One-Half Billion, as in “B,” Impressions at #DadChat

Category: Weekly Columns

#DadChat is going on two years old and I estimate that we garnered over 500,000,000 “impressions” in 2012. That estimate is likely lower than the reality since #DadChat has become more than a once-a-week hourly get together. Our hashtag is synonymous with parents and added to parent-centric tweets all the time, plus the community is always interacting. It’s a beautiful thing. NOTE: I just did an actual count, using each week’s transcript numbers from and the actual number for all of 2012 is 682,000,000 .

Guy Kawasaki was our co-host and this was perhaps one of the biggest hours on Twitter ever!

Our average numbers for our weekly one-hour Thursday evening #DadChat, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET, are 100-200+ participants, 1,200 or more tweets, and 10,000,000+ impressions. Interspersed throughout this column are stats from various of our chats. 1,200 tweets in one hour is one every 3 seconds.

If you add into the mix the numbers from 2010, the year that #DadChat began, we have likely topped 700,000,000 impressions since our inception; or roughly 1/10 of the world’s population. I actually believe the real number is closer to 1,000,000,000. I think that’s sort of impressive.

Hello Brands! Hello Community Managers! Hello Madison Avenue!

NOTE: #DadChat is a true labor of love for me. This post expresses my belief in the general value of #DadChat and the best Tweet Chats. I began #DadChat simply because I loved #blogchat and other chats and wanted to do one that focused on parents. I also wanted to do one “my way.” A chat that would be fun, funny, informative, diverse, crazy, and always entertaining. I wanted to create a world-wide community. We did. Now, there is the opportunity for brands/advertisers/marketers/Madison Avenue to join us. I will NEVER denigrate the community or #DadChat for a buck – thankfully, I don’t have to.

Tweet Chats that have the right demographic are the best and most economical way to reach YOUR audience. I’ve written about my frustration with brands NOT getting it (yet), but I’m convinced there are too many smart peeps working at the big and small companies that will fully embrace the broad spectrum of Social Media, especially the prominent Tweet Chats.

Ford sponsored #DadChat, as did Unreal Candy and soon a major ski area will come aboard. We’ve also done several fundraisers for charities, which I love to do since I strongly believe Social Media = Social Good.

Each of these brands realized that the #DadChat community — aka demographic — is THEIR demo and THEIR target audience. Plus, when they sponsor a good interactive chat, the tweets flow beyond the designated hour and allow for a good follow-up and potential conversion afterward.

Let’s compare what an advertising expense for a billboard does for a brand vs. sponsoring a relevant Tweet Chat. What does a billboard get the product/brand/company? Recognition, impressions, a glance? Prominent billboards cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.

What does a Tweet Chat get a product/brand/company? Interactivity, life beyond the chat itself, real connection, and it costs a fraction of a billboard.

Are YOU Paying Attention!

Let’s talk about “Impressions,” because I believe most people don’t get what they are. The billboard analogy is perfect because the “impressions” a billboard gets are much the same as the “impressions” a hashtag gets. Impressions for a billboard are simply the number of eyeballs – usually cars – that pass by. There is no way to know how many people make note of the billboard and, obviously, a billboard has limited-to-zero interactivity.

Impressions for a Tweet Chat are much the same. They are the number of potential viewers of all the tweets. How many actually read it? How many actually click on a link? Your guess is as good as mine. But, the opportunity for direct interaction and connection is there!

Then there are the so-called Twitter Parties. They are one-time events that brands have sort of embraced. They require excessive promotion since they do not have a built-in audience or “time-slot.” They also require incentives to attend – usually in the form of arbitrary giveaways. They work, but they miss the opportunity that an established Tweet Chat (NOT Party) offers.

I also rail against the established Twitter Party giveaway method. Who “wins” the giveaways at most of these parties and how do they win? It’s the lotto-method; completely by luck and arbitrary.

When #DadChat does a giveaway, I ask the participants to participate. I ask a question about the brand/product/book/person. The first correct answer wins. This brings numerous participants directly to the website of the sponsor/book/product. If they don’t “get it” right away, I offer a hint which is simply the link to the sponsor/book/product/person. This is interactivity. This is also fun.

#DadChat, October 13, 2012

The big difference that a Tweet Chat offers is that the particpant CAN click on a link. They can get to a company rep directly if a rep is present. They can save it, write it down, etc. It’s DIRECT. And, #DadChat provides a transcript so anyone can go back later to get any information or connections they missed.

Finally, for me and #DadChat, my ONLY interest in sponsors is when they fit into our community organically. And, when their participation is only tangentially the topic. So, when the afore-mentioned ski resort sponsors #DadChat, our topic will NOT be about their resort. It will be about winter-vacations or winter sports. We’ll give away ski passes or something else that the resort will provide, but the chat will be open and roam around the  topic. The resort is organic to the chat. The chat is the motivator and leader; not the sponsor. People then respect the chat AND the sponsor vs. it being shoved in their faces!

#DadChat, December 22, 2012

I believe with all my heart and soul, that advertising/sponsoring Tweet Chats will be the next big thing in marketing. It simply is too good. But, it is true.

Happy New Year everyone. How about skipping that $5 Starbucks latte and splurging $2.99 (for the Kindle on Amazon) or $2.79 for the PDF of my new e-book? Enjoy my own informercial for it! This e-book is really a virtual journey. It’s filled with 100 photos, 7 original videos, and links to many of the stops on the trip. Click on the book cover image below to find your purchase options: