Author Archives: Malhar Barai

About Malhar Barai

An author, speaker, blogger and digital media strategist, at my day job I work on devising and executing various digital media campaigns. I usually blog about content strategy, social media platforms, product reviews and tricks to ace Social Media. Let's collaborate over @MalharBarai (Twitter) and other platforms.

Blogging in 2021 – Will it survive?

Blogging is dead.

No one reads blogs now.

You should invest in Vlog instead.

Don’t we hear these all the times? Do you think blogging in 2021 will still be relevant? Will it survive?


It’s more than a decade that I have been writing blogs and almost every year I keep hearing about demise of blog.

The doomsday prediction never seem to cease but here we are, in 2021 and I can still say, blogs will be relevant.

Then what changes for blogging in 2021?

The reader.

The way you write.

The way you represent.

The reader? What has changed?

What about it? The demography is changing. No more is the reader just someone who is in a tier-1 city but they are much beyond that.

We are truly catering to global citizens and they could be sitting anywhere in the world.

They are also consuming in various different devices, so it not just the desktop you are serving into.

And they want to read but the content has to be ‘snackable’.

What is ‘snackable’ content?

Quick to consume.

Easily readable.

Easily understandable.

Listicles ruled the content world. We were inundated with content that started with – ‘Top 5’, ‘x ways’ and so on…

I was also guilty of putting content that way and it succeeded as well. So much that we also had a nice website called where many of us crowdsourced lists. Fun way to do it, eh!!

The advantage of ‘Snackable’ content is that it breaks even a large blog into simple, understandable piece which readers find it easy to consume.

So how do you write it?

Listicles are passe or so to say.

Instead, content writers can look into breaking information into multiple pieces.

“Stop writing long paragraphs”

Exactly, write shorter sentences. Divide them into multiple lines so that its easy for readers to consume.

Also, avoid jargons. While jargons can make you feel smart, the average reader will appreciate simple language.

Other than that, write in a style that answers readers question.

How can content be understandable?

This goes back to the basics of SEO, understanding how people are searching for content.

Because you want that in not only understandable by people but also search engines.

As most often, that is where the reader’s journey might start.

There are quite a lot of tools available now that will help you analyse reader’s intent and how they search – simplest one is the Google search suggestions.

eg. below show what and how people are searching

redefining seo - google search

So write content that starts with a question and try to answer the question with your content.

Cover the basics of the problem and then move towards a solution.

Wherever possible, offer in-depth solution to the problem statement.

What is true now is – there is no place for crappy content.

Individuals and brands alike should invest time and resources on having good content, it should not be an afterthought.

Blogging just like in yesteryears will enable you to –

  1. position you as thoughtleader
  2. make you think better (it helps to structure my thoughts)
  3. enables to improve your search engine rankings (SEO is still the game you need to play)

2021 may not be a gamechanging year for blogging but as content creator, we all will have to change the way we blog.

It will survive, yet another year…

Happy New Year and happy blogging!!

Google Introduces Web Stories [New Feature]

Google Web Stories

If Instagram can have Stories, Twitter can have Fleets why should Google be left behind. So here we have, Google’s own version – Web Stories.

From creative perspective, it is not different from any other platforms like Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter (am waiting when Linkedin will announce it).

So what we have is a nice vertical, full-screen experience. Brands leveraging Web Stories have option to create visual narration which visitors can tap and scroll through.

According to John Mueller in the recently released video, it will allow users to create bite-sized informational content directly on the website.

Let’s try to dig a little deeper.

What is Google Web Stories?

Web Stories are not actually new, they were previously AMP Stories.

Indeed, they are built on AMP framework of Google so each of them are in HTML form (for the techies) and give visitors a full-screen experience on mobile devices.

According to Google

Web Stories immerse your readers in fast-loading full-screen experiences. Easily create visual narratives, with engaging animations and tappable interactions. The Web Story format (formerly known as AMP Stories) is free and part of the open web and are available for everyone to try on their websites. They can be shared and embedded across the web without being confined to a closed ecosystem or platform.

