I recently hosted two Twitter chats for The SITS Girls as a Community Lead for their network. Their weekly chats take place on Saturday mornings at 10AM EDT and the other on Monday nights at 8PM for an hour each. I had never hosted a Twitter chat before and had no idea what to expect. To be perfectly honest, I had only participated in two Twitter chats prior and never thought I would ever host so I wasn’t taking notes.
I pictured it like a party, a really loud party where I was trying to do my best to give directions in an impromptu game of Twister with people I’d never talked to before.
I moseyed over to their Twitter profile and saw this and panicked.
Hosting a Twitter chat for 40.1K followers? Sure, not all of them would be online chatting at the same time, but I knew I needed a game plan. Here’s what I did as a newbie hosting a Twitter chat for the very first time.
Come up with a topic
Sure, this was their idea to come up with a topic, but it makes sense. You don’t want to go to a party and have nothing to talk about. Imagine? “Do you like the weather?” *crickets*. Knowing the audience helped me to formulate a few topics to run by the head honchess and see what could work. “Balancing Blogging + Motherhood/Work/Life” was chosen for Saturday morning’s Twitter chat and “What’s the One Blog Nut You’ve yet to Crack” was chosen for Monday evening’s Twitter chat. Both topics could be chewed on for an hour to be sure.
Create a timeline
I had an hour. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t scrambling for pertinent links, what to say and remembering to type in the chat hashtag #sitsblogging after every tweet. I was going to have tons to focus on and I knew I would forget that hashtag. I opened up a spreadsheet (surprise) and started with an Intro at the 10AM mark for Saturday. Something simple “Hi, thank you for joining us today! #sitsblogging” Then I set the timeline to ask questions every 10 mins. You knew it had to be color coded.
Use the right format
Twitter chats have a format, did you know that? The moderator (me in this case) has to start their questions with “Q” and the number of the question. This way, chatters can retweet the question and their followers know what they’re talking about. Not a necessary action on the part of the participants, but a good rule of thumb. The participants reply in kind, with starting with “A” and the number of the question they are responding to.
— Crystal Green (@Tidbitsofexperi) April 11, 2015
Research and include relevant links
I searched the SITS website for relevant posts that would help the participants with the questions I was asking. I also included links on my spreadsheet from another Community Lead who was kind enough to share the more common links requested. I added those for backup, just in case and included the title of the post, the URL and the chat hashtag.
Test and Promote
I tested whether prepping people 5 mins before boosted engagement, but hadn’t considered that the two chats would “feel” different. Saturday had a lot of conversations going between participants, whereas on Monday evening, there was more conversation directly with me. I loved both. I shared that I would be hosting on my personal Facebook page, within Facebook groups that I am a part of as well as on my personal Twitter timeline.
Download a Twitter feed management tool
I chose Tweetdeck but you can use Hootsuite or even Tweetchat. You don’t just want to use Twitter, although I had that open in another window pre-loaded with my questions. For me, that was easier. I could just chat away and not worry about what I was asking.
Engage, respond and engage some more
This is the fun part. All you have to to is follow the conversation and jump in when you have something of value, or super funny to say and be sure to end your responses with the Twitter chat hashtag <— say that three times fast, I dare you.
You’re doing it, aren’t you?
Let your personality shine through. If you want to say “that’s wassup” or quote The Count from Sesame Street, go right on ahead. I did. The whole point of hosting Twitter chats is to connect with other people and the only way to really connect, is to be your quirky, unique lovable, self.
Keep a pen a paper handy for follow up
This was something I wasn’t planning on, not because I didn’t think I would “make friends” but because I was so focused on getting my questions out and the flow of the chat that I didn’t think to keep track of the people I connected with. I stayed on the chat for a few more minutes, silently (as in not favoriting or responding) to scroll through the chat and write down the names of the people that I talked spreadsheets + color coding with #instantbuddies. As soon as I jumped off the chat, I logged into my account and followed them all (hint, some of them are in the Storified Twitter Chat below!) We continued to tweet over the weekend and I think I found a great group of new peeps to talk all things blog with!
Consider sending a visual “Thank You” on Twitter and tag those people (in the image, you get up to 10 and it doesn’t count toward your character limit!) you connected with.
— Cristina (@fillpraycloset) April 14, 2015
I did this for Monday’s chat <—I’m a test kind of gal, whereas for Saturday’s chat, I just sent a regular ol’text tweet and use the @ mention. I love the visual option, don’t you?
What about you? What are your Twitter Chat tips, because I’m no longer a newbie!
For fun, I’ve included a “quick-not-at-all-comprehensive-because-lots-of-tweets” timeline of my very first Twitter chat on Saturday in case you missed it!
Today, I am sharing tons of social media tips. Not just here, but over at SITS as well because if we’re going to use social media, we should get the most bang for our buck!
