Zircon’s Eight Home Décor and Style Trends for 2018

With the arrival of a new year, we’re often looking for fresh starts, invigorated by resolutions, and prompting changes to signify the beginning of something new. We look inward and outward and one usually influences the other. Spring new life into your home (and mind) for the New Year with these design and style tips. Zircon’s surveyed all things 2018… from color to lighting to furnishings and style ideas. Be inspired by one or more of these eight décor and style trends and see what else it leads you to in 2018.

1) Go Bold

Rich, bold vibrant colors, such as Sherwin Williams’ Oceanside blue-green 2018 Color of the Year and Pantone’s Ultra Violet selection are on trend for 2018. Rich jewel tones are firing up walls and moldings and provide an intense backdrop to paintings and wall hangings. And don’t forget bold patterns. They appeal to chic yet casual trend setters. Big floral patterns in furnishings and geometric patterns on wallpaper showcase this style.

Credit: House Beautiful

2) Mixed Metal

Mix metals, textures, and sheen throughout the home – from curtain hardware to kitchen cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. Think diverse finishes ranging from nickel to brass to bronze. These materials provide a modern finishing accent to a room rather than only having one metal finish as noted by Christine Markatos Design.

Credit: HGTV

3) Tile Twist

Larger format tile or slab sized porcelain sheets will be all the rage, according to House Beautiful. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but larger tile is easier to install, maintain and requires less grout. Patterned flooring, such as the herringbone style is also a strong contender for 2018.

Credit: Deringhall

4) Closet Friendly

Closets are not only a personal space for changing and organizing, but often serve as staging areas to showcase new looks to share across Instagram, Pinterest, and other social networks. For the busy professional, it’s important to incorporate areas for those who need to carry their workspace with them. As mentioned by Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design, beautifully designed closets must be functional too, bringing an entirely new view to form, fit, and function.

Credit: Mansion Global (LA Closet Design)

5) Leisure-Work Spaces

As communal work spaces become more commonplace, the need to integrate work with a free-style living approach is more important than ever. Rather than a strict focus on functionality or even aesthetics, focus living spaces on experiences. Incorporate elements of hospitality and restaurant style into homes, offices, and retail. A casual, open space concept will grow in popularity and be reflected in furniture, surfaces, and design with tactile fabrics, such as velvet. Natural light and greenery are also lending themselves into the work space.

Credit: Houzz.com

6) Spa Bathrooms

Mix fantasy with reality with a resort-style spa bathroom. A touch of luxury, from a spa water bath tucked into the corner of the bathroom to a rainwater shower, and you’ll truly create an escape from reality.

Credit: HGTV

7) Waste Not, Want Not

From recycled and upcycled materials, a trend that emerged in 2017 that will continue onward – materials with a purpose. Create leather alternatives from pineapple leaves or interior tiles made from corn husk. Integrate designs with the environment and society in mind, and make strides towards style and functionality.

Credit: HGTV

8) Lighting the Way

Organic and eco-friendly are reasons to replace traditional lighting with LEDs. Combine overhead lighting with lamps of different sizes and shapes. Accentuate light on the focal point of the room, from furniture pieces to be highlighted, wall hangings to be accented, or to cozy a room corner.

Credit: Houzz.com

Helpful Hints

Whatever décor ideas you choose, ensure you use caution and keep safety first. When hanging items to the wall or ceiling, you always want to securely fasten them to a wall stud or ceiling joist. A basic stud finder, like the Zircon® StudSensor™ e50, can eliminate the guesswork involved when hanging pictures and shelves or securing heavy bookcases or furniture to the wall while also alerting you to the presence of live, unshielded electrical wiring.

After you’ve located a wall’s studs, hanging items can be simple. Try these tips:

  • If you’re hanging shelves, consider tracing a template on cardboard and taping it on the wall. Then use the template to gauge bracket placement.
  • If you’re hanging a picture, place small, adhesive-backed rubber feet on its back corners. The feet will grip the wall and help keep the picture level.

Have some décor tips you think will be hot this year?  Share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook. Tweet home décor and DIY ideas using #decortrends or @zircontools. For more décor ideas, visit www.zircon.com or read more blogs here.