Web Stories provide content publishers with a mobile-focused format for delivering news and information as visually rich, tap-through stories. Web Stories offers a robust set of advertising opportunities for advertisers and publishers to reach a unique audience on the web with immersive experiences.

As a content marketer, it would be a good addition to your content marketing strategy and going forward it could play an important part in ranking on SERP.

Other Advantages of Web Stories

Apart from the advantages of better ranking (which is yet to be seen), you will also have an early mover advantage. There are few other business benefits –

  1. Visually rich content on SERP, Google Images, Discovery, Google Ads
  2. Ability to integrate Google Ads
  3. Linkable Stories and thus you can have affiliate links
  4. Faster loading as they are built on AMP

How can you create Web Stories

There are couple of ways that you can create stories for your site –

  1. WordPress Plugin
  2. amp-stories Object

If you have a WordPress website, it is quite easy as you can just install the web stories plugin.

Once installed, you can use it to create stories on your own using the images, text & link features of the plugin.

Sneak peek at the plugin –

And the output –

NOTE: The plugin is still in beta, so you might experience some challenges at times.

Though if you’re technically inclined, Google has created the ‘Getting Started‘ guide.

You will need local implementation (on your system) of –

  • Web Server
  • Local Python Server
  • Apache
  • nginx

They have also provided various examples & templates that you can use to create your first web stories.

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you think web stories is a good addition to the Google ecosystem?
  2. Is the ‘Stories’ ecosystem already crowded?
  3. Will Web Stories affect Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat growth?

Demise of 3rd Party Data – What can marketers do?

demise of 3rd party data

Earlier this year, Google announced that it is working on a privacy sandbox that will make 3rd party data or in layman’s term ‘cookies’ obsolete in next 2 years.

Apple then went a notch higher and announced that Safari browser is now fully blocking 3rd party data.

Over the years, marketers of all hues have relied on these cookies for various activities including but not limited to – showing contextual ads, retargeting and targeting, understanding user behaviour and more.

According to the post released earlier by Google – 

“Users are demanding greater privacy–including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used–and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands. Some browsers have reacted to these concerns by blocking third-party cookies, but we believe this has unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem.”

To understand the implications, let’s first see what 3rd Party Data is.

Understanding 3rd Party Data

It is a piece of data that is created by domain other than the ones you’re visiting. Most often these innocuous looking cookies collect the browser usage patterns.

The data thus collected is shared with ad providers for targeting/retargeting of ads or content.

The best example to explain this is – imagine you’re visiting an ecommerce site and clicked on a certain product. You might have been just researching about the product and didn’t buy it.

Now you move to any other site and voila, you see the same or similar product ad is shown to you.

That is 3rd party cookies/data at work.

While visiting the first site, another domain collected your data of the page that was seen and now when you move between to other site, the same has relied on those cookies to share related content to you.

What is happening now?

In the battle between browsers, the vendors have realized the importance of privacy. Many users were often deleting cookies for better experience (read they were afraid of being spied on).

At the same time, with the onset of GDPR and CCPA, there has been close scrutiny on cookie usage.

So browsers have no choice but to comply with some the rulings of these bodies.

What we now is browsers trying to offer users best privacy measures. Safari & Mozilla announced that they are already blocking the 3rd party cookies but on other hand we are also seeing Google Chrome taking a phased approach.

I believe there’s a lot at stake for Google compared to the other two browsers. With its ad platform, Google over the years has relied on data for serving ads that are relevant to the readers by leveraging 3rd party data.

Completely stopping would make it tough for them and over next two years, they will try to create a viable alternative to still be able to serve contextual ads. 

What can marketers do?

Without sounding too technical these platforms are relooking at classifying the users for better targeting.

Marketers will have to look at how each browsers will be treating user data and align future targeting strategies. But in the meantime, they can start working on –

  1. Creating keyword-based content – It won’t be back to keyword stuffing but marketers would have to create content using context keywords for effective consumption
  2. Intelligent automation – How can you pass on data between your marketing automation tools and orchestrate relevant campaigns

Remember, everyone is grappling with the changes so I believe that at some point each of the vendors will arrive at a common ground on how to treat 3rd party data but in the meantime, we need to start finding ways to make marketing work better.

