Why YOUR Company/Brand Should Sponsor #DadChat aka The Difference Between a #Twitter Party and a TweetChat

Category: Social Media Social Good Series


The Twitter Party began as a great new marketing tool in Social Media. It’s morphed into an infomercial. Whereas companies seek to actually engage with customers, the Twitter Party is pretty much about swag. It’s about getting something for nothing. It’s NOT about a topic that has general interest that is related to the sponsoring company/brand. But, a Tweet Chat sponsorship is all that and more. And, #DadChat offers the best demographics available on Twitter.

Let’s analyze the difference between a Twitter Party and a Tweet Chat because they are NOT the same. A Twitter Party is a one-time event. It is usually scheduled during the daytime and it is all about the sponsor and what they’re pushing. It is no different than any commercial in any other form of advertising.

My favorite WHAT IF example is if Huggies came out with a new bubble-gum “flavored” (smelling) diaper. They might want to do a Twitter Party. So, they’d go to two prominent mom bloggers and ask them to host the party for X-dollars. They’d have them set up a sign-up page for participants to win one of the twenty boxes of bubble-gum diapers they’ll give away during this party.

The two mom bloggers will take half of the money they receive and give it to three of their favorite mom blogger friends so they’ll invite their friends to the party. Lots of moms will sign up.

#DadChat baseball hat

They will create a spreadsheet of when they’ll arbitrarily give away a box of the new diapers – say every three minutes – and the spreadsheet will include tweets all about the wonders of this new product. They will follow the spreadsheet like a script.

Who comes to this party? Moms who want swag. Is there a company rep there? Probably not. Is there actual discussion about toilet training and when it’s good or bad to start weaning your child off diapers or whether a cloth diaper may be better for some kids in some instances? NO. It’s all about the swag. Is there any pre-chat or post-chat follow-through with a community? NO, because there is no community. Do men come to this “party” that is held during the day? NO.

Here’s a set of tweets from this (imaginary) Twitter Party:

~~ RT if you want to win a box of the new bubblegum #Huggies!
~~ Okay, the next winner of a box of bubblegum #Huggies is @CouponMom (made-up name – sorry if there’s a real one). Congratulations!
~~ Woot WOOT (from @CouponMom, who promptly leaves after “earning” her prize).
~~ I want to win, too (from another mom)!

Let’s take the same scenario and apply it to #DadChat. #DadChat is a community of dads and moms. Yes, there is equal participation from the moms as all my stats prove across all the forms of the new and old media that I work in. And, since I do work in many forms of media, the sponsor has the opportunity to use them – such as this comic strip we did for Shutterfly when they sponsored!

Comic strip about dads

If Huggies came to me, I’d explain to them that we choose a topic related to their company and product. It would NOT be solely about them. We’d perhaps choose the afore-mentioned topic of “When is the Best Time to Toilet Train Your Child.” We’d create questions around that topic. I’d prepare a pre-chat post (see all of them) that would celebrate and promote Huggies but be about the topic. I’d express in the post that we are going to give away three boxes of these cool new diapers but you will have to WIN them (explanation coming).

At #DadChat there is NO script. We meet at “prime time” which is 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET so men and women are mostly available. We’d prepare questions for the sponsor and for the community. I’d encourage a Huggies rep to join #DadChat that evening. If they need a tutorial on how best to participate in the chat, I’d give it to them prior to the chat. The pre-chat post would be vetted and changed to be sure it sent the right message about Huggies and their new product.

Now it’s Thursday evening when #DadChat officially “meets.” There have been hundreds of tweets promoting the event with my pre-chat post via Triberr.com. There have been hundreds of tweets that have included the #DadChat hashtag ALREADY in the week.

Crowds at Outside Lands

The chat begins. Perhaps I’m on the phone with the PR rep for Huggies and/or the person that is participating in the chat. We go with the flow. I tell them who is who at the chat so if a prominent Social Media person shows up – and they do – they know who it is and maybe welcome or respond to a tweet of theirs.

The prepared questions are our template – NOT our script. Most of the time they will all be used, but if the discussion takes a curve and it fits our ultimate goal of promoting the company/brand, we go with it. There is NO spreadsheet. It’s about a live interaction with a real community.

How do they win the freebies? I ask a question that relates to Huggies, perhaps about when they first went in business or something that can only be found on their website. The first person to get the correct answer wins the box of diapers. It’s merit-based rather than just showing up (as at the Twitter Party). We do that just two or three times during the hour. People enjoy the competition but are there for the engagement rather than the swag.

People get a kick out of interacting with the Huggies rep. Hopefully; he or she has a sense of humor. Tweets continue beyond the hour of our official chat. In fact, tweets are re-tweeted for several days after. My Hashtracking report gives everyone – including the sponsor – the full transcript and full stats of the event. This is what the home page of the report looks like – from the most recent #DadChat (stats are not yet complete but this is close):

DadChat 7:10:14 - Working at Home

This is called ENGAGEMENT. This is called AUTHENTICITY. This is good.

And, what stats can a sponsor expect from a week’s #DadChat – because the promotion and effort of a single #DadChat IS a week’s worth of tweets. #DadChat averages 150 – 300 participants, 1,200 + tweets, and 20+ million impressions EACH week. Some weeks we get multiples of that and we set a world’s record last January when we took on Divorce and got over 260,000,000 impressions. When Billy Ray Cyrus co-hosted #DadChat earlier this year, we had over 3,000 tweets and over 1,200 participants – truly awesome!

#DadChat stats for 2013:

Contributors: 7,956

Tweets: 77,113

Reach: 69.61 million

Impressions 1,883,330,000 

For questions about sponsoring #DadChat and to receive our sponsorship kit, simply email me: [email protected].

Here are two posts about #DadChat and the reach and scope of our community:

#DadChat is the World’s Biggest Parent Community (in Social Media)

How Much is Two Billion?