Recently we got some comments on our blog how hard it is nowadays to get into meaningful conversations on Twitter and that people would not be interested in talking to each other but only wanted to shout their messages into the world.
While I think that it actually did get a lot harder to find conversations on Twitter just by looking at your feed – I still firmly believe that the conversations do happen. It is simply that a conversational tweet often gets rather invisible between all that marketing optimized content that is fighting for visibility in our feeds. That means you have to know much more about Twitter and how to find the conversations than you used to find and join into these conversations.
And by just knowing how to find conversations from your niche, how to start a conversation that people will notice and the tools you can use, can help us all a lot to keep Twitter the meaningful and enjoyable social network it still is – yes, I do believe that!
(In one of my upcoming articles I am going to share with you how and for what I use Twitter – and no, I am not just tweeting our blog posts, there is so much more that you can do on Twitter).
Before we get deeper into how to find and join conversations on Twitter, I want to explain something to you: Often it is not the largest Twitter accounts that are the most approachable and responsive. It may not even be that these people do not want to engage or answer your tweets. The simple reason may be that they get so many mentions and notifications on Twitter that they miss a large part of it.
If you are trying to connect, sometimes smaller accounts may be a lot more responsive.
So, here are my tips to conquer Twitter for conversations and meaningful interaction:
1. Build a list of people from your niche you love to engage with
Often there already are some people you know from your niche, talked to at an event or know otherwise that they engage and communicate.
Find the Twitter accounts of these people and do not only follow them, also put them on a list so that you can follow their tweets in a separate feed – for instance on Tweetdeck.
Personally, I would also make another Twitter list of people from your niche that you may not know but would love to get to know. Watch their tweets and start a conversation when you see something of interest. You can comment on a tweet, or even ask someone a question about an article they recently published. It is totally legitimate for you to start the conversation on Twitter – even with people you do not personally know.
2. Research and use hashtags
In almost every niche there are some hashtags that are used to identify specific topics and conversations around them. It takes some time to figure out what hashtags a niche uses – and how they use the hashtags. You will have to get accustomed to the Twitter lingo and then monitor the conversations that are going on related to the hashtags from your niche.
If you need some help with your hashtag research, you can use tools like Hashtagify.
You have probably seen the hashtags that are presented to you on your Twitter front page as trending.
Most of the time, these will not be related to your niche – but if they are it is your chance of getting into the conversation that is happening.
Again TweetDeck could be very helpful to monitor what is going on with the trending hashtags. Simply set up a column and choose „trending.“
4. Conversations around conferences
Some small or large conferences use a hashtag just in the time of the conference. For some conferences, there are a lot of conversations going on using this hashtag. I can remember for Content Marketing World there was so much happening with the hashtag #cmworld and you could easily join into the conversations even if you were not actually at the conference.
Again this will need some research to find conferences from your niche and the related hashtags.
5. Live events
This is often awesome. Think of an event like Apple press conference – or of a major sports event. Then find the related hashtag and go on Twitter and be entertained. I love these types of Twitter conversations. You get so much first-hand information plus all the emotions.
For instance, the world championships soccer game between Brazil and Germany received a stunning number of 35,6 Mio tweets using the hashtag #BRAGER.
The best way to find the hashtags for live events is to visit either the homepage or the twitter account of the organizers.
6. Twitter chats
Twitter chats can be awesome. In essence, a Twitter chat is a combination of a hashtag, a topic and a predefined time when a bunch of Twitter users meets to discuss that topic. The hashtag is basically necessary to identify the tweets that belong to the chat.
Some people or companies host them on a regular basis. Often they take place in a form of question and answer sessions – or just as a business networking event with a theme.
Twitter chats are awesome to build community. They evolve around a specific hashtag – that should be chosen so that they don’t get confused with other hashtags.
A Twitter chat takes place at a set time. If you manage to get enough interested people into the chat they can easily prove a treasure trove of engagement, communication and community building.
For instance, Hootsuite hosts a regular Twitter chat using the hashtag #hootchat
There are some tools that can help you find relevant Twitter chats:
If you want to host your own Twitter chat, beware that you need a plan and a lot of work will be involved to make the chat a success. You cannot announce a chat and expect a ton of people turning up – especially when you are not famous or don’t have a large audience that you can activate to join in the chat. You need to market your chat.
There are some Twitter tools to make the chats more comfortable. They provide chatrooms and help you organize the conversations. Examples of tools for Twitter chats are TwChat, TweetChat and you can also use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
Final Words On Conversations On Twitter
They are still happening: the conversations on Twitter. But it may seem that they get harder to find and you have to invest more time to find and monitor them. But even though it may take some time and effort to find great conversations, start some or join into group conversations like chats: it is absolutely worth your time. Conversations on Twitter have immense power and can tremendously boost the power of your Twitter account.