Givology: Reflections on Tweetchat #1

Note: This was an actual email I sent out to the Givology team after the tweetchat. Except for names. I edited names out. 

Note 2: I usually do not send out 700 word emails.


Hi everyone, 

So we just finished the first tweetchat tonight. I decided to end it early because there wasn’t much engagement from non-Givology people.  Thanks to everyone who stayed the entire time and trying to keep the conversation going!

Here were the main problems I noticed, before and during the conversation.:

How Tweetchats Work:

When I messaged my friends to “join the tweetchat tonight at #givchat”, most of them responded with something along the lines of “what’s a tweetchat. and what’s #givchat” I think we need to do a better job of explaining how the chats work, even if it’s just a simple graphic, because honestly, it’s a bit confusing at first, and it’ll prevent a lot of people from joining.

Audience:

I had a friend follow the #givchat hashtag for a while, but he didn’t know how to answer any of the questions. (see next point) When I asked what type of questions he would be able to answer, he said he didn’t know. And I had trouble thinking of questions myself too. I think it would be easier to write questions for other non-profit organizations and target them in our outreach. I know we want more engagement amongst our followers, but until we can think of questions to ask the general public, we should stick to an audience that has something to say on the subject.

Also I realized that we didn’t really give any incentive to join. We may have told them about our tweetchat, but we didn’t say what people would get out of it by participating. Do they get more publicity? Do they get to learn about how to run their non-profit? Do they get to show off what they’ve done? I think we really need to focus on this in our outreach. (I mean, we sent out 500 DMs within the past two days. No one responded. That’s not a good sign.)

Question writing:

Halfway through the chat, I realized that the questions I wrote were almost all directed towards our guest, so the participants were mostly waiting for answers while the guest was overloaded with answering. (Sorry!) Next time, we should write questions that everyone in the audience can answer so there’s no lulls in the conversation(see problem with audience above), and have someone look over/edit them before the actual chat.

Pre-engagement:

I talked with someone who had run tweetchats before, and the first thing he told me was “pre-engagement, pre-engagement, pre-engagement,” Basically, reach out to our followers beforehand. I mentioned that we were DM-ing all of our followers, but he said to “always do things public because that way it generates interest, as well as gets the hashtag trending a little.” Even with the @Givology acccount, I noticed that we rarely respond to DMs, yet we often respond to tweet shout-outs, even if it’s just a favorite.

As for filling up the Twitter feed, I sent out a few tweets to partners that weren’t receiving DM’s (organizations that weren’t following us.) through the Givology account, and they didn’t show up on my personal feed. I think it has to do with how Twitter doesn’t show replies to tweets in their followers’ feeds, hence the “tweets and replies” tab. (Note that I went directly to their twitter page and used the “Tweet to [name]” box. I don’t know if that makes a difference)

Of course, if we’re sending out tweets manually, we can’t reach all 4000-something followers, so we’ll have to prioritize. I know some people have compiled a list of our partners and notable non-profits. We should definitely make use of that.  Could someone contact more non-profits to join via email? You could probably use a similar template to that for inviting guests
We could have used more day-of promotion as well. Like, spamming the Facebook and Twitter feeds every hour of the day kind of promotion, especially since we only had a few days to publicize.

Length:

Two hours is a pretty long time to ask people to continuously tweet. Most twitter chats are an hour long, but it’s a very fast-paced hour. I think we should see how next week goes to decide if we should shorten the time.

I know this is long, but this was everything that’s been on my mind. Hopefully, now that people see how #givchat works, it’ll go better next week. :)

Thanks, 
Amy 

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