I notoriously say I love meeting people over the Internet. Some of the most interesting people I have met, I know through Twitter. Now that I’m freelancing, I’m looking to make even deeper and more professional connections, but I was unsure how to do so, and where to start.
There’s Meetups, and local tech events but I’m on a tight budget. So what could I do that was budget friendly that also opened me up to a larger community? Enter, Twitter chats. There are many twitter chats, but I started with Buffer’s weekly chat.
Friendly, and with a great sense of humour, I’d already connected with their brand so it was a good fit. Their weekly chat usually includes a notable guest speaker and is an hour long. Buffer chats are a great way to learn more about marketing and meet new people. Here are 8 ways you can have a killer buffer chat.
Research the Speaker
Buffer usually announces the guest ahead of time, so it gives you time to look into their background. Doing so will give you a better sense of the topic, as well as their expertise.
Read their tweets, blogs, visit their website and follow them too! The guests are thought leaders in their area of expertise so they have tons of knowledge to offer!
Get Snacks and Coffee
Admittedly, I have made this mistake before. Buffer chats can be pretty intense and informative so you won’t want to miss a thing. Too bad they almost always occur during lunch!
If you don’t want to be starving for an hour, grab a bite before or have a snack with you.Arm yourself with a coffee and a sandwich so you don’t miss a beat!
Think About the Topic Beforehand
Things move quickly, so to answer in a timely fashion, do some pre-thinking about the topic. For example, the most recent chat was about letting your personality shine.
Just before the chat began, I started to think about what it means to show personality online: how to engage authentically, how to be funny, and on the flip side, how some personalities resonate more than others. Pre-thinking made it easier to answer quickly and concisely.
During the Chat
Warn your Followers
During the buffer chat, you’ll be asked 6 or 7 questions over a course of an hour. In one hour that might be a lot for your followers. I’ve seen many buffer chatters send a “high tweet alert” letting their followers know that they will be tweeting a lot over the hour.
I think in the spirit of being transparent with your followers, which I believe you always should be, this is a fun, tongue in cheek tactic to let them know what they’re in for.
Follow the Hashtag and Engage
What's great about the chat is you can see how the entire conversation is evolving through the chat using the #bufferchat hashtag. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just answering the questions, especially during your first few chats (guilty!). However, when you do that, you risk missing a lot of the crucial insights beyond your own timeline.
Follow along but also ask questions to the people whose tweets resonate most with you or stand out. This includes the guest speaker so don’t be shy, they don’t bite and if they like what you say, they may even retweet it!
Make Note of Your Favourite Tips, Tools and Tweets
What I love most about Buffer chats is the access you get to some of the most savvy and intelligent marketers out there. Many of them have interesting strategies and tools to share, and even more are just plain old funny!
Much of what I’ve learned about marketing lately, and many of the tools I’ve used, I’ve discovered from buffer chat.
Thank Buffer and Guest(s)
No, seriously. Buffer chats are run incredibly well. Buffer’s twitter team takes time to respond to many tweets and engage with chatters, in addition to asking thought provoking questions.
As you can imagine it takes a lot of time and effort to organize these especially on a weekly basis. Be sure to thank both Buffer, and the speaker who took time out of their busy schedule to attend.
Read the Recap
Thankfully, Buffer provides a recap following the buffer chat every week. It includes a snazzy feed for each question so you can scroll through and read what you may have missed.
The recap is my favourite part because it gives you a wider scope of the entire conversation over 6-7 questions. Also, it’s a good option to help you stay in the loop in case you sadly miss a buffer chat.
These tips will ensure you have an amazing buffer chat, every week. Did I miss any of your favourite tips? Share them in the comments.