References:

https://deringhall.com/daily-features/contributors/dering-hall/interior-design-trends-that-will-dominate-2018?slide=3

http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/g14486069/kitchen-trends-2018/

http://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/g13938283/2018-decor-trends/?slide=12

http://www.interiordesign.net/articles/14318-5-design-trends-that-will-dominate-in-2018/

https://www.mansionglobal.com/stories/83874/year-ahead-2018-top-design-trends/index.html

https://mykukun.com/interior-design-trends-2018/

https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/hottest-interior-design-decor-trends-2018/?is_wp_site=1&cid=sem_google_dsaadvice_desktop&medium=tsa&ds_kid=39700028729867708&gclid=Cj0KCQiA1afSBRD2ARIsAEvBsNlym1qoCgc95-Djl3AmprTJXvhkRRcU9owaJzjgzgR5dK5naO6cBSIaAjoQEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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8 Simple Holiday Décor and Clean Up Tips from Zircon

Spruce up your home for the holidays with these eight simple tips!

It’s time to prep your home for the holiday festivities. With most already spending 2 to 2.5 hours per day on household activities according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study, there’s not a lot of time to spare.

Zircon’s cleaning, décor, and storage tips can add sparkle to your home quickly and easily.

1. Inviting first impressions. You know what they say, first impressions are usually the last! Starting with the entryway, scrub thoroughly underneath the welcome mat where dirt and debris collect. Invest in a holiday themed mat that beckons guests to your doorstep. Clean windows by using a spray bottle filled with water and vinegar. Rub the mixture on the windows with a reusable microfiber cloth.

Photo Credit: Houzz.com

2. Shine through. Home is where the heart is and the kitchen is its soul. Clean your stovetop, refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and microwave. Eliminate handprints, stains, and smudges by wiping your appliances with vinegar and water. Focus on other exterior surfaces, such as cabinets, mirrors, and sinks, too. With 30 minutes time, you’re able to fully clean out your refrigerator by first clearing out the contents, cleaning the inside of the refrigerator by using soap and water to concentrate on the most soiled areas, allowing time for the inside to dry out, and then placing all items neatly back into the refrigerator. (Now would be a good time to purge any expired items and restock as needed.)

Photo Credit: Houzz.com

3. Kits to tote around. A handy cleaning tote and a holiday tool kit are a holiday organizer’s dream. Pack your cleaning tote with necessary cleaning supplies. Fill a shoe box or regular toolbox with holiday tool essentials. This customized holiday tool kit can store holiday tool items, such as tape, scissors, ribbon, wire cutters, ornament hooks, gift tags, twist ties, light bulbs and more. With the supplies stored in one place, you’ll spend less energy searching for what you need.

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

4. Small décor magnified. From adding twinkling lights to an already existing floor length mirror to the traditional door wreath, little embellishments to your home can quickly enhance the spirit of the season – without the big hit to your wallet.

Photo Credit: Houzz.com

5. Baking soda wonders. With a little bit of effort and time, your house can have renewed splendor. Pets, spills, and normal wear and tear can affect the smell of your sofa and other furniture. Most furniture doesn’t require the big expense of a deep cleaning, but rather vacuum the sofa and then follow-up with sprinkling baking soda on the affected areas and leaving it on for a minimum of 15 minutes and overnight if needed. Then, vacuum for a second time to remove the baking soda residue.

Photo Credit: SFGate.com

6. Hidden space treasures. With the influx of guests, you might be hard pressed to find the space for the holiday meal. Floor cushions, stacked stools, and folding chairs provide additional seating options and can be easily stored when not in use. A coffee table alternative that serves as cushions and placing additional seating in the foyer or in an additional room can also give you more seating.

Photo Credit: Houzz.com

7. Lemon zest. Lemon is a quick cure all to freshen up the home. Sanitize your garbage disposal by cutting a lemon in half and adding it while the water is on and the garbage disposal is running. Place one half at a time to the disposal. Within a few seconds, your drain will be deodorized and clean.

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

8. It’s a wrap. Gift storage can be a challenge – from stacking awkwardly shaped gift wrap paper rolls to storing fragile ornaments. Get organized in style with this over-the-door gift wrap storage organizer. Place your gift wrapping adornments into this tidy organizer. A storage bin with dividers makes for a sturdy storage organizer for your small ornaments. Also, consider storing gift decorations and ornaments away from humidity and where temperatures may fluctuate; therefore, avoid a basement or attic and a better option would be a closet or under a bed.

