The one thing about Twitter that I love the most is the fact that it is one of the most open social networks on the Internet. Anyone can create an account and send a tweet directly to anyone else on the platform at the drop of a hat.

What the heck, you could even share your thoughts with @POTUS!

Twitter is the social platform of choice to gain exposure, to grow a following, and to engage with your audience, all of the same time. It’s the ultimate business networking event happening 24/7 throughout 365 days of the year, and the best part of it is that there is no dress code to attend it.

Entrepreneurs have developed many creative ways to leverage Twitter to grow their businesses, and one of the most interesting ways of doing that is with Twitter Chats. If you have never heard of Twitter Chats, you might find them a little intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you are bound to love it.

How to bring people to participate on Twitter Chats? How to get a Twitter Chat to stand out? How do you measure the success of a Twitter Chat? Don’t worry, I’m going to answer all of these questions below, but first, let start with the basics: What are Twitter Chats?

What Are Twitter Chats?

In short, and to risk sounding a bit obvious, Twitter Chats are conversations that happen on Twitter.

So, all conversations happening on Twitter are Twitter Chats? Well, while that does make some sense, what really makes a Twitter Chat is that these are topic-centered conversations based around a hashtag (#) and structured by a host who poses questions to attendees and encourages interaction amongst the group.

Well established and popular Twitter Chats happen on a regular basis and they tend to last for about one hour each time.

Have you ever been to a business networking event? That is pretty much a Twitter Chat is, but without the dress code. It is a great way to meet new people with similar interests, build relationships with industry peers, and find exposure to potential clients. You will find that there are Twitter Chat on almost every topic possible.

Twitter Chats exist to inform participants and readers about a wide range of trending topics. If you’re an entrepreneur, there are several chats that you’ll want to be a part of, such as #bizforum and #leadershipchat. Let’s take a look at how entrepreneurs can benefit from these handy chats!

Benefits of Twitter Chats for Entrepreneurs

Twitter Chats can provide entrepreneurs everywhere with great insight. You can collaborate with others, promote your brand, and find out new ways to enhance your business’s or your employee’s performance.

Customer Connection. Joining a Twitter Chat as an entrepreneur can open the doors of your business to potential customers, customers who you may be able to sell yourself or your business to in a way that wasn’t previously possible. Entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones participating in the TwitterChats – curious Twitter users and potential customers can contribute and view the trending topics.

Many chats have dedicated websites that often provide graphic transcriptions of the chats that occurred under the topic, on a specific date.

Performance Insight. Twitter Chats that are built around business and marketing topics such as #innochat can provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights and information, based on the information being talked about within the chat.

In other words, TwitterChats relevant to your business can help keep you and your business up to date with the latest applicable trends and tips. You can use these chats to boost your business’s performance based on what you’ve learned!

Inadvertent Networking. The reaches of personal networking can only grasp so far. Participating in a TwitterChat, however, can make your brand/business known. Even if you don’t intend to chat in a lively manner, any bit of chatting helps. Think of it like this – companies or individuals with influence are actively using the chat to participate in discussions. By joining a chat, you’re putting your name on the map, whether you mean to or not!

Best Twitter Chats for Entrepreneurs

Tools to Boost Your Twitter Chat Experience

You might even be surprised to learn that there are entire websites and third-party applications designed specifically for Twitter Chats.

Here’s a short list of some of them:

What Next?

The best way to learn something is by doing it, so consider joining some a few Twitter Chats and learn with those who are already doing it. The options are endless, and the Twitter platform is there for the taking. All you have to learn the Twitter lingo and be prepared to engage in thoughtful, relevant discussions.

Have you participated in a Twitter Chat before? How was your experience? Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments area below.