I still hear it often: “I don’t get Twitter, what’s the point?” “Twitter just seems to be a bunch of people talking to no one.” “How do you even create relationships out there?”

Well friends, that’s what I do. I don’t spend my day creating and nurturing relationships as myself, but as my clients. How? Well, I could start each day by combing through streams and jumping in on conversations that interest me. Sure, that’s one way. But a better way? Tweetchats. Wuh-huh?

Let me explain.

You’ve seen the hashtag before, right? Example: #olympics. Searching this hashtag this week will give you a ton of tweets to read about all things relating to the Olympics. It’s a great way to find likeminded people out there.

What a tweet chat does is set aside a block of time (typically an hour) where everyone joins in the conversation by using that hashtag. Favorite hashtags my team uses for clients include #socialchat on Monday nights (9pm ET), #brandchat on Wednesdays (11am ET) #pinchat on Wednesdays (9pm ET) and the behemoth #mediachat on Thursdays (10pm ET – way past my bedtime but totally worth it). I participate in many of these chats as the brand. Sometimes it’s great to find a chat specifically related to what the company does – allowing the company to be elevated to the level of expert. But sometimes that doesn’t exist.

For example, there are not a ton of tweet chats directly targeted for builders. But Taylor Homes does a great job of branding and marketing all around, so for Taylor, we participate in #brandchat when we can and we’ve gotten very active on #socialchat. This helps broaden the audience of the client even more – and let’s others out there know we aren’t “pigeonholed” in our own little construction world. We’ve made some great friends out there as Taylor. And the plan is, when one of those friends need to build a house, then they’ll think Taylor – we’re top of mind.

Another client, Red e App, has done something remarkable. We created our own tweet chat – we actually own it (#mobilechat, Wednesdays at 9pm ET). Last night was our inaugural chat and we had a great turn out. I assisted in moderating this chat with the client (he was logged in as himself, and he served as moderator – asking questions of our guest). Mid-chat, we actually got a lead from someone who came to talk mobile, but asked a question if a product exists that helps with internal communication for enterprise organizations and… SCORE! Yes! Red e App does that. I smell a future customer!

Even more remarkable – while I was helping to host #mobilechat as @RedeApp I was also participating in #pinchat as Pop Cosmo – making sure clients had exposure where it needed to be. It was a bit split-personality-ish, but it worked. And that, my friends, is why I’m not afraid to say it’s a skill, not just playing on Twitter.

If done well consistently, relationships on Twitter can lead to relationships in the real world. And in the real world, that’s where business is done.

More on tweet chats here.

Looking for a tweet chat that fits your business or interests? This list isn’t always updated, but it’s a pretty good resource: click here.

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