07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

and how might you find them useful for your business?

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, many local groups could no longer meet in person due to the restrictions put in place. This caused a major increase in the popularity of online networking and meetings, with many creative solutions being offered.

Social media chat hours had been around for a while although increased in popularity as a way for people and businesses to continue to interact with each other, but rather than being a face-to-face meeting, sessions were hosted on a social media platform like Twitter.

What is a Social Media Chat Hour?

A social media chat hour is a networking event held on a social media channel, where people interact with each other through posts usually connected by a hashtag. Unlike traditional networking events, where people meet face to face, social media chat hours are hosted fully online, making it easier to drop in and out of separate conversations.

There are different types of social media chat hours suited towards the different types of groups that use them. Local organisations, like the Chamber, will host social media chat hours, where a main topic will be discussed by the members.

Other types include groups of people discussing a hobby and interest. These hours allow people to socialise about a topic they love and to meet people who have similar interests to them. These can be both formal and informal hours, with a lot of business industries using LinkedIn to help freelancers and industry professional discuss their work and showcase what they can do.

Social media chat hours are flexible, people and businesses can drop in and out of sessions depending on their availability. Accessing a chat hour is very easy as well, all you require is a computer, tablet or phone and an account on the correct social network to join. Groups that have members from multiple locations can easily connect with each other without having to travel long distances to meet.

Another appeal of social media chat hours is that they are completely free to join. To get involved all you have to do is follow the rules of the group. Local organisations massively benefitted from this as it opened the door to new businesses who could ask questions and even commit to joining the organisation themselves in the future.

As a business, joining a Social Media chat hour can be a brilliant way to showcase what your business does and share news and events. Many groups that run chat hours encourage talking about yourself as it allows other members to see what you do and engage and interact with one and other.

Chat hours can also help to build relationships with new and existing customers, as well as other businesses. By sharing what you know and lending advice to each other, a business can continue to learn and grow in areas they may have previously struggled in. By expanding your network you will be able to meet and gain contacts with people who specialise in many different areas that can benefit you and your company.

Is a social media chat hour something you may be interested in taking part in? At Youbiquity we run #UCCHour on twitter every Friday from 11am until 12noon on behalf of the Chamber. To get involved, simply include the hashtag #UCCHour in each of your tweets. We have a range of great members who get involved with the session each week and welcome newcomers to join us; you don’t have to be a member of the Chamber to join in.

To see previous conversations and topics we have discussed, visit the #UCCHour twitter page. If you need help with social media, do not hesitate to contact one of our team at Youbiquity and we will be happy to assist you.