Your thoughts?

  1. Have you used 3rd Party data?
  2. What workaround are you trying to build?
  3. Is this a good move from the browsers?

Facebook Introduces Knowledge Panel

facebook knowledg panel

Is Facebook entering the search engine game?? Last week, we saw discussions around Facebook introducing knowledge panel as part of it’s the search function.

But before we go there, for the non-SEO folks let’s understand knowledge panels a bit.

What are Knowledge Panels

They are the small boxes that you have seen while you do a search on Google.

They are created automatically and Google pulls out information from various sources to show information on the side panel or the knowledge panel.

It will also have links from popular places like Youtube, Websites, etc which will give more information to readers.

Google Knowledge Panel is usually displayed for brands, personalities, place, things, etc.

AB Google Knowledge Panel

How It Helps Users

The only way knowledge panels help user is that it provides a quick snapshot of the person, place or other similar entity.

The reader does not have to click further to gather information but can have a quick glance. If they are more interested, then there are links to various sites.

What Is Facebook Knowledge Panel

Just like Google, a recent search on Facebook showed us a panel on the right. The panel contained more information of the entity.

Though there was one major difference, the information on Facebook Knowledge panel was sourced from Wikipedia and no other links were present apart from Instagram.

AB Facebook Knowledge Panel

Why Does Facebook Need Knowledge Panel

For this I have 2 theories –

1. Increase time on site

Like every platform, time on the site is one of the most important factors for profitability.

More time on site will allow platforms to know more about the user preference and enable them to show relevant ads. It will also allow platforms to serve content appropriately.

Also it will allow all the entities that are being searched, one more avenue to position their brand

2. Building Facebook’s Authority

We all know what Cambridge Analytica did to Facebook and since then it was also forced to discontinue the Graph Search.

Adding knowledge panel will also them to gain the trust back on the platform’s ability to serve as a good search tool.

Also, by having information from Wikipedia, there are less chances that users will dispute the information and there by increasing authority of Facebook’s search function.

Your Thoughts?

Do you think having knowledge panel on Facebook search will help users to search more?

Will it help improve time on the site?

Any other reason you think Facebook has introduced knowledge panel, do share with us on the #SEOTalk Facebook Group.

How To Make Content Marketing Work in Covid World


Every brand that we know of is trying to break the clutter and come up with a content marketing strategy in the Covid as well as post-Covid world.

Is it easy??

Of course not! Remember, we were already staring at too-much content world and suddenly the current situation was hurled at us. Most of us marketers had created plans for the next 6 months, if not a year and much of that has hit a pause.

The challenge now is, all of us have gone back to the drawing board and are rewriting our content strategy to align with the “new normal” (we have heard that enough, haven’t we).

Do we know what will work? Yes, Maybe, No…Very few will say ‘yes’ though.

Based on what I have learnt so far, here are the top 4 ways you can work out your content marketing strategies.

4 Content Marketing Tactics for Covid

Communicate Clearly

It is more important than ever to choose your words carefully.

Brands have to clearly share their purpose and steps they are taking to tackle the current situation.

Readers are not keen to hear about big promises, they are looking for action and how you are co-creating for a larger good.

The recent ad by Nike was a good example of how clear communication. The message stands out with a clear call to action – Play For The World.

If you notice, the entire ad has no sales message but it’s about the larger cause about how they sympathise with people across the globe.

Build Empathy

Empathy is the key to success of any brand, irrespective of your business being B2C or B2B. The end-user is still a human!!

How are you building empathy with your users?? And not just them, what about your own employees too?

The best example I came across in recent time was of Starbucks. The CEO, Kevin Johnson last month wrote to their 200,000+ employees across the globe.

He start right sharing some of the impacts of current situations with the statement – “the loss of life, feelings of isolation and loneliness, concerns about health and fears of economic uncertainty”

What stood out on ’empathy’ factor was –

Not all decisions are financial, and in a crisis like this, they must be secondary to the health and well-being of our partners and customers.

