Twitter Chats 101
Congratulations! You finally joined the Twitter world, and are ready to dive in. Although if you are in the Public Relations field, you have hopefully been on Twitter for some time now. Here at Bowda, we love Twitter chats. They are a great way to connect with colleagues on a global level, and engage in great conversations. What is a Twitter chat anyways? A Twitter chat is a scheduled discussion around a specific topic. Twitter users participate by following a designated hashtag and including it in their own tweets. Most chats take place over an hour, and happen one to four times a month. Here are our top 3 tips for participating in a Twitter chat:
Find a Twitter chat that interests you.
There are plenty of resources that provide lists of current Twitter chats. We suggest using Tweet Report’s website as they have a great list of chats organized by day of the week. Check them out here: http://www.tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/
Since Twitter chats can be global, remember to check their timezone. Once you have picked a chat, schedule it into your calendar so you don’t miss it. Just a few that we participate in are: #HootChat, #Bufferchat, #SocialROI and #semrushchat.
Prepare your toolkit.
Twitter chats are fast paced, and over before you know it. Here are a few free tools to help you follow along:
Tweetchat uses the hashtag given and provides you with a feed similar to Twitter that is the specific chat. This stream is updated in real time, and you can easily RT and create your own tweets while using it. Plus they include the hashtag for you, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.
Tweetdeck is similar. You enter your hashtag and authorize your account to start, and the rest is simple. This tool allows you to create multiple columns so you can see all aspects of the chat at once. You can event schedule a tweet within the program. Access both tools here: https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/http://tweetchat.com/
Get involved and follow up.
Twitter chats are fun, and you can learn a lot while participating! For many people’s first Twitter chats, they simply observe. Once you are comfortable, you can start replying to questions yourself and adding your own input. It is great to retweet tweets you agree with, and tweet at your fellow participants. Do not hesitate to follow users and thank others for following you. Just as you should at a networking event, follow up with people after a chat! This is a key to expanding your reach and network on Twitter.
There you have it, our top 3 tips for Twitter chats! Each chat is a great opportunity to expand your network, and learn about the topic at hand. Now that you know how, and why to participate in Twitter chats, we hope you put these tips to use.