BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 47 – Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats
Have you joined a Twitter chat? What has been your experience if you have? Are you ready to host a Twitter chat?
One of the biggest big advantages of the Twitter platform is for large groups of people to unite around a common topic to entertain, educate and provide a common voice. Leveraging that to learn about a topic is a great way to keep up with just about any category or specific subject.
But joining a Twitter chat can be a little tricky, and for many of us, scary. First of all, forget the scary part. You can join without anyone even knowing you’re there, so let’s just get that out of the way now. So that leaves the technical part. It’s usually as simple as following a hashtag. Tools like Hootsuite and others allow you to both follow a hashtag, and even create a seperate stream with only that hashtag, which makes it really easy to play along.
Joining a Twitter Chat
Some easy tips
- Participate! Ask questions, submit answers, share slides and other media . The biggest waste of your time will be to sit and watch the chat go by with nothing contributed by you. Follow people to interact with you if the content is valuable, entertaining, or helpful.
- When responding make sure you use the #Hashtag to ensure the admins and other followers can see your question, response or generate statement. This will allow everyone to use or respond to your post.
- If this is a q/a chat, look for Q1, Q2 or something similar from the admins, then respond with a similar format A1, A2, etc. along with the #Hashtag
- Follow the rules! Don’t promote your website, service or other items unless it’s allowed or requested by the hosts. Breaking these rules will 1) get you slapped on the wrist, or 2) get you banned from the chat
Creating a Twitter Chat
Maybe it’s time you’ve finally created your own Twitter chat. You have a following, you have a topic, now you just need a vehicle to get your message to the masses and maybe use it to drive education and maybe even revenue!
If you are looking to build a community and host a Twitter chat there are also a few things to consider.
- Recruit a few ambassadors to help you with the chat by attending all of them, RT’ing invites and posts, and participating with answers and follow-up questions.
- Pick a hashtag that is unique, easy to remember and is about the topic. Use the same hashtag on every chat, every notice, and every recap.
- Schedule it when you think a large number of followers can attend. Many of the small business chats above are in the mid-evenings when fewer people are working, it’s after dinner and many of us would be watching TV or doing other leisure activities. Chats targeting moms might be mid-afternoon when the kids are at school or taking naps.
- Prepare your questions, answers and related information in advance, and maybe even schedule in Hootsuite or other tools to make sure the timeline is followed.
- Interact with other users as they share and respond to your questions. You never know what will come up or be revealed.
- Prizes are a great way to get people to attend and interact.
- Guest hosts can add a bit of energy into the chat with a new voice and their following.
- Don’t be afraid to change things as they emerge. If you get some feedback that a different time/day will work better, or more or less of a type of content works better or worse, make changes.
Twitter chats can be a great way to stay informed of changes in a variety of topics. They can also be used to show your expertise in a subject, and network with a very significant group of experts in your field. Search one out and join a Twitter chat today and who knows, maybe tomorrow you’ll be leading your own Twitter chat!