~Kevin Johnson

In just couple of lines, he stated that employee and customer well-being was his priority.


As marketers, we love EVENTS!!

The grandeur, the synchronization of various teams and all things around, it is every marketers dream to be part of.

Physical events were an integral part of awareness and lead-generation campaigns, especially for B2B brands.

But with Covid situation, the physical events have taken a long pause and most of us are scratching our heads on what would be the best way to keep our audience, partners, prospects and customers engaged.

And so the need to innovate!

Folks are already inundated with virtual events and so innovation on your approach and content strategy will be the key.

Virtual meetings is just not about having speakers join on Zoom, Webex, Teams or similar platform. Marketers have to start leveraging technology and explore platforms to drive more interactions.

Content has to be planned in a way that it shouldn’t become a monologue but have polls, Q&A and other gamification strategies.

Measure KPIs

Make KPIs your friend!!

We are in a period that marketing dollars are hard to come by, so you need to make every spend count.

Equally important is to ask, will measuring the same KPIs that you previously had work?

I believe that at this point, instead of looking at quantitative KPIs the focus should be on qualitative KPIs.

So it’s is important to measure –

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Customer/Employee satisfaction

Some of the best examples of these are your customer or employee testimonials. Just getting a little selfish there, here’s a great testimonial we received at my organization Tech Mahindra

Your thoughts?

What according to you are the best content strategies during the current times. What works and what should brands NOT DO.

How Will Hiding Likes On Instagram Affect Influencers and Brands?

hiding likes on instagram

Instagram has recently announced that it is testing a new interface across few more countries where it will be hiding likes.

instagram hiding likes announcement

What that actually means is that the number of likes on your feed will go away but you will still have access to know who have liked it. So if one has patience, they can still count the number of people on that list.

The announcement though has caught the attention of brands and influencers who relied on public ‘like’ count to showcase their strength on the platform.

How Hiding Likes On Instagram Affects Influencers?

Many of the brands would always have at least a customary look at followers and the number of likes on posts of influencers.

With this move, influencers will lose one of the key metrics of validation of their clout.

Few of them, as we in marketing would know, have invested in creating a farm of ‘likes’ (group of individuals who will like each others post). And now that entire effort would go in vain.

On the other hand, many of them would start investing in creating good content, which actually is the objective of this move by Instagram.

Additionally, they will start investing in Ads, to ensure that their content appears in front of the right audience and that is advantage Instagram.

If we have to recap, hiding likes on Instagram for influencers would mean –

  • Loss of one key metric
  • More focus on creating quality content
  • Spending in ads to reach & engage with the right audience

How Hiding Likes On Instagram Affects Brands

Even from a brand’s perspective, it was one of the easiest metrics to know the ‘influence’ of the individuals apart from the follower count (while I have my own reservation on like & followers)

But now brands and agencies will have to look beyond the vanity metrics and focus more on the engagement they are getting. So we will see more focus on engagement the posts are getting rather than just the number of likes.

Brands will also start to focus on other important metrics like impression vs engagement, impression vs save, etc

The conversation among marketers would be more aligned to ‘how do we get more engagement’ compared to ‘how do we get more likes’.

And just like ‘influencers’, brands will also start to invest more in ads to ensure they catch the attention of the target audience.

Summing up, hiding likes on new interface for brands would mean –

  • Focus on other key metrics
  • More creative ways of organic reach
  • Investment in Ads

But in the new world order where the focus should be more on quality of content and not the follower or likes, would the number of likes really matter?

What is your take?

Beyond Keywords – Redefining SEO Strategy In 2019

redefining seo strategy in 2019Last year, I had asked few fellow SEO Rockstars about their SEO Strategy in 2018. Most of the answers included a focus on doing Voice SEO.

As we almost reach the end of first quarter of 2019, I am again inclined to look at how things have changed – Google introducing Mobile First indexing, more voice-based searches, content quality updates and more.