Photo Credit: Live Simply

Safety first. When hanging any heavy or bulky items, holiday inspired or not, use a high-quality stud finder, to securely mount it into a wall stud or ceiling joist.

SS e50 Frames

Photo Credit: Zircon.com

Have some cleaning, storage, and décor tips?  Share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook. Tweet home décor and DIY ideas using #decortrends or @zircontools. For more décor ideas, visit www.zircon.com or read more blogs here.

 

References:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-the-inside-of-your-fridge-in-30-minutes-or-less-202073

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-your-kitchen-sink-136771

http://www.bhg.com/christmas/planning/storage/

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf

https://www.cleanandscentsible.com/top-10-tips-to-get-organized-for-the-holidays/

http://helloglow.co/holiday-deep-cleaning/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/deodorize-sofa-30030.html

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/holiday-cleaning-tips-guest-ready/

http://housetohome.kbhome.com/post/132694938041/kitchen-cleaning-tips-for-the-holiday-season

https://www.marthastewart.com/275278/holiday-organizing-tips

https://oflifeandlisa.com/holiday-cleaning-tips/

Five Quick and Easy DIY Halloween Décor Ideas from Zircon

Spook your guests and trick or treaters with these five quick and easy Halloween ideas!

Halloween marks the beginning of the home décor season. Save for Christmas, Halloween is the most themed holiday! In fact, Architectural Digest cited that Halloween expenditures for 2016 increased to $82.95 per person, up from $74.34 in 2015. At Zircon, we actively research popular home improvement trends. And in the spirit of the season, we’ve scared up five easy and “spooktacular” DIY ideas for your home.

1) Light the path.

Photo credit: TeenyIdeas.com

A well-lit pathway not only makes it safer for costumed visitors, but can also be the first glance to your bewitching décor. Rather than using open flame candles that can cause fires, a glow stick, battery operated lights or a small flashlight can be safely placed into your pumpkins. Pretty string lights in white will highlight the individual pumpkin glow, creating a rich, fall aura. Or change out your porch bulbs for an orangish glow for a subtle Halloween effect.

2) Be novel. 

Photo credit: The Home Depot Blog

Good lighting complements your décor and can have a lasting effect even after the holiday is over. From ghostly inspired tea lights placed in cubby holes on your bookshelves to novelty lights to new ceiling lights, a change of lights or light fixtures can instantly be in tune with the season.

3) Go batty.

Photo credit: MadeEveryday.com

A cobweb made from simple netting or cascading leaves affixed to your doorway beckon visitors. What’s spookier than a colony of bats hanging from a tree?

4) Color outside the lines.

Photo credit: DigsDigs.com

Although your visitors may expect a traditional orange and black décor, you can spice up your colors with a sophisticated black and white motif. Furnishings as well can be played up to match the festivities. Themed pillows, blankets and throws can easily change the mood from hints of autumn to a full-fledged ghostly manor. A dalliance of deep orange pillows highlights the headboard and room décor of this bedroom.

5) Create lasting impressions.

More permanent in nature, changing or painting cabinetry, wall color, or tile can also be Halloween inspired yet suitable year-round. This orange and white modern kitchen is homey and inviting. This prominent orange vanity works perfectly with the dark slate tile walls.

When enriching your home with décor ideas, always use caution and keep safety first. Avoid tripping perils around wires, clear your lawn or pathway from stones, tree roots and other hazards. Secure your extension cords and make sure they are rated for outdoor use. Indoors, when hanging your décor items, securely fasten your heavy objects to a wall stud or ceiling joist. Find studs or joists by using a quality stud finder, like the Zircon® StudSensor™ e50, that can also alert you to the presence of live, unshielded electrical wiring.

Photo credit: Zircon.com

Have some Halloween décor tips?  Share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook. Tweet home décor and DIY ideas using #decortrends or @zircontools. For more décor ideas, visit www.zircon.com or read more blogs here.

