How to Host a Successful Tweet Chat: @BruceSallan Founder of #DadChat #VCBuzz

How to Host a Successful Tweet Chat: @BruceSallan Founder of #DadChat #VCBuzzWe have a Twitter chat on hosting a Twitter chat today! How cool is that?

In all seriousness, Tweet chats are excellent ways to build you audience and establish yourself as a niche influencer.

So to encourage you to try and host one, let’s talk to the founder of one of the most successful Twitter chats out there: @BruceSallan

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About @BruceSallan

Bruce is dad, writer, iTunes radio host, and founder of #DadChat. Buy Bruce’s book A Dad’s Point-of-View

Do subscribe to Bruce’s blog at and connect to Bruce on Facebook and Linkedin.

Questions we discussed

Q1 What and when inspired you to start #DadChat?

­I was inspired to start #DadChat by the success of my A Dad’s Point­of­View column and the need FOR a Dad advocate.  I also welcomed the challenge of making my chat successful!

#DadChat had run its course after 4 1/2 years – my kids were grown – and the HATERS helped to destroy it! And, most of my supporters were scared to take them on! SAD

I’ve taken a hiatus from writing after moving to Park City…where I work HARD at skiing and golf!

Over a 100 papers and website around the world

I also advised chat members to follow ALL the great people you “meet” here at #vcbuzz.

I loved #BlogChat – one of the first such chats and felt I could do the same and focus on my area of interest

@MackCollier pretty much invented the TweetChat with is #blogchat – great guy, too!

Q2 Was #DadChat an instant success?

I began #DadChat SIX years ago!  #DadChat was hardly an instant success! My patience was tested waiting and hoping that #DadChat would catch on.

#DadChat provided brain exercise and FOCUS given how fast it went and how many tweets there were!

Q3 How did you promote #DadChat to grow its audience and engagement?

I promoted #DadChat by becoming “popular” on other chats.

I also promoted #DadChat via the many platforms I worked in – my columns, radio show, and and more.

I promoted my columns and its discussion via comments by becoming an ACE-commenter on only blogs, plus I also cheated!

I’d been long-retired so I did have was also GREAT fun to participate on good chats!

I agree – commenting is dead…it was a great tool to build a blog, once!

Immodestly, I should be hired by BRANDS to begin chats in their area…I was hired by that snowboard dude (forget his name) to do it.

Q4 What would be your most important piece of advice to a blogger willing to launch a regular twitter chat

Most important is to build it is persistence. And bringing great guests aboard such as Billy Ray Cyrus and Guy Kawasaki.

Having PERSONALITY and the willingness to take chances will also enhance your potential for a successful chat.

TEACHING your guests how best to answer questions and how best to “work” your chat REALLY helps! When having someone like Guy, no teaching necessary. With someone like Billy Ray who only tweets on his phone, it’s VERY important!

Giveaways also get more participants at chats! EVEN small ones…in fact the big ones are often more of a hassle than they’re worth!

OH, and being a quick thinker and typist is equally important – to be able to ACT on the fly! For what it’s worth, I’d be more than happy to advise a new chat and help launch it as a guest (for free)…

None, I’ve taken a sabbatical from SoMe. Sometimes I talk with my wife!

The BEST thing you can do in life – and to build a chat or anything – is to GIVE BACK!

Q5 If you could have started everything all over again, would there be anything about #DadChat that you’d have done differently?

I regret getting 2 politically incorrect during #DadChat. Part of ME was being irreverent. That doesn’t translate well 2tweets. If I could do it over again, I would have not tried to do it all myself for so long – and reached out sooner for guests.

FYI, I do have a new chat idea that I might start – waiting on an expert partner in the area – so we’ll see! I won’t “tell” until its ready to go!

The top benefit I got was making amazing new friends, from participants to guests. Making some money was nice, too! But, to be clear, monetizing #DadChat was never a big priority.

Yes, per week. I am VERY fast on the writing – wrote pre-chat posts and questions and more…

Getting guests is hard – reach on to ANYONE – try not to take no for an answer – given the a REASON to join!

Q6 You had @GuyKawasaki co-host #DadChat… Any tips on successfully engaging influencers like that?

Getting people to guest on your chat is the hardest thing to do – you MUST be persistent and willing to approach anyone. Part of securing good guests is finding clever ways to get their attention. Or simply asking, as I did Guy at a conference.

After Guy said yes to guesting, I had to follow through for nearly a year to finally secure him!

For example, give a prominent guest – like @GuyKawasaki – a vehicle to promote something – in his case, a new book

YOU bet I follow up if no reply – THAT is persistence. Maybe I follow up with a video plea! Think outside the box!

Q7 Have you ever tried monetizing #DadChat or seen anyone monetizing theirs successfully?

I did monetize #DadChat pretty well – I made 50K one year from it! I think I came up with the idea of sponsors for a chat. Then, as with guests, I pursued them tirelessly. And, to me, making 50K for perhaps 5-10 hours of work, isn’t a bad wage! Lol.

90% I did the reaching! I went mostly after sponsors I wanted – or I wanted their product – or I felt is was VERY relevant to my audience…  Examples of sponsors I pursued and got: GoPro, Samsung, a cell provider (forget which one), a photo online service (forgot which).

Or something you approve of!

I wanted sponsors like General Mills, healthy food companies, ToysRUs – that fit well with parenting – got some of those but few.

Q8 Any tips for Tweet chat newcomers? How to participate in Tweet chats to gain connections and knowledge?

Getting noticed in a chat is about being clever, funny, and engaging.  Yes, quality trumps quantity, but the more you can tweet in a chat, the more likely you’ll get noticed.

I was often the top tweeter in #Blogchat – bigger than Mack – who LOVED that I helped so much.

@MackCollier is a gentleman and a scholar – kinda smart, too!

I had a media kit but I ALWAYS wanted to talk to them directly – I’m a very good salesman (from my showbiz career).

Also, go OFF the chat topic now and then – I did music oriented chats – like favorite Xmas songs at Christmas time – people loved it!

Want a good chat – know how to pace it as the hosts of this chat are doing so very well!

The best speed is warp speed but you have to go with the flow…on slow chats, I’d ask crazy spontaneous questions. Again, I’d ask unrelated questions when it occasionally got slow since I often used up my 20+ prepared questions!

I thought that too until I asked him directly… I was mostly just a participant!  I did guest on many chats over the years – always fun and often I got them their best numbers ever.

Q9 How to keep yourself going as a host? A regular Twitter chat is a huge commitment!

To me, hosting a TweetChat is all fun. I found the work involved to be easy. The more you host, the more you figure out the best way to prep. Prep is important but spontaneity is KEY to a chat’s success. Otherwise, it is too formulaic!

In the old days when I was more active in SoMe, I would also help to promote the chat I was guesting!  It was always challenging, though the early days of low participation was hard .I changed the name and it took off!

#aDadsPov – @AdamCohen suggested #DadChat – a winner!

On commenting, I would fake comments and then reply – often doing provocative stuff – fake by using another handle! IT was fun, too – an opportunity to add to your column by getting a dialogue going!

There’s a small chance I will do a one-off #DadChat – a manager of a pretty big R&R star wants me to do it…

Our previous chats on marketing events:


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