Twitter chats, or tweet chats, have been something that, until recently, I have tried to steer clear of. Sure, I’ve tried to use them at work and use way to many hashtags in some of my tweets. But actually sitting down and following along with one as it happened? Never. The thought of how one would be beneficial to me or how they worked was beyond my scope of focus.That all changed last week, after realizing I was missing out on a world of advice, knowledge and relationships because I didn’t think I could handle the unknown. Here is some basic information about Twitter chats and how you can get involved.
What is a Twitter chat?
It’s a conversation on Twitter between users about the same topic using a specific hashtag that allows you to follow along. The most well organized chats are held at a specific time and often repeat weekly (or bi-weekly) and are hosted by a moderator who poses questions to prompt responses and interactions among the group. Most are only an hour long, but sometimes conversations that start in a twitter chat continue afterward.
Why would you participate in a Twitter chat?
They provide a chance to network, to grow your list of followers and those you follow. There’s a host of tools, tips and great people out there to connect with and learn about.
How do I get started?
1. Make sure you have a Twitter account – sign up at www.twitter.com. It’s key – because you can’t participate unless you have an account.
2. Find a topic that appeals to you…there’s a few sites that lists hundreds of Twitter Chats including this site. Here are just a few that I think are interesting…
- #MillenialTalk – Tuesdays at 8:00 PM EST
- #BrandChat – Wednesdays at 11:00 AM EST
- #BufferChat – Wednesdays at 12:00 PM EST
4. Start tweeting, answer the questions posed by the moderator and use the hashtag!
What tips do you have?
- Give your Twitter followers a heads-up before you join a Twitter chat (“High tweet volume warning”) and share an invite to join the chat if it might be of interest to your followers.
- Reply directly for targeted conversations with one or two people.
- Include a “.” in front of an @ if you want your tweet to show up in all feeds.
- It’s OK to dip in and out of a Twitter chat. Drop by for the time you have and don’t feel guilty if you can’t stay for the whole thing.
- Be polite and positive!
- Don’t be afraid to contribute and jump in! It can be intimidating, but trust me, the moderators and participants will be glad to hear from you!
- When answering a specific question or comment from another participant, use Twitter handles to identify who you’re speaking to in order to avoid confusion.
- Remember Twitter chats are about connecting and learning, not selling your product. Use the time to provide as much value on the given topic as possible and show your expertise without over-promoting.
- Always include the chat hashtag in your responses.
- Follow up with people after the chat! Keep the conversation going or get to know fellow participants on a more personal level. You never know what new connections you can make!
Those are some of the basics of Twitter chats. I hope, that unlike me, it doesn’t take you awhile to jump in and start enjoying them!
Have you participated in a Twitter chat before? What tips do you have for someone diving in for the first time? What are some of your favorite Twitter chat topics?