|Twitter Chats 101
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a public forum where tweeters use the same hashtag at the same time to talk about a designated topic.
How to Participate:
Tune into Twitter at the specified time and search the specified hashtag. When adding to the conversation, remember to tweet using the hashtag so that everyone else in the chat can see your responses and questions. Some tools can aid in the chat such as Tweetchats.com and Twubs.com. Generally, you can participate right from Twitter. Just log in, search “#[Insert Appropriate Chat Hashtag]” and compose tweets in the same method as you normally would. Remember to refresh the chat by clicking on “# new results” as they appear in the search timeline.
At the appointed time, the chat moderator will welcome everyone to the chat and introductions are made. Then questions will follow marked by numbers: Q1, Q2, Q3. Answers will follow a similar format: A1, A2, A3. The chat can take on many forms after that. Attendees can comment on different answers and additional questions and comments can take place organically from chat participants.
Twitter Chats Do’s and Don’ts:
-Introduce yourself to the chat, which may include your name, company and title.
-Ask questions and comment on other participants’ answers while it’s happening. The beauty of a Twitter chat is that the conversation is happening instantaneously, so there is no right or wrong time to jump in and ask.
-Use the hashtag. This goes without saying but it’s important to not get lost in the shuffle or have someone miss your tweet by not including the hashtag. If you are using a tool like Tweetchat.com, then the hashtag should be automatically added for you.
-Have fun. The point of a Twitter chat is to network, meet new people and learn new things.
-Retweet every single question asked by the moderator. It’s important to remind everyone of the original question, however it’s also important to participate with your own thoughts.
-Take the chat off topic. While a chat is flexible and can take many tangents and directions, the original topic should still be the main focus.
-Try to sell something or promote only yourself and your business in the chat. Similar to a cocktail party, the point of a chat is to learn something from each other and to gain insight. No one likes to hang around someone who just talks about themselves.
1. Tweet short sound bites so that people can easily retweet you and add their own comments.
2. When you really like another person’s thought/insight and their tweet is too long to add your own comments, RT the other person and then @ mention them and tweet your own thought.
3. Whenever it’s relevant to tweet an article, blog post or infographic related to the topic, do so. Attendees can always revisit these items after the chat is over.