What we learned from running our first Twitter chat series

If you follow us on Twitter, you probably came across our #CuratedChat at the end of last year — a Twitter chat series that focused on specific areas of digital marketing. Every Wednesday for four consecutive weeks our chat went live on Twitter, spurring conversations between professionals and marketing lovers alike.
Our objectives were simple: we wanted to establish our brand further within the Twittersphere and increase social engagement, as well as drive traffic to our website. We couldn’t wait to see how #CuratedChat would be received and who would actually get involved!

Planning IS everything

Although we were keen to dive straight in and get chatting, it was important that we didn’t rush into things. We wanted #CuratedChat to be different and more personal than others out there. It was also super important to have some definite voices secured in our #CuratedChat so we wouldn’t be talking to ourselves about topics that the wider Twitter population weren’t really interested in. To cover our backs, we had to put an effective plan in place and conduct our own in-depth research. We looked at what was going on in the Twitter chat space, who was in the digital marketing conversation and what topics would actually generate great discussions and insights.

For weeks before, our social and PR team delved into Twitter and searched through those engaged with certain hashtags, digital marketing chats and other conversations that related to each of our teams at Curated. We reached out to those in specific fields, those who had digital marketing experience and even those who just loved chatting about all things digital.

We also had to work out what we wanted to achieve and what we would consider success. We used the insights generated from our research from those running similar chats to set our goals: we wanted to grow our Twitter following by 20-30 followers throughout the course of the chats, and we also wanted to have between 7-10 people engaging with our final chat.

Trending topics matter

First off, we delved into some of the established marketing Twitter chats currently on the go. We scoured the types of hashtag and keywords used such as #SocialMediaTrends or #InfluencerMarketing, the frequency they were used and the types of people interacting with them. We analysed the nature of the conversation and the profiles of those involved: were they influencers in the space, genuinely interested in the topic or tweeting on behalf of a publication and brand? We then gathered all of our thoughts together and assessed what topics would work best and the potential size of the audience we could expect.

As Curated is full service digital agency, our teams work together to approach digital marketing goals from all angles, so we didn’t just want to stick with one area for our chat series. We decided to cover a different area of digital marketing each week and assessed what the most topical and controversial talking points in PR, content marketing, SEO, and social media were — always keeping in mind what would make the most relevant and interesting conversation.

This research allowed us to solidify four strong themes within each of our areas of work that would most likely engage those active in the space. The weekly themes were:

Week one: The evolving landscape of influencer marketing
Week two: Shifting gears: making the move to video
Week three: Planning your 2018 SEO strategy
Week four: Jumping on the bandwagon — making social trends work for you

To ensure we had at least some experts in each field engaged in our chats, we invited some marketing influencers to get involved. We also ran a Twitter ad campaign ahead of the chats, targeting relevant audiences for each topic. At the end of each #CuratedChat, we would create a blog post from the insights, sharing these with those who had engaged, and further afield.

#CuratedChat Results

After we had gotten creative and made all the assets for each chat, when Wednesday came around we’d sit excited at our screens waiting to see who would join us this week. Our first chat was on influencer marketing and we heard from some amazing influencers, as well as marketing experts. This chat had around 5-7 people engaged throughout — this almost reached our target at just the first chat, which exceeded our expectations.

We had so much fun reading everyone’s answers and loved it even more when those in the conversation would start discussions amongst themselves. We made sure we responded to each tweet manually and personally, whether this was replying, liking, retweeting and even sharing our favourites with our followers. We carried this through each chat, ensuring that each person engaged felt cool, confident and welcome.

Each week, more and more people with different backgrounds, careers, and interests would loop in and give us their amazing insights on our topics. What we are most proud of is our follower growth. From the time we started advertising, until the end of the chats, our following grew and grew. To our amazement, we managed to smash our target and gained almost 100 new followers, around 4 times our expected growth!

Not only this, but we also made some amazing contacts throughout this experience. #CuratedChat allowed us to connect with others who have shared interests and professions. We also managed to bring in website traffic through our roundup blog posts which also did really well on social channels, with those involved sharing and liking the pieces.

Wrapping it up

We learned that creating and running your own Twitter chat series is not only exciting but also hugely rewarding and beneficial to the growth of our own knowledge base, as well as our social channels. The four weeks went super fast for our social team here at Curated. We were so pleased with how it was received. It’s this success that has allowed us to start planning more chats this year, covering further areas of digital marketing.

Stay tuned on Twitter to find out when we will be running our next series of chats. If you want to find out more about how we went about running our chat series, or if you’d like help implementing your own, do not hesitate to get in touch!

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