Getting Started with Twitter Spaces

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By now, you’ve likely heard of Twitter Spaces. If you haven’t, then you’ve at least heard of Clubhouse. Spaces is Twitter’s audio chat platform. When they announced their beta, the internet went crazy comparing it with Clubhouse and wondering which will outlast the other. Turns out, they’re both targeting completely different audience groups and are going in different directions. This week, we decided to talk about Twitter Spaces and getting the most out of the platform. And who else do we know who knows Twitter better than Madalyn?

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Madalyn Sklar
Topic: Getting started with Twitter Spaces
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why should brands use Twitter Spaces?

Because it’s all the rave right now. No, really, Twitter Spaces is far more than the flashy new thing in technology. It’s a great way for you to showcase yourself as a brand and your expertise in your field of work. Above all, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon—there’s no barrier to entry. You don’t need fancy equipment, and regardless of your operating system, you can participate and even host live audio conversations.

As Cindy added, Spaces is also an ideal tool for gathering feedback from your customers directly. Look at Twitter, for instance. They run official conversations on Spaces about Spaces so the product team can talk to their users in person and hear their concerns.

Q2: How do you find Spaces to join?

The easiest way is to find and join Spaces that your contacts host. When you open your mobile app, if anyone in your network is currently hosting a Space, you’ll see it on the top bar of your app, indicated with a purple ring. It’ll be distinct from the blue ring of Fleets, one of Twitter’s (relatively) recent features.

In addition, many Spaces hosts now include details of their conversations in their bios. If it’s a regular Space, you can set reminders and join them. Or if they’ve scheduled events already, you can also sign up to get notified when they start their conversation.

Another cool way to find relevant Spaces is to use Twitter’s comprehensive search bar. Use filter:spaces as your search term to filter out everything but Spaces-related tweets in your result. You can also select to view Spaces only from people you follow already.

Once you’re confident about running your own Spaces, schedule them in advance so your audience can receive reminders as well. These reminders are dynamic, meaning that they change as time goes on. This is helpful because if you see a reminder tweet an hour before a conversation starts, you’ll know exactly when to join in. In Madalyn’s tweet, you’ll see that the reminder has expired because the Space has already ended.

To get access to multiple Spaces, make sure you follow people tweeting and talking about a variety of your interests, as Rod told us. This will increase your chances of seeing someone in a Space when you open your Twitter app.

Q3: Share some best practices for hosting on Twitter Spaces.

The most important thing to remember when you’re hosting a Space is to stick to the topic as closely as possible. If you ramble on off-topic, you’ll risk losing listeners.

It’s also crucial to share the mic with your listeners. Twitter Spaces is all about having conversations, so enable discussions to flow in both directions. If you’re having a panel discussion of sorts and don’t want audience interruptions, including a Q&A at the end so that your listeners can participate too.

For more advice about hosting your own Space, check out Madalyn’s article about May King Tsang and how she uses Twitter Spaces: Joining and Hosting Twitter Spaces: Real Advice From a Beta Tester

Jette from Social Media Today also shared a great tip. When you’re hosting a Space, be sure to set ground rules early on about how you want your Space to be. This is a great way to set people’s expectations early on so that they don’t feel disappointed if you’re interviewing someone and don’t invite audience questions in between. Tell them how you plan to run your Space so that you can focus on your conversations without disruptions.

Q4: Can you repurpose conversations so they live on even after a Space has ended?

There are a few ways to give your Space a lasting life. One is to take notes during conversations and use them to create a summary blog or quote-based tweets later on.

Some people even collect tweets that are pinned to the Nest (the top section of a Space where people can display tweets for all listeners to see) and create a Twitter Moment of those.

As recently as last week, Twitter introduced Spaces for desktop where you can listen to conversations on Twitter web. Because it’s a bigger and easily navigable screen, you can copy-paste the transcriptions from a Space and create an article based on the conversation.

Of course, the most popular and highly-discussed option is to record your Spaces so you can convert them into podcasts later. A great example of this is the #AllThingsAudio Space that Madalyn and Suze Cooper host together, and have since converted into a podcast. Check it out here: All Things Audio with Madalyn and Suze

Q5: Can you monetize your Twitter Spaces conversations?

Twitter is currently rolling out a new feature called the Tip Jar, which allows your audience to pay you. You can use this to encourage your listeners on Spaces to donate. Learn more about the feature here: About Tip Jar

Once you get access to the feature, you can add a bunch of different payment gateways, including PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp. The Verge also covered the potential of the Tip Jar feature. Read their analysis here.

Another way you can monetize Twitter Spaces is by hosting sponsored Spaces, as Christine pointed out. This means that as a host, you can run live Spaces and conversations on behalf of other brands or causes and get paid for it. It’s a bit like a sponsored podcast or like emceeing for a high-profile event.

Q6: Name some features that are unique to Twitter Spaces.

One of the most unique features of Twitter Spaces is the ability to react during the live conversation. While speakers usually have the chance to express their thoughts in an audio conversation, listeners don’t often have a way to show their appreciation. If you’ve used Clubhouse, you’ll know this only too well—you have to request the mic and get on stage even just to thank the speakers. With Twitter Spaces, you can react with any of the following five emojis: ✊ ✌️ ?

Another brilliant feature is live captions. This helps people who have trouble hearing or understanding a language by listening, so they can visually see what’s being said as well.

With its recent launch for web, Twitter Spaces is truly overcoming the barriers to entry for most people. If you’re using the mobile app, make sure that you’ve updated your app to the latest versions so that you have the best experience.

Javier reminded us about another big benefit of Twitter Spaces—the ability to pin/feature tweets on the top of a space during the conversation. Referred to as the Nest, this area and the tweets featured act as a reference point for people during the conversation. This is a great way to give additional context to people who join the room in a middle of a conversation. It’s also ideal to showcase proof of your points and expertise when you’re speaking in a space.

Q7: How can you measure if Twitter Spaces is helping you reach your brand’s overall marketing goals?

As with all social media experiments and campaigns, observe your analytics closely. After joining and/or hosting a few Spaces, see if there’s been a change in your followers or engagement. Regularly check to understand your performance over a period of time.

Madalyn also has an article about how Gabbi, a Twitter Spaces host, uses the feature and has got impressive results. Check it out here.

Rachel from Express Writers told us about another metric to keep an eye on: your purchase rates and email newsletter subscribers. This is a great little metric because an increase in subscribers indicates that people have followed through from Twitter to your website to see what you do. It’s a good start to nurturing your audience into customers.

Q8: Who are some inspirational creators in Twitter Spaces?

Madalyn recommended May Kin Tsang and shared an article they did together about getting the most out of Twitter Spaces. Check it out.

Jennifer’s favorites include Madalyn, Joselin Mane, and Samantha Kelly.

Some other recommendations include Anna Scheller, Manish Pandey, and Esther Ocampo, among others.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading, and for more insights from our chat about Spaces with Madalyn, browse through this Twitter thread. If you liked this summary, then come join us in the live chat–you’ll like it even more. We’re at #TwitterSmarter every Thursday at 1pm ET. Catch you then!

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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