specific hashtag, for example: #blogchat, #smchat, #writechat, etc. And during these chats, people share thoughts, ideas, tactics, strategies, you name it, typically around a specific topic for that hashtag that day. Being the social media guy I am, someone should have kicked me in the face for not participating more often.

Anyways, I wanted to share some of my results (and this was after just participating in ONE) and maybe encourage you to jump on in and join the conversation! So Sunday night I was tweeting in the #lytchat which is a new chat hosted by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein. I told her I would on her blog and because she's so cool, just had to skip #blogchat. Sorry guys...

To get started, I use Tweetchat which is very simple and easy to use but at the same time, has really terrific functionality. You log in, enter your hashtag, and boom, you're ready to go. I learned about it from Nicholas Cardot who's a great guy to get to know.

Now, it's not always easy to keep track of every single conversation depending on how many are participating, but then again, you shouldn't be trying to listen to EVERYTHING...you should focus on providing value in the conversation and engaging with those you can. Within just a short period of time, I started seeing a few retweets come in. And then some more, and more, and more.

After it was all said and done, I had about 25 retweets in total and looking at my follower stats, had just gained 20 new followers in that same period of time. And the thing was, what I posted weren't some amazing, extraordinary tweets. It was just me staying on topic and doing my best to provide value to the conversation. Yes, the retweets and new followers are fantastic but it really comes down to the relationships that were built over the conversation.

Maybe one of them turns into a new client. Maybe one of them refers me some business. Maybe one of them shares the next time I do a live show, who knows. Anything is possible and yeah, that would be the ideal situation, but as you can see, participating in these conversations can be very productive and powerful.

After this experience, I'll definitely be participating in more. Here's an up-to-date list of Twitter chats and when they have 'em. That should be a good place to start.

If you know of a different app to use besides Tweetchat, feel free to post in the comments below.

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"How important do you find conversation to be in social media and what things are you doing to keep this conversation going?"


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