We all know I love social media + I love sharing what I learn with others, so let’s not waste anymore time!
1. Cross post your Pinterest pins all over Facebook
I am sure you knew that you could share your Pinterest pins to your Facebook wall, but did you also know you could share your pins on your Facebook fan page, a group you manage or a group that you’re a part of? What a great way to cross-promote your pins, posts + multiple platforms.
2. Cross post from Instagram to Facebook, and Twitter – the right way
Sticking with Facebook, why not post your Instagram images to Facebook when you’re capturing the perfect lighting on a sweet daffodil? There is an option to share to Twitter as well, but I wouldn’t do it. When you post to Twitter from Instagram, your followers only see a link.
Who cares about that, right? You probably won’t get much engagement because as we all know, visuals rule (move over, will ya content?). Set up a recipe in IFTTT to share all Instagram images to Twitter as a native image and you’ll increase engagement.
If This Then That is a wonderful tool to make it seem like you are everywhere at once (especially when you’re sleeping). My favorites are:
Sharing Instagram posts to Twitter as native images.
Pushing posts that I “save for later” on Feedly to Buffer
My favorite bloggers posts shared to my Twitter timeline when they publish a post! When I share posts, I like to let the author know that I am mentioning them, think of it as a virtual high five. Automated “@” mentions are discouraged by Twitter’s terms, but there’s a work around. I only recommend this for bloggers you trust – like your mastermind group, or trusted influencers you follow.
Saving all of my tweets to a spreadsheet on Google spreadsheet
Don’t sleep on that last one! Think of all the time you spend looking for content to tweet. Some of that is evergreen content that you could reshare (inspirational quotes, anyone?). Keeping that spreadsheet can be used to bulk upload in Hootsuite (or BulkBuffer a free, third party bulk upload feature for Buffer) . Talk about leveraging social media to work for you!? IFFT is a great free tool and it’s so fun to use, I was sad when I ran out of recipes. So maybe I’ll try these.
Before we move on to the next tip, I’ll ask that you really consider the Instagram to Twitter recipe. This will keep you on point and accountable to yourself for staying on brand with what you share on Instagram. You’ll pause just a millisecond before sharing because you know it’s going on Twitter, too. I don’t know about you, but for me, Twitter is my serious business platform because of the easy access to profiles, content and influencers. I feel like Instagram is going in that direction as well (if it isn’t there already) so I want to stay consistent on all of my platforms and be sure to post on brand all the time.
3. Create an Instagram landing page
I’ve been waiting to share this with you since I shared how to start sharing your blog posts on Instagram. I figured out an easier way to share your posts on Instagram cutting out a step. Instead of grabbing a unique bit.ly link for each post, why not create a landing page as I’ve done with my Archives page? For now, it’s doing double duty acting as a landing page for my Instagram posts + an archive page for those people who wander over to my blog organically. Not to mention, Instagrammers who stop by, may want to read something else *wink*,
Be sure to leave a warm welcome for your Instagrammers and let them know that you were totally expecting them. Your blog is like a second home, always make your readers feel welcome. Tea anyone?
4. Instagram push notifications
The latest update of Instagram brought push notifications. I love this! There are people that I love to follow on Instagram (potential post coming on that? Hmmm…) and sometimes, I don’t catch them in my feed in real time. I end up having to scroll for their profile. I imagine they see serial <3’s from me because I want to support them and like their images sorry, Katie. I show an example of how you can find it with Pauline Cabrera of TwelveSkip below.
When you’re in the profile of the person you want to receive notifications for, click on the three vertically aligned dots in the upper right hand corner. That window with the option for “Turn on Post Notifications” will show up, click and done.
Now, I receive a notification whenever Pauline posts. How does this help? Think of the influencers you follow. If you are interested in getting noticed, in a non-creepy way of course, receiving notifications means you can be the first to like their image. At some point maybe even build up the courage to leave a super witty comment (#introvertsunite). The only way you’re going to grow beyond yourself is to reach out, so I say, why not!?
What about your tips to get the most out of social media? Are you curious as to what I shared over at SITS? Here are 5 more ways you can get results from the time you spend on social media.
Still hungry for more social media tips + tricks? Look no further than my favorite place to catch all the latest social media finds.
And for even more tips and tricks, be sure to keep in touch to receive freebies that are exclusive to my subscribers!
Welcome to my living room! Changing it up to see if you’re paying attention. So much has happened in the last couple of weeks and I learned a lot. Mostly, that I’ll never succeed at being perfect. Have a watch and I’ll see you after the vlog.
As promised, here’s the info that I talked about, you know in those “show notes!”
