At almost any given time, it seems, someone is hosting a Twitter chat somewhere.
That’s what it feels like, anyhow. Besides all the long-running standalone hashtag communities, such as #UsGuys and #SMGirlfriends and #MusicMonday (some of which have their own associated twitter chats), other communities gather together once a week or once a month to discuss specific topics, campaigns, issues, and other assorted interesting things.
Here's a look at the best chats for marketers.
#BizForum (Weekly, 8 p.m. Eastern, Wednesdays)
Recent topics have included: Risk, Rewards and Brand Apologies; Outsourcing: Good or Bad Business Strategy; and Crowdsourcing: ‘Failed Strategy’ for Biz. This is a weekly Twitter debate, as opposed to chat. The idea is to encourage respectful disagreement and get to all sides of the issue. So, yes, it’s a bit more argumentative, and it is probably not for those uncomfortable with expressing a strong opinion on the Internet. But it’s a great discussion of the business at hand in social.
#BlogChat (Weekly, 9 p.m. Eastern, Sundays)
Recent topics have included finding time to blog, keeping your blog secure, and how businesses, solopreneurs and startups can use blogging to grow their business. This is where bloggers go to chat about blogging. As a marketer who blogs (for yourself or your company), you’ll find invaluable tools and tips. As a marketer seeking to understand the concerns and issues bloggers have, you’ll find invaluable tools and tips. Did we mention the invaluable tools and tips?
#BrandChat (Weekly, 11 a.m. Eastern, Wednesdays)
Recent topics have included brands and stereotyping, brands and disasters, brands and not-for-profits. This chat gives participants a nice break mid-week to discuss the issues of the day with thoughtful and intelligent social branding minds. And if you are a top participant, you get a #Brandido baseball cap. Yes, I won one week. That’s not why they’re included.
#GetRealChat (Weekly, 9 p.m. Eastern, Tuesdays)
Recent topics have included: The Evolution of Marketing, Future of Social Media, and What CMOs need to know. This chat tends to have CMOs and other top leaders from enterprises, such as IBM, SAP, and Forrester Research. You’ll hear talk about trends and research, and the chat is squarely focused on the practice of marketing.
#IdeaChat (Monthly, 9 a.m. Eastern, second Saturday of the month)
This is not your typical Twitter chat, and not just because it’s monthly. It’s a Twitter chat and "salon" where the issue at hand is given a deep dive. May’s chat was "What Effect Does Having Your Idea Stolen Have on Your Creativity?” The chat brings out some really solid thinkers and is a bit more leisurely, given its weekend time slot.
#MediaChat (Weekly, 10 p.m. Eastern, Thursdays)
Recent topics have included Scheduling vs. Automation, the Future of Marketing, and How to Keep Your Followers Engaged on Twitter. MediaChat is something of an amalgam of everything. You’ll see folks from tools and platforms, social media professionals with opinions, and active chatters who have interesting insights. You will see guests here who are off the beaten path, and that’s nice. The community is active and the chats are worthwhile discussions.
#MobileChat (Weekly, 9 p.m. Eastern, Wednesdays)
Recent topics have included: mobile payments, customer loyalty programs, and mobile marketing---as well as the aforementioned co-chat with PinChat. Mobile isn’t even the next frontier… it’s where we are now. If you’re not marketing on mobile, you’re not marketing. MobileChat talks to a lot of companies that have apps doing interesting things in mobile---not just a game or a glorified RSS feed---but are bringing new aspects of business to the mobile realm.
#MyBlogGuest (Weekly, 11 a.m. Eastern, Thursdays)
Recent topics have included: How to Build Contacts with Bloggers through Great Content, How to Quote Without Hitting the Duplicate Content Filter, and the Art and Necessity of Using Subheadings. You might wonder why I include this chat, as it’s really not a marketing chat, even less so than BlogChat. Simply put, it’s because content marketing is pretty much The Next Big Thing, and guest blogging is at the heart of it. This is where to go to understand the rules and the guest blogging community.
#Pinchat (Weekly, 9 p.m. Eastern, Wednesdays)
Recent topics have included: Men and Pinterest, Pinterest Wins and Fails, and How Authors and Bloggers Can Use Pinterest. They co-chatted with #MobileChat last month, as well. This group of avid Pinterest fans discusses best practices, new uses and the latest tools for Pinterest, and highlight great examples of brand and personal use. If you have any interest in understanding how Pinterest can be used in your marketing efforts, this is where you need to be.
#SocialChat (Weekly, 9 p.m. Eastern, Mondays)
Recent topics have included: infographics, online reputation management, and the ROI of social media. As the name suggests, this chat is about the business of social media---more specifically, how businesses can make the most of its social channels and interactions there. Guests talk about different aspects of social and content each week.
#SWChat (Weekly, 4 p.m. Eastern, Thursdays)
Recent topics have included: a seven-part social business transformation series, enterprise social networks vs. email, and enterprise social etiquette. The “SW” in the chat name stands for “social workplace,” and the focus is on how social is transforming the workplace. This chat provides vital viewpoints for marketers who are trying to understand how social media is or isn’t being used in the enterprise.
#WGBiz (Monthly, 11:45 a.m. Eastern, second Monday of the month)
The only other monthly chat on the list, this chat is a part of the Web.com Women Grow Business community. The chat typically focuses on topics anyone in business or marketing can make use of, such as this month’s look at how businesses should build up a storytelling and speech war chest. Different experts each month come on to discuss an issue in-depth, usually with many questions added on the fly by guests to the chat. It’s a lively and thoughtful community.