With all of these, to me, it seems that slowly and steadily we are moving beyond keywords to more interaction inducing content driven by voice searches, voice-based devices and contextual search patterns. The search engines also are maturing and giving preference to more semantic Q&A form content.

Redefining SEO Strategy

Before redefining the SEO strategy, let’s take a step back and see how it was usually done so far.

  1. Most writers would have a topic idea and they would then feed into keyword research tools like GSC or
  2. They will find the popularity of certain keywords and phrases
  3. Write content with those keywords

In most instances, this method would work very well but with contextual and voice-based search gaining popularity, many of them would have to make few changes in their strategy to still rank better.

1. Contextual Search

To give an example, I just searched for ‘How to make Christmas..’ and Google popped with various options.

redefining seo - google search

See how well it has contextualized my search and is giving options around the various things people associate with when they search for Christmas.

In another example of how well it gets contextualized, one more search on ‘Restaurants’. Here Google has even looked at my location and nearby areas. So it’s more ‘contextual’ & ‘local’ also.

redefining seo - restaurants near me

So in 2019, is your SEO strategy aligned to have your site show when search can happen this way?

2. Q&A Style Content

If you looked at the example above when I was searching for ‘Christmas’, we saw various search patterns.

The next part of your strategy should be, how well your content appears for that kind of search pattern.

Given that, we have nearly 50% of search happening via voice, where people are keen to ask a ‘question’ and search for results, it is imperative as brands to create content that would answer questions.

Few years back, I had written a post on Google Hummingbird Update, which talked about how you need to write content that answers 5 W’s & H – Who, Why, Where, What, When & How.

In the years, after that update, we saw few brands like Buzzfeed leveraging it quite well, with listicles that had content answering those questions. And we all know how successful they were!!

redefining seo - buzzfeed

The final part and this again is more of on-page, how well are you leveraging featured snippets.

3. Optimizing for Featured Snippets

For starters, if you’re not aware of featured snippets, it is the information that is displayed at top of any Google results in a box.

redefining seo - featured snippet

While there’s no guarantee that your content will appear here, but there are ways you can and you SHOULD optimize your content for featured snippet or rank 0.

Joshua Hardwick from Ahrefs had a nice video around how you can optimize content and try to rank for position 0.

Believe these 3 simple tactics will go a long way to help you rank better as we move beyond keywords in the search engine world.


Redefining SEO Strategy can indeed go beyond these few steps but one can start with them and build on the larger strategy.

One strategy which I have recommended over years and still holds true is – write for human beings not search engines and you will always rank better.

Your Turn

  1. Have you implemented those strategies?
  2. What has worked for you best?

Twitter Trends – Why they are Irrelevant

Why Twitter Trends are Irrelevant

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Twitter Trends are Important
  3. Why Twitter Trends are Irrelevant
  4. Can we Save Twitter Trends

Twitter Trends have been an integral part of Twitter since the day they were introduced. There was always a sense of achievement when one saw their hashtag or term trending on Twitter.

AFAIK, Twitter had introduced them with an intention to ensure that content around specific topic could be easily discovered and people can know what is going on across the Twitterverse.

Before I delve into why Twitter Trends are irrelevant, let us understand the importance of Twitter Trends.

Why Twitter Trends are Important

1. For focused conversations

One of the oft-used term is – On Social Media it is important to be ‘social’ which means brands and people have to keep engaging.

Twitter Trends helped to keep that engagement focused. People & brands keep using hashtags or particular term based on a topic to talk about things and exchange thoughts.

One of the best use cases we have seen so far is people leveraging it during calamities and sports events thus enabling the message to spread far and wide ensuring deeper engagement.

2. For Discoverability

While helping brands and people engage over certain topics or events using a hashtag/terms, they are also one of the best ways to ensure your content is easily discovered.

You can easily use the ‘Search’ feature of Twitter to discover content under certain hashtags or terms and start engaging. Remember not all things make it to Twitter Trends and it needs certain amount of engagement to make it to the list.

