Hosting a Tweet Up. DO’s and DONT’s

Each month, Ask Big Questions releases a new Big Question on their website. In addition, they prepare a curriculum guide for those who are interested in facilitating conversations.

“Big Questions” are concerned with the topics that matter to all of us, regardless of our religious traditions, cultural heritage, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and personal or political beliefs. Together, through these conversations, we can understand each other, understand ourselves, and make the world a better place.

We wanted to think creatively about how we could use Social Media to promote the release of the next Big Question. We came up with the idea to plan a Tweet Up online where we promote the release of the next Question and use the has tag #AskBigQuestions. If you clicked on the hash tag, you would have access to everyone who is responding to the Question and could reply. Each time a new question is released, we send an email to our contact list and direct them to the conversation guide.

The idea was to release the Question on twitter  simultaneously with the email method we have already been using. There was also a blurb in the email about the Tweet Up.  

“Contribute your own reflections in the comments section of askbigquestions.org or during our Tweet Up.  Share your answer to “What have you learned so far?” and reply to others too! The Tweet Up Starts at 12pm EST today on Twitter. Join the conversation by using the hash tag #AskBigQuestions.  We look forward to hearing from you.”

DO # 1

 We have a great relationship online with @WhereDoYouGive and I Tweeted at them, among others, to see if they would help us “host” a Tweet Up. The language I used could have been chosen more strategically.

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DON’T # 1

My purpose for Tweeting at them was not for them to “host” something, but to ask them to promote it on Twitter. I should have asked, “Would you be interested in getting the word out about our Tweet Up? Although I chose the wrong language, they still obliged and posted something. You’ll notice that their Tweet was RT’d as well (which is always nice).

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DO # 2

Think creatively how you can get the word out about your Tweet Up. The Tweet Up was scheduled for May 1st at 12pm EST and we promoted it like wild fire. We tweeted at people, had a daily countdown, and posted about the Tweet Up as many ways possible.

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Don’t #2

I tried to promote it as if we were releasing a record and it was dropping on May 1st. Our goal was to have as many people as possible responding to others while using the hash tag #AskBigQuestions. The mistake that we made is that it wasn’t clear that people should be responding to one another. There were a handful of those that got excited about the release of the next Big Question, but the AskBigQuestions Twitter account was the only one doing the responding by and large.

DO # 3

Define your version of a Tweet Up. A Tweet Up can also be known as using Twitter to meet up offline, which is why it may have been confusing. We wanted to bring the conversation to Twitter, but it was just a one way conversation and not a two way conversation.

After promoting the Tweet Up for a week, Tweeting at people inviting them to come, mentioning it in our email and thinking creatively, we only jumped in followers by 3. This brings up an important question. Are the number of followers you have important or is the depth of the engagement a better metric? Although we didn’t gain thousands of new followers and have #AskBigQuestions trend on Twitter, we still made an impact on those that did participate.


What did we learn? 

1. It may take longer then a week to promote the Tweet Up

2. Have strategic partners that know the premise of your Tweet Up so they can aid you in your goal.

3. Instead of using the Tweet Up to release the Big Question, we could release the Question one or two days earlier, give time for people to prepare their answer and promote the Tweet Up later.

4. Make sure that people know to search for the hash tag #AskBigQuestions and reply to others to increase the buzz in addition to responding themselves.

5. Those that participated had insightful things to say and we hope they got something out of it.

With this being the first Ask Big Questions Tweet Up, I would say it was a success. It laid the ground work to have a Tweet Up for each Big Question and now we have a sense on how to prepare people on how to participate in the future.

Stay tuned for the release of the next Big Question and have your responses ready for the next Tweet Up!