As a community lead for The SITS Girls, I get to host Twitter chats and guest post for them. The first set of twitter chats I’m doing will take place April 11th at 10AM EDT. We’ll be using the #SITSBlogging hashtag for “Saturday Sharefest”. Here’s a link to the latest link up so you can see what I mean (and realize how scary and crazy this thing is for me? Yeah!) Bloggers share their favorite post and we all jump on Twitter and chat about it. The next twitter chat is on Monday evening April 13th at 8PM using that same hashtag. I’ll be talking about that one blog nut you’ve yet to crack!
I’ve never hosted a twitter chat ever, so of course it makes total sense to host my first one with an account that has 40,019 followers <— no, I did not make up that number.
This will coincide with a post that I am writing about optimizing your time on social media going live on their site on Tuesday, April 14th. Talk about huge right? Huge.
Stay tuned for a teaser post on Tuesday where I’ll share even more social media tips with you guys that I didn’t share on SITS.
I applied on a whim to be a community lead for this network, I never thought I would get picked. To be completely honest, I forgot I signed up – that’s how little of a chance I thought I had. My mastermind ladies will tell you, I sign up for everything. Everything. I cast a wide net, so who can keep up, right? When I received the email, I almost choked on my new favorite tea, which is a Peach Ginger Matcha, by the way.
This is what I’m talking about. You’re never going to be ready, you’re never going to be perfect. In fact, I was totally set on editing this video and getting rid of the “Peace out” part. I thought, that’s not professional, that’s not going to get you clients, that’s not…and then I thought, but that’s me. I’m serious when I need to be and playful, BFF when I need to be. I know the difference. So, play on baby, play on.
Just get out there, apply for everything and see what happens. You may be completely blown away at what comes back. You only know what you know right now. That will change because you want it to.
Take this example, I’m totally legit now that Taye Diggs follows me on Twitter. I think this means I made it, right?
“I made $7,000 last month from my blog.” “I made 6,200 last month from my blog.””Check my income report!”
You’ve seen these, right? Passive income is the sweet spot for blogging, internet marketing, and consulting. I’m not there, yet. No where near. In fact, I’ve made $10.85 cents so far this month, and that’s not even paid out yet.
I read this post about building trust, and not traffic. I love this post. The message was so powerful, I instantly downloaded the book The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer to sink my teeth into his thought process around content and social media.
In the article, Schaefer says “…building trust instead of traffic takes time, a new mindset, a new commitment, and perhaps even a leap into the unfamiliar.”
Money is important, I’m not completely naive. But, what’s more important to me is building trust, connections and networks. I thrive on the interaction and sharing of information that I can give and receive on social media. It’s a really great resource to find like minded people, or even people you don’t have a lot in common with personally, but really want to learn from.
I’ve been tracking my social media platforms. It’s been simple, I’m not tracking goals or conversions for you google analytics nerds (I’m getting there) or even social media ROI, yet (you all confused yet?). If you want to grab a copy of my social media spreadsheet you can, just look out for the button at the end of this post.
I’m starting where I’m at. That means noting how many people I had when I started tracking on February 24th and how many people follow me as of March 24th. Why February 24th? That’s when I started a Facebook blog page. No big secret there.
I’ll share the before and after numbers, along with what I did differently to get that increase.
Before: 1,657 followers
After: 1,750 followers, that’s a +93
What did I do?
- Every week, on Thursdays I use Tweepi per Melissa’s post to find people on Twitter. Because there are a few steps, I created a spreadsheet (told you I love them) where I track her suggestions putting an X when I’ve followed someone’s followers for example.
- The highlight here? I followed some of Regina‘s followers, Erika Madden of Olyvia Media. She noticed and retweeted a post of mine, Regina picked up on it again (because she was mentioned) and it was retweeted all over again! Cool huh?
- I also use twitterfeed to push those blogs that I love to my feed automatically. For example, I love This Felicitous Life, you know this. So every time she posts something, I get it pushed to my Twitter time line with her twitter handle. For those niche blogs, I include a relevant hashtag too. I don’t just drop them, I check my Feedly in the evenings to read the links that twitterfeed has pushed for me so I’m always in the loop.
- I participated in two twitter chats. One for #SITSblogging on a Saturday morning and the other for design #ellechat They were super fun and I highly suggest attending a twitter chat if you haven’t already done so.
After: 535, that’s a +50
What did I do?
- I shared my blog posts to Instagram. I can show you how to do that too!
- I began to participate in linkups and challenges.
- I started looking at Instagram feeds a little differently, I would search for topics I was interested in via hashtags and like photos I saw in that feed, while also doing the same within my own “home” feed.
- I downloaded the Unfollow app and cleaned up my followers. Those followers that weren’t following me, I gave a week and liked posts of theirs, or commented. If after that engagement, they didn’t follow back, I deleted them. Why? I only want people who engage with me on social media. Follows are great, but we’re building trust, right?