References:

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/average-american-halloween-decor-spending

Houzz.com

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/safety/safety-tips-for-halloween-decorations

http:/www.zircon.com/tools/studsensor-e50

Spring Trends Recap and Look Forward

Our latest #decortrends chat focused on spring trends – a recap of what is working and a look ahead to what popular home and décor projects are on the horizon.

Image credit: @ncontours

The chat highlighted the popularity of metallic designs, grey and green as rising neutrals, and the need for effective use of smallish spaces.

A mixture of metals and contrasting designs were noted during the chat. @best_flooring shared, “You can’t go wrong with metals, stones, and woods. They are great to contrast texture with other decor in a home.” Added @MrsAJRogers, “What about the new #decortrends of #marbled #wallpaper, #copper and #wood #tile – to name a few!”

Regarding color choices, grey was noted as a new neutral. Greys that are lighter in color exude a warm,  friendly, home environment. “I think you’re right on with greys that have a little more warmth to them!” mentioned @ncontours. According to @jorgensonlocker, “Depends on the shade…lighter colors would prob(ably) work better as a neutral. Bolder colors work better as pops of color.”

Also, green not only stands out, but depending on the shade, it can also be a neutral, too.  As our co-host @tonisabstyle stated, “I love it as a backdrop.” The trend toward natural elements further propels green’s popularity.  As @ncontours shared, “(We see green) more so in living plants, which are everywhere! Maybe spring/ summer will bring more green to décor.”

The challenges designing within a small space vs. large space were also discussed. “Sometimes (it is) more challenging to succeed in designing a small space than a large– making every part & piece count,” mentioned @best_flooring. Adding to this remark, dual duty spaces are especially functional in tight spaces. For more living large in a small space ideas, make sure to visit this blog.

The group discussed former popular ideas from the 70s and how what is old is new again. @jorgensonlocker said, “Trends are seen to be cyclical, so everyone will move on eventually.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Putting the Living into the Living Room

Décor transitions occur throughout the home. Within the living room, our #decortrends chat participants shared impactful ideas on how to create a warm, inviting, and personal vibe. Our co-host @dreamwallsglass provided insightful questions that drew not only thought provoking ideas, but tangible projects that designers, decorators, and DIYers can immediately benefit from.

Image: @windowworksCA

For the latest living room trends on doors and windows, @dreamwallsglass commented, “For instance, we’ve started seeing pocket doors bump out barn doors as (a) hottest trend. Frees up walls.” Also, multiple windows, bay windows, and larger windows can make quite an impression.  As window expert @WindowWorksCA mentioned, “We’re seeing window film being used in place of curtains in living rooms and other spaces.” @sweetloretta added, “Skylights and embedded fixtures can highlight the windows.”

Image: @dreamwallsglass

Mirrors can also add enhanced space, lighting, and brightness to the living room. As shared by @dreamwallsglass, interior glass can section off spaces. Additionally, a mirror screen can shift the way the room appears, instantly changing the vantage point and providing a new décor backdrop.

A challenge for décor experts is to design the living room to convey warmth and personality. With the chat participants’ guidance, however, adding a homey and comfortable environment does not need to be difficult. “Family pictures add a homey touch,” shared @jorgensonlocker who also added, “A beautiful fireplace and mantel is a nice focal point.”

Image: DODByBrownWood

Continuing on the trend of fireplaces, @DODByBrownWood conveyed, “I love floor to ceiling marble fireplaces. It catches my eye everytime!”

A pop of color in the living room can provide another interesting point of distinction and create as informal or formal a feeling as needed. Although neutrals are often desired, bolder colors are in demand, too. Shared @Best_Flooring, “We hear bold colors are gaining popularity. Bold curtain and shade colors can make a great focal point.” @Dreamwallsglass also stated  blues are gaining in popularity. “Definitely seeing more blues. It can go casual, playful or dressy. Pops of brights to cheer up everything!” While solid colors often pair nicely with other solids or patterns, too, sometimes contrasting colors go hand in hand in the living room. According to @PurePlumbingLV even darker colors are in style. “I am actually seeing more people try some darker tones!”

The living room, whether used for formal occasions or as an overflow play or work area can be dressed up (or down) as much as one’s personality desires.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Transitions that Bring New Life to Your Home

During our recent #decortrends chat, our participants shared transitional décor elements to complement the home, spring new life, and tie-in with the modern family.

