Health With a Capital H
Let’s Chat! Using Twitter To Connect With Your Audience
August 9, 2012
Contributed by Nate Robinson, Senior Communications Manager
In today’s communications environment, most would agree that effective communication is more of an art than a science. It’s a topic of substantial interest for the 1,000+ professional communicators attending CDC’s 2012 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, taking place this week in Atlanta, Georgia.
One viable way for connecting with audiences is front and center at the conference—Twitter Chats. These online conferences can be highly effective at getting your message out. However, simple though they may seem, successful Twitter Chats do require a good deal of thought, effort, and planning.
Here are some tips for planning and hosting a successful Twitter Chat:
- Plan your chat around a specific theme or issue to concentrate your message. Then, develop an agenda with your partners and share that information with your followers ahead of time.
- Promote your chat by using a short hashtag and encourage partners to use that same hashtag in their communications vehicles to spread the word.
- Host the chat by issuing the agenda at the start and reminding others when it’s time to turn to the next topic to keep everyone focused. Should the conversation stray, however, have some pre-drafted tweets to bring the chat’s theme(s) back into focus.
- Track the results of your chat, including the most and least active segments, to inform future chats. A number of tools can help you measure your results, including: TweetDeck, TweetChat, HootSuite, and Radian6.
- Follow up with partners and participants after the chat, including with quick polls and surveys, to solidify lessons learned and inform future chats.
Using these tips will strengthen not only the quality of your Twitter Chats but your relationship with partners and followers alike. After all, relationships play an integral role in any form of communication!
Looking for more information? See some lessons learned from the front line using the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's, "Health Literacy Online Supplement: A Guide to Hosting a Twitter Chat."