Twitter townhalls can be chaotic - there are lots of factors that determine whether or not it goes well. But if done right, they are a great way to put your organization's Executive Director, your candidate, or a policy expert in the spotlight. It's also a way to reach your audience by bypassing the mainstream media and going straight to the people. Here are some tips for setting up your Twitter townhall:
- Make sure the host and the guest(s) use the predetermined hashtag in every tweet. When this doesn't happen, the only person who sees the answer tends to be the person who asked the question.
- Decide if you are going to take questions in advance. If so, have the host feed them to the guest during the Twitter event or devise a system for questions to be taken in real time. If you take questions in real time, it's usually helpful to have a 3rd person involved to actually curate the questions and feed them to the host.
- Post-townhall, archive the event. You can use tools like Storify to aggregate content from various social networks and organize the conversation for others who couldn't participate live.
Take the time to plan out content and questions for your townhall, and you'll be less stressed on the big day.
What tactics have you seen work when hosting a Twitter townhall? Share with us in the comments on our blog.
Beth Becker is a digital strategist at Progressive Social Digital Strategy.