After: 1,465, that’s a +259 <– yikes! Can I share a secret? My goal this year was to hit 1,500.
What did I do?
- I took a Pinterest course, Pinning Perfect that I LOVED. I also signed up for a pin scheduling app called Tailwind. With these two investments, I learned how to create a branded pin, craft keyword rich descriptions, work with contributor boards and schedule pins to post during optimal times based on when my Pinterest peeps were on and pinning, to name but a few changes.
- In the class we received a checklist for max return on Pinterest investment of your time. Of course, I turned that in to a spreadsheet that I check daily. It’s color coded, so I know what to do each day, each week and monthly.
After: 166, that’s a … you know what that is.
What did I do?
- I started a Facebook page! I knew I wanted to get beyond my friends and family likes, so I began to look for opportunities to network.
- SITS has a Facebook group where they have Facebook Fan page love days. Generally, I try to like between 3-5 Facebook posts for every link I drop.
- Kim Garst has a #FanPageFriday where you drop your page on the thread and like others that you find interesting.
After: 3,346, that’s a +286
What did I do?
- Honestly, nothing different than my usual. I post the way I usually do (there’s a way to do it). I always tell this to people who ask, don’t go crazy with all the platforms at all times. Focus on a few, and when they’re under your belt, move on to the next. When you’re confident with those platforms, cycle out again, and so on.
- But the hightlight? Dustin W. Stout, a self proclaimed creative lunatic and social strategist with 48,170 followers commented on my google+ post of my epic Instagram post and thought it was “Awesome Stuff!!” Wahoo and cha-ching!
- How’s this, here’s what I would like to incorporate going forward. More +1’s, more information sharing on my part to those groups that I admin to get the conversation going and being more thoughtful about sharing content from others to my stream. I’ll let you know how I make out in a future post.
After: 120, that’s +18
What did I do?
- Well, here’s a bigger picture. As of 2/4 when I made the move to Squarespace, I had 42 email subscribers. I began to create freebies for those people who subscribed on a Freebie page. I am currently at 3 freebies and it’s a mix of faith related content to social media tips and tricks. I have some plans in the works to add more printouts and info for my subscribers.
- I added a subscriber bar at the top of my site.
- I added a scroll box to capture subscribers from SumoMe just this week.
After: 91, that’s +19
What did I do?
- I participated in a follow thread within a Facebook group I admin.
- I began liking other bloggers on Bloglovin’
- I also saved my own stuff! This way when people come over to your profile, they can see your lovely posts, along with others you’ve liked.
- I added a button just beneath my social links for people to easily find and follow me.
I would say before anything, start a content or editorial calendar. I just started using Trello for this and I LOVE it, but I’ll always have my spreadsheets. In it, I have the dates on the left and have the following columns:
- Blog post title
- Social media push
- All of the tracking I note in #1-7 of this post.
- Color key to let me know what I have to do when.
It takes a little bit of time to set up, but after the initial creation of it, you’re golden.
I wanted to share with you a great nugget of wisdom gleaned from a podcast I can’t stop raving about, Hack the Entrepreneur. The host, Jon, was interviewing Brian Kurtz. Brian mentioned a way of thinking called the Entrepreneurial Gap. Brian explained that if you try to walk toward the horizon to meet it, you’ll never get there.
The Entrepreneurial Gap is this:
The gap is what’s between today’s goal and the horizon, and if you live in there, all the time without having one goal achieved and then turning back around and looking back and where you were and where you’ve been and where you are now, you’ll stay out of the gap.
So here’s to the horizon and my looking back at what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved. Here’s to staying focused and meeting my goals, celebrating them and then making more goals.
There’s always the horizon to get to, so I’ll keep moving, but I won’t forget to look back and take stock in how far I’ve come. You don’t either.
This post contains affiliate links. Costs you nothing, and I get more money to keep the lights on around here. Thanks for supporting Faithfully Social
Do you show up for yourself?
Another week, another vlog link up. I am loving these, aren’t you? This week has been rough. I won’t lie, work is crazy and my allergies are at an all time high. I even used my asthma pump twice this week. I could have easily bowed out of the link up, but I like adding this to my week. It’s real time and real talk. I don’t plan them, rarely have a script (unless it’s that lame index card that I finally threw out this weekend, I think?). So have a quick look at my 3 minute “showing up for myself” vlog with pillows, as I hate on Charity because she’s so cute and always has a cup of chai in hand. I know, that face, it’s the best of the worst in bunch. Trust me. I’m a face maker.
Here are the links I mention in this post:
For more #thoughtsonthurs vlogs, head over to JVKom Chronicles.
Looking for more inspiration? I’m always pinning inspirational quotes, memes and articles here!