Image credit: @DODByBrownWood

A popular décor trend is the transition from the outside to the inside. As our co-host @ncontours highlighted, “this open living and dining space is our DREAM!”  @JorgensonLocker added, “Color schemes can really bring a coastal vibe. Light blues, tans, whites, etc.” Another way to promote a sunny disposition can be promoted by enlarging the window size. “Large windows and a good view always help! If not, ocean blue tiles,” shared @DodbyBrownWood. @RaHomes added to the exterior to interior trend when they said, “Homeowners love to let the outdoors in.”

Image credit: @rahomes

Dark grey with a matte finish and white colors with a monochromatic color scheme were cited as interesting contrasting color combinations. A mix of materials also adds an extra layer of design to a room.  Added @greg_bbcleaning, “I definitely love bright colors, white accents, and a variety of textures like stones!” And @bestflooring mentioned, “Grey or blond hardwood (or vinyl) will definitely fit the coastal vibe.

Further, participants chatted about seamless ways to incorporate technology into the home without having a tech life style take over completely. Ideas included dedicating a specific non-tech room and  limiting tech usage within the home. @jorgensonlocker stated, “Keep some areas of your home tech-free (i.e. no TVs in bedrooms). Or designate certain times of day when you all unplug.” Also, @ncontours provided a link to an article on the topic. “Disconnect to connect” — Eat a family meal– no tech allowed!

As our population ages, providing a home that works with multiple age groups is also an important home need. “When possible, it is nice to design with universal design principals from the beginning,” mentioned @DodByBrownWood. Safety is a paramount issue with the aging population and having adequate safety features built-in or added can provide peace of mind. “If your lighting is good and you’ve accounted for stairs and level changes properly, it (aging in the home) can work.” Shared @sweetloretta.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Living Large in a Small Space Part 2

Whether you’ve just settled into your first studio apartment, are downsizing from a larger home, or just want to make the best use of tight quarters, living large in a small space can be a paramount goal.

Maximize your home’s functionality and enlarge your living space with these simple tips.

MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

  • Less is more. When shopping for your new paradise, look for versatile and smaller sized furniture, and give thought to dual purpose pieces that can hide clutter within tables or in seating with built-in storage. Coffee tables offer diverse options, from built-in ottomans and/or stools to ones with a lift top that can double as a desk or become a pseudo dining room table. A novel idea featured on DIY Network is to turn wagons into mobile seating.
  • Ingenuity reigns.Take old suitcases and transform them into an end table or how about using lockers within a kids’ room? Embellish your walls with artwork, decorative display shelves, a wall mounted flat screen TV, or a framed mirror that will not only add more light, but will make the entire space look bigger. For larger objects, safely anchor them into a wall stud or ceiling joist by using a Zircon® stud finder, such as the MultiScanner® i520.
  • Organize with book shelves, cubicle units, or ladders that can accommodate fabric or straw storage drawers. Built-in storage, drawers or baskets provide ideal ways to help organize a smaller living space. Create art from your momentos with the use of decorative boxes and baskets.
  • Be colorful. The lack of a far/near perspective in a small space is a disruption to positive energy. To achieve a balancing effect, paint, stencil and wallpaper with your favorite colors and designs. Paint the entry and back walls in an accent color, for example, to create a contrasting illusion. Consider track lighting as an ideal lighting option for small spaces.
  • Create mobility. With tight spaces, optimizing square footage is vital. A foldable screen, for example, can provide flexibility to your living space. One moment, a room can be a separate dining area and the next, it can be transitioned into a guest space. Make the screen your own by staining, painting, and/or upholstering the fabric to complement your décor. With creativity, space saving ideas can be a conversation starter and be functional as well.

For additional ideas, visit our Living Large in a Small Space Part I blog, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com. Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 10/1 and 10/16.

Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other. Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

References:

DIY Network

hgtv.com

jorgensonlockers.com

How to Host A Successful Twitter Chat

Hosting a Twitter Chat is an excellent way to build avid followers, elevate your social media engagement, and position you and your company as an expert in your field. Once you have set up your Twitter profile, established a following, and are actively tweeting, retweeting, and replying with relevant content within the Twittersphere, take your Twitter account to the next level by hosting a Twitter Chat.