But Why Hashtags are Irrelevant

Sometime back on my Facebook, I had put out an update telling the world how happy I was to see Twitter Trends on that day.

On that day in particular, I had hardly seen any ‘politically’ driven trend.

Now if you’re like me and love Twitter more than any other platform and also like to discover and engage in meaningful conversations, you would have noted the fall in quality of trends over last few years.

Most of the times today, the trends are being dominated by political conversations who ‘supposedly’ employ an army of people with dubious accounts and sometimes ‘bots’ to drive conversations.

Little do they know that they are just adding to the meaningless noise and the platform will turn into a mess over time reducing the dependence on it thus driving people away. And lesser the number of people, harder will it be for them to reach the targeted audience.

So over time, Twitter Trends could become irrelevant and folks like me will have no trust in them since we know they have been fabricated.

Here’s a funny take on how Twitter Trends become irrelevant.

Source –

Needless to say, I saw folks immediately commenting that they are happy too seeing not ‘political’ trend.

Can we Save Twitter Trends?

Can we?? Really I am asking that?? Is it really possible to have a ‘saner’ version of Twitter Trends?

I would say, the first responsibility lies with Twitter. They will have to devise ways and means to make Twitter Trends ‘cleaner’. They will have to start weeding out fake accounts, bots and also control the kind of content that goes out on its platform. Tough task since they are an ‘open’ platform, but somewhere certain lines have to be drawn.

The second and most important stakeholder is us. Can we expect our clan to behave ‘responsibly’? Sometime back I had written – ‘Social Media was supposed to bring the world closer’ but what we see is the exact opposite of that. Can WE start reporting to Twitter, any content that we find ‘offensive’? The degree of getting ‘offensive’ might differ with each individual but then I expect many of us to know what really is ‘good’ for us and the world.

Can we really do that?? Do give a try and let me know

How PayPal is assisting Freelancers Everywhere to Get MORE out of their Efforts

How PayPal is assisting FreelancersFew weeks ago, I had written about how Paypal has been helping freelancers like us.

After that article, I had received queries on PayPal’s suite of services and what kind of features I have been using.

But before I delve into that, let me share what freelancing is and what are some of the typical challenges. And how Paypal helps in overcoming them.

Who are Freelancers? An Indian context

When I started, freelancing as we see today, hardly existed. People would study hard and get a job in government or private/listed companies.

But with the advent of the internet and IT jobs, we saw people especially like us taking up gigs of creating websites, logos, etc. early on.

The next wave I could say was writing content for websites and in about 2010, we saw the advent of freelancing, made more popular by social media.

Freelancing, as we know it today, has turned mainstream. If statistics are to be believed, we have over 15 million freelancers in India today and nearly 4 in 5 get international projects. Also, nearly 49 % get projects through word of mouth or freelancer platforms.

Challenges and How Paypal helps?

Ask any freelancer about their biggest challenge, and one of them would be billing and payments. Even today, nearly 61% of freelancers face issues with payments.

In my experience though, Paypal was one of the best choices I ever made as a freelancer and today nearly 74% of freelancers have a PayPal account.

The biggest help after that was that I could have my own invoices designed on the platform and send them directly from there.

The best part of this service is, all the invoices and payments are under Paypal Seller Protection Policy.

paypal freelancers invoice

As freelancers, we have often faced customers who raise false charges citing products not received or services not delivered. The Seller Protection Policy helps a lot in such cases.

It helps you dispute the claims and holds the party responsible in case payments are not carried out. A reasonable justification along with proof of work – easily helps to sort these issues at the freelancer’s end.

This kind of support pushes freelancers to seek more work and empowers them to earn more through more business opportunities.

Another challenge is receiving payments. For freelancers like us, who work with folks across multiple countries, handling payments in different currencies is quite challenging.

That’s where Paypal helps quite well. It gives them flexibility in accepting payments from international clients.

The option of creating your own Paypal.Me link makes it one of the easiest ways to accept payments. Share the link with your client and you’re done.

paypalme malhar

It help’s quite a lot when you are doing business on messenger or Skype. For one of the services, I am also incorporating the link in my messenger bot. As easy as, ask for service, pay me via the link and voila! Money’s in the account.

