What’s a Twitter Q&A?
A few weeks ago, one of DJG’s clients hosted what we call a “Twitter Q&A” online. It was to celebrate the end of this client’s yearly online conference. The question for DJG was: “What’s the difference between a Twitter Q&A and a TweetChat?” Well, my friends, they are very different and, also … very much the same. It’s quite the juxtaposition. The bigger question, here, is: “What is a social media event? How do you do it? And WHY?” Maybe you’ve heard of LIVE Q&A’s on Facebook, LIVE Tweeting during events, TweetChats, Instagram Loop Giveaways even LIVE Pinning Wars … what’s the difference? And, I mean honestly, WHAT could possibly be the purpose of participating in a pinning war?!
Let’s be honest – social media professionals are winging it.
The industry is barely 10 years old; and we’re coming up with new, innovative ways to discuss important topics and trends for our audiences, on the daily. While simultaneously keeping up with the platforms updating and changing the way we interface on the regular.
Social media has an innate ability to react, absorb and adopt quickly. Social media professionals didn’t know Twitter Q&A’s we’re going to be effective until someone accidentally stumbled upon the idea, successfully produced the concept, blogged about it; and then, a few other organizations’ caught on.
Let’s get back to: “What’s a TweetChat?”
Here’s the download on what it is to host a successful TweetChat:
- Decide on a topic for discussion. Pick something trendy or weighted that will ignite an active, back and forth conversation. You can also center the topic around a new campaign or initiative.
- Pick a hashtag to track the discussion and so people can easily find the TweetChat while it’s happening.
- Assign 1-6 questions that surround the topic. When fielding the questions during the Chat position the Tweets Q1:, Q2:, Q3:, and so on. Attach the hashtag to end of each Tweet.
- Pick a date and time to host your TweetChat. Promote the TweetChat at least 1 week prior to hosting. Leverage all active social platforms for promotion.
- Log onto to Twitter during the designated date and time. After you send out a “Welcome!” Tweet and instructional Tweets, Tweet the TweetChat questions at least 10 minutes apart. 15 minutes max.
- Respond to your audience as they’re answering the questions. Actively engage in conversation and use the TweetChat hashtag in every response Tweet.
- Make sure to close the TweetChat with a closing Tweet: “Thank you for participating in today’s TweetChat re: Work/Life Balance. #askDJG”
TweetChats sound simple enough, right? Your organization invites and asks a captive Twitter audience questions about a particular topic and responds accordingly.
So we know TweetChats … what is the difference between that and a LIVE Twitter Q&A?
The only difference: panelists, celebrities or experts in the field.
That’s right, a Twitter Q&A means: you’re hosting a panel on Twitter. Instead of fielding the questions to just the audience, you’re fielding questions to the audience AND your chosen panelists, celebs or experts.
You, the organization, acts as a moderator for the Q&A … whereas with a TweetChat the question and answer portions are one-sided and direct.
Both the panelists and the audience answer the questions, WITH the main objective being: the panelists interact with the audience members … facilitated by you, the organization.
Q: How does one facilitate the conversation during a Twitter Q&A?
A: By taking answers from the panelists, using the Q&A hashtag, and asking the audience their feelings about the panelists response. See below:
Let’s recap: Twitter Q&A holds the same format as a TweetChat, with the only difference being the panelists and their interaction with the audience.
Here was DJG’s social strategy for producing both a TweetChat and Twitter Q&A:
- DJG hosted a TweetChat two weeks prior to an online event for our client. The TweetChat was to ramp up the discussion and content (and it’s inevitable, expected promotion) on social media.
- We themed the TweetChat questions around the content of the conference. DJG’s social media manager directly Tweeted information regarding the TweetChat at active social influencers, the clients’ Board of Directors and members. We promoted the Chat across the client’s active social platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- The Twitter Q&A was hosted to button up the client’s online event. The questions for the Q&A were based off of the LIVE video panel discussion (found here). The panelists from the LIVE video panel during the conference were our chosen panelists for the LIVE Twitter Q&A on Twitter.
- DJG crafted a blog post on the client’s blog with directions on how to participate in the Twitter Q&A. We also tweeted the link to the directional blog post out during the introductory Tweets to the Q&A. There was short-hand direction given within the introductory Tweets before the Q&A to the audience as well.
- To obtain participants we promoted the Twitter Q&A via online event lead-up e-mails and throughout the day – during the online conference.