Social Media icon image

Ten Steps to Twitter Chat Success

  • Participate. Before you host your own chat, participate in others. Take a backseat approach, familiarize yourself with the structure and see how others are doing it in your industry. To find relevant chats, comb through your news feed or search via relevant keyword hashtags and keep a log of what chats are occurring and when. Jump in. Examine how the Twitter chat works by paying special attention to how chat participants respond to each other and how the host engages with the attendees. You may also wet your feet by co-hosting, sponsoring, or being a featured guest on another party’s Twitter chat.
  • Theme. Determine your objective. Your Twitter chat theme sets the stage on how you want to be positioned in the industry and helps you identify the key components to a successful chat. Who is your target market? What days and times are most optimal to your attendees? What topics would they like to discuss versus what you want to focus on? Make sure the theme is enticing to the audience you want to attract.
  • Hashtag. Develop a concise hashtag that resonates with your audience, conveys your overall chat theme, and, ideally, is not already in use. Research existing Twitter chats to determine the optimal hashtag. Then BRAND it as your own. This hashtag reinforces your brand and can minimize the instances of Twitter chat crashers who may inadvertently attend your chat thinking it’s another.
  • Save the Date. Based on your ideal attendees, determine how often you’ll host your chat, and whether a specific date and time of day works best. Will it be weekly or bi-monthly? Will each chat be 30 minutes or 60 minutes? Does it coincide with other popular chats? Once a date and time has been determined, schedule your chats with consistency to better establish a loyal Twitter chat following. Other questions to ask are: What will be your format? Will you be the sole host or will you have co-hosts or guest hosts?
  • Schedule. With your overall theme in mind, create and schedule topics for each session to create an overall calendar. This will better enable you to flag and piggyback off key industry events, holidays, and company news. Draw from past, present, and future experiences and trends. If you’re tackling a challenging subject, consider whether it could make for a good Twitter chat topic. Chat audiences often are grappling with similar issues and your chat could provide an opportune time for both parties to brainstorm and find new solutions. Schedule your topics with your internal team.
  • Promote. Promote, promote, promote! As great as your topics are, people cannot attend your chat if they do not know about it. Promote your chat via all channels: Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks, email, company website, blogs, and more. On Twitter, create a Twitter chat “preview” by teasing your audience with the subject theme. In addition, develop a list of top industry experts and invite them via a direct message (DM) or “@” reply. Encourage retweets of your chat invitation. To boost your promotion, create a Twitter chat invitation image that provides an overall branding for your chat with more visual appeal.
  • Plan. Once your overall schedule has been defined, it’s time to delve into the details. For each topic, draft eight to ten questions that will engage the audience. Create lively questions that illicit more than a yes/no response and can spark valuable discussions. Post your hashtag, chat image, and questions on Facebook for cross promotion.
  • Lead. Effectively host your chat by making sure that you and your audience use the #hashtag. Utilize a service, such as TweetChat, which automatically adds the hashtag and creates a running stream of the chat conversation. Keep attendees actively tweeting. Ask follow-up questions and comment positively. Reply, retweet, and favorite their tweets. Pay close attention to newcomers and those who are not tweeting as much as others. They may need a helping hand. Don’t let them sit on the Twitter chat sideline. Like a grand party, the host makes everyone feel welcome.
  • Thank. Everyone knows the phrase “time is money.” Your participants are taking a chunk out of their day to chat with you and fellow chat participants. Make sure to recognize their time and contributions. Invite them to the next chat and tweet to them often! Consistency and two-way engagement are key in developing a loyal following.
  • Assess. Analyze your chat, attendees, strength of questions and answers. TweetBinder is a handy platform that encapsulates your Twitter Chat statistics. Identify areas for improvement. Tweak your next chat as needed. Repeat these steps for each new chat.

ZirconTools hosts its own #diytrends chat every other Thursday. Catch our upcoming one on Thursday, May 21 at 11 a.m. PST. You’re invited! Learn, share and engage with us!

Twitter Chat 03-05-15

What do you want to read or chat about next? Leave a comment below.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.Sharon image