Having my PayPal.Me link has also given my services a unique identity and one that is synonymous with my clients and community alike.

The another and the most important feature that is helpful when you’re a freelancer or even bootstrapped is the ability to transfer money to your account DAILY with no MINIMUM amount. This feature is quite helpful as you have access to your money at the touch of a button.

As one can see, PayPal assists freelancers in earning more through global opportunities and its tie-ups with freelancer networks, eventually increasing the size of their digital footprint in the world. This success catapults into increasing body of work and provides for more growth for the freelancers. There is also more security and more convenience, which further increases a freelancer’s confidence when going global. For PayPal, it is always about more, about going the extra mile.

In the #EarnMoreWithPayPal campaign, freelancers who sign-up with PayPal, stand to make up to Rs. 1500 on the earning they accept, using PayPal.

What are you waiting for?? If you still do not have a Paypal account, it’s time that you make one!

8 Evident Benefits of Participating in Twitter Chat

benefits of participating in twitter chat

If you haven’t participated in a Twitter Chat yet, then you are certainly missing out on something.

It is one of the fastest ways to expand your community and get in touch with leading influencers. Not only will it keep you updated with the ongoing trends, but will also expand your presence on Twitter.

These are only a few benefits of Twitter chats. To help you understand it in a comprehensive way, we have come up with this informative post. Read on to learn the basics of Twitter chat and how you can make the most of it.

Twitter Chat 101

Also known as tweetchat, it is a seamless way to communicate on Twitter while including a certain hashtag in the tweet. Usually, the host organizes a chat by letting others know about the topic, designated hashtag, and the time for the chat. Later, users can discuss the subject by including the anchor hashtag. A Twitter chat can also host various guests, experts, and influencers at times.

It is so much more than a basic Q&A as users can talk to experts, discuss the respective topic, exchange ideas, and do so much more by using the designated hashtag. There are lots of ongoing, weekly, and monthly tweetchats as well that are organized on Twitter.

Beforehand, you should learn how to participate in a Twitter chat. For instance, you should only join chats that are related to your domain. Furthermore, you should do some research regarding the topic (and the guest) as well. This will help you get accustomed to it and you would be well prepared.

The Benefits of Participating in Twitter Chats

From boosting the reach of your content to getting in touch with your leads – Twitter Chat can help you in more ways than you can imagine. Here are some of its key benefits:

1. Getting exposed to a whole new audience!

This is probably one of the main reasons why so many users like to participate in tweetchats. It helps them get in touch with a diverse range of audience without any trouble.

To start with, you can get to know about an upcoming or ongoing Twitter chat. Later, you can simply introduce yourself while including its hashtag. You can directly start a conversation as well with the host or any other user. Just be polite and you would certainly feel welcomed.

Though, you might need to participate in a handful of chats related to your domain to see a long-term impact.

2. Staying updated and learning new things

Mostly, every Twitter chat is quite informative. If you want to know what’s in and what’s not regarding your domain, then you should actively join a few Twitter chats. In this way, you would be able to learn from the experts and get your queries resolved instantly.

If you want to be the next viral thing in your industry, then you need to be at the top of your game. This is exactly where Twitter chats can help you. For instance, if you are associated with social media marketing, then you should definitely participate in Hootsuite’s #Hootchat. It actively hosts Twitter chats about some of the latest topics related to social media that would certainly be of a great help to you.

3. Boosting the reach of your content

You should be extremely cautious while sharing your own content on a Twitter chat. It should not come out as self-promotional at all. In order to do so, you should learn how to draft tweets like a pro. The good thing is that while participating in a Twitter chat, you can share your content – as long as it is relevant to the topic and would provide value to others.

In this way, you would be able to expose your content to your audience without spamming. If the tweetchat is active and your content would be appreciated by others, then it can certainly give it a major boost. You never know – it might end up trending on social media as well.

Here’s a simple example of how you can share your content to a tweetchat without being self-promotional.

