Q & A sessions are a great way for businesses to connect with customers, investors, and prospective clients. With a well-designed Q & A session, you and your company have the ability to extend your reach further, touching folks and gaining customers who simply may have only shown passing interest before while strengthening the loyalty of long-standing clientele. GaggleAMP aims to harness these groups through the use of live Twitter Q & A sessions, and your social reach could see a substantial improvement with just one well executed Q & A! As with any endeavor, there are best practices that will result in the highest reward yield.

Plan the basics. Date, time, hashtag - these are all standard, and you’ll want to have them chosen first thing and well in advance so that you can market these details to gain the most traction. With a hashtag, you’ll cue users into the right mindset for marketing posts as well as for what to use when the Q & A session starts! For instance, #AskJohn or #AskB2B. Either way, pick something that will carry over into the session and that can be used ahead of time for marketing purposes.

Brainstorm potential questions. For instance, there may have been a recent fiasco or there may be a news story pertinent to your business. You can be sure that there will be many hard-hitting questions that you simply shouldn’t ignore. Brainstorm what these questions may be as well as a well-constructed yet not-too-stuffy response so you aren’t caught off-guard.

Market it! As with anything else, marketing appropriately can influence the success of your campaign. Utilize your chosen hashtag(s) well in advance of the session, and give users information on how the Q & A session works (so that they aren’t spending the first ten minutes of the session wading through directions or figuring out what they’re supposed to do). Set yourself up for success by preparing your audience. Don’t forget that you should market to all social media platforms! This is a great time to make use of your advocacy groups as moderators.

It’s GO TIME! The day of the event, market the start time. When the time comes, introduce yourself and tweet directions again to get everyone in the right mindset. If you have a topic for discussion, introduce that as well. As people start tweeting questions with your hashtag, use a period (.) before their username. This ensures that you’re broadcasting your answer to your entire Twitter population rather than just that user, as everyone will likely want to see what questions you’re answering! Don’t feel obligated to answer every question - pick a few that you find  most important or intriguing and go from there.

Wrap it up. Near the end of the session, start wrapping it up and thanking users who participated. Announce the next chat/time, and tweet your chat conclusions!

If you’re looking to solidify your new contact (which you should be), make use of your Twitter account and touch on subjects that users brought up most often. Share tweets with stakeholders and team members, and embed questions/answers in emails to your customers. Utilize information from the session to further promote your business.

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