Over the past five years of running the Twitter chat hour #woofwoofwednesday many people have asked me what it takes to run a Twitter chat. In this blog, I share the story of how I started, how I built it up and what it take to run a Twitter chat hour.
Back in 2014, I was part of a small group of pet business owners. All of whom I met on Twitter. We would often chat on Twitter usually during small chat hours that one of us had set up. At the time, I was trying to promote my local pet care services business.
Despite knowing that I might not get business through Twitter chats, I knew they were a great networking opportunity to meet like minded small business owners.
#woofwoofwednesday was set up as a Twitter chat hour where small pet business owners could promote themselves and get support from the pet industry community. I want to be really honest here, when it first started there were only about ten of us that joined in. We all used to tag each other as a reminder to join in, Wednesday at 8pm. It grow on a steady basis, with a few more people joining in each week. Some weeks hardly anyone joined in but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
I started advertising and promoting #woofwoofwednesday through my pet services Twitter account and through the #woofwoofwednesday Twitter account so I was reaching as many people as I possibly could. I did this every single day and stayed consistent with advertising it and showing up for my audience.
Some people think that running a Twitter chat hour is really easy. You just show up for one hour a week. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I made eye catching graphics for promoting the Twitter chat hour and asked pet business owners to tell anyone who might want to join in. My graphics at the start were not great but I’m pleased to say that over the five years they improved dramatically.
I also started a Facebook Page for Woof Woof Network and advertised the Twitter chat hour on there. Again, I created eye catching graphics, advertised consistently and let people know the benefits of joining in.
Any opportunity I had, I promoted the Twitter chat hour, even if I thought only a few people would be interested in joining in. I went on podcasts, I did Facebook lives for other communities, I gave talks, went to events and guest blogged.
I was consistent with advertising the Twitter chat hour and I was consistent with hosting the hour. Ensuring that any plans always fitting around #woofwoofwednesday. If I was away, I checked that hotels whilst on holiday had good wifi. I can remember sitting in a restaurant in San Diego hosting #woofwoofwednesday whilst at a networking event, having to explained to fellow female entrepreneurs what I was doing. I didn’t want them to think I was being super rude looking at my phone all the time.
Ensuring that I was consistent with hosting the Twitter chat week in, week out was super important as people knew I would be there hosting the Twitter chat hour. They didn’t have to second guess whether it would be on that week.
In 2016, I was advised by a business mentor to trademark Woof Woof Wednesday as at this point it was really taking off. Which I did and super glad I did. This gave me protection so that no one else could sell items, course, start anything with Woof Woof Wednesday on.
Some big celebrities, brands, radio shows and tv programmes were starting to join in; such at Google UK, Channel 4, MTV music, ITV This Morning, Pandora, Radio 6 Live, Sir Paul McCartney, Coronation Street, English Heritage, Krispy Kreme, The Times, to name a few off the top of my head. All fantastic exposure for the Twitter chat hour.
The greatest part of #woofwoofwednesday wasn’t about these large brands, celebrities or TV shows joining in, it was what was happening week in, week out. We were creating a community. A community that I was super proud to be apart of.
I have heard about friendships forming, support groups being set up, business collaborations, service swapping, meet ups, help and advice being exchanged and small business owners making money by joining in the Twitter chat.
One person who has been a regular for the past five years said that every time she joined in with the Twitter chat hour she made a sell. Yes, every single time and she was sat at home on her sofa making money! Where else can you do that apart from through a Twitter chat hour?
If you would like to know how to join in a Twitter chat hour, it’s super simple. Follow the steps below on how to join in:
1. Go to Twitter and in the search bar type in the hashtag for the hour
2. Click latest – this way you will see the latest tweets and not the top tweets
3. Tweet and don’t forget to include the twitter chat hour hashtag
After five years of running and hosting #woofwoofwednesday I have decided to have a break. It’s not easy and it does take a lot of work and energy, no matter how much you love it. It will be back one day, most likely in a slightly different format but hopefully with the same community spirit!
I highly recommend finding a Twitter chat hour for either your industry, niche or location or all three.
Have you joined in with a Twitter chat hour? What did you achieve from joining in?