4. Get more Twitter followers

After being active in a few Twitter chats and having an impressive presence, you will certainly be noticed by others. If you can ask the right questions with a positive attitude, then you would be able to win over your audience for sure. The more people will notice you, the more followers you are going to get.

By being an active part of some popular Twitter chats, your profile visits and link clicks will also increase. All of it will lead to a better presence on Twitter.

5. Improving your brand’s authority

We all know how Twitter can be used for branding, marketing, monitoring, etc. Though, it might surprise you on how you can work on your brand’s authority while participating in popular tweetchats. By sharing your experience with others and helping them resolve a few queries, you can certainly come out as a leading player in the game.

Compared to your competitors, you would have a better presence on Twitter. Not just that, you would have a faithful base of followers, whom you have gained after sharing your informative content. For instance, if your brand is related to design and user experience, then you can participate in #uxchat and help others with your groundbreaking ideas and expertise.

After participating in a few chats, you can choose to host a Twitter chat as well to build your brand’s authority even more.

6. Work on brand awareness

Who doesn’t like to have a prominent brand presence on social media?

Though, it can be a tiresome job to have an evident presence on Twitter. It might surprise you, but over 500 million tweets are posted per day on this gigantic social media platform. Needless to say, it is quite easy to get lost in so much noise.

If you wish to work on brand awareness, then you should actively participate in a few chats. The more other users talk about your brand, the more impact it would have.

7. Communicate with experts and influencers

Twitter chat is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to get in touch with industry-related influencers and experts. A lot of tweetchats host domain-specific guests. For instance, you can see how Madalyn often has experts as guests for her #TwitterSmarter chat.

After joining the chat, you can talk to them and ask a few related questions. This will help you get into an engaging conversation with them. Even after the chat is over, you can talk to them and build a lasting relationship. In the end, this can help you work on your influencer marketing campaign as well.

8. Get in touch with prospective leads

Most importantly, it can help you get in touch with more leads and prospective customers. You can get to know about other users who are related to your domain and would be benefited by your product.

Instead of directly letting them know about your product, you can make your presence count and let them discover it themselves. Later, they can get in touch with you if they have any question.

For instance, if you are a brand that manufactures home equipment and furniture that is safe for kids, then you should look for a tweetchat like this. It will help you get in touch with parents who would be benefited from your products.

Tools to make the most of any Twitter chat

After learning the benefits of Twitter chats, let’s quickly discuss a few tools that can help you in different ways.

1. Tweetdeck

Originally an independent app, it was later acquired by Twitter. It provides different decks (timelines) that can help you access your Twitter account, messages, activities, and more in one place. Besides that, it can also be used to manage multiple accounts or schedule your posts.

With Tweetdeck, you can easily participate in a Twitter chat by accessing all the activities on a real-time basis. It also has a Chrome extension and mobile app, which makes it one of the best Twitter tracking tools as well.


2. Twubs

If you are interested in joining industry-specific Twitter chats, then Twubs would be a perfect tool for you. In a nutshell, it is a directory of ongoing and upcoming Twitter chats that you can look for. It has a separate section for “Twitter Chat Schedule” that can help you search the schedule of all the upcoming chats. Additionally, you can also post about your own chat on the platform as well to get more traction.


3. Socialert

Socialert is another useful tool that can be used to look for upcoming chats. You can perform social media listening using Socialert and track certain keywords and hashtags on the basis of different parameters. In this way, you can search for particular tweetchats that are related to your domain. Additionally, you can use it to quantify the reach and impressions of your own hashtags as well. The tool can also help you perform brand monitoring, competitor analysis, and to use Twitter for marketing, sales, and branding.

We are sure that after getting to know about these amazing tools, you would be able to make the most of any Twitter chat. Now when you know the benefits of participating in tweetchats, you should definitely make an effort and join more domain-related chats in the future. If you have earlier participated in a Twitter chat and would like to share your experience with our readers, feel free to drop a comment below.

This was a guest post by Pankaj Narang, co-founder of Socialert.