I’ve recently discovered several fun and useful Twitter chats. If you haven’t attended a Twitter chat, I highly recommend it. A Twitter chat is a discussion within Twitter where the tweets share an identifying hashtag and meet regularly on a set day/time. Not to be confused with a Twitter party or event, which are generally one-time occurrences that are brand, company or conference driven.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that bloggers, community managers and many, many others can use these chats to network, get information and gain followers. Here’s how:
- Do find a Twitter chat that relates to your business, career, hobby or interest. Take a look at the official master list of Twitter chats which currently lists 318 chats covering topics from books to politics to sports and celebrities.
- Don’t assume all Twitter chats are alike. Some are extremely fast-paced and crowded, others are mellow and low-key.
- Do use TweetChat. This little gem of a tool turned me from someone who tolerated twitter chats into someone who enjoys them. TweetChat isolates the chat Twitter stream, slows it down and automatically adds the chat hashtag to all of your posts. Magic.
- Don’t use a brand or company Twitter account during the chat unless you think the tweets will benefit your followers.
- Do RT useful tidbits of information from the chat. This will benefit your own followers and endear you to people in the chat.
- Do make RT-friendly statements (i.e. prolific, complete thoughts but not too long) so folks are inclined to RT what you say.
- Do post helpful links/articles during the chat, including posts from your own blog if they are directly relevant.
- Don’t conduct a lengthy one-on-one conversation within the Twitter chat. If you want to @reply someone more than once or twice, remove the chat hashtag.
- Do thank the organizer(s) at the end of the chat.
- Do give a shout-out anyone new you met during the chat or anyone who seemed to offer a lot of good information.
- Do follow people who you thought had interesting things to say during the Twitter chat.
- Do return again the following week!