Think of a Twitter chat as a virtual meet-up for people with common interests. If you are looking to connect with more people in your industry on a wider scale, joining a Twitter chat is the perfect place to start.
Twitter chats are extremely useful for networking, learning business strategies from peers, and generally engaging in meaningful conversations about any shared topics of interest. Twitter, as the platform, serves to help us all connect with a much larger audience than usual.
That’s exactly what we do here at Social Media Today during our #SMTLive Twitter chats. We host #SMTLive twice a month to get social media and digital marketing professionals from all over the world (that typically wouldn’t have the chance to meet otherwise) together to talk about timely issues that affect us on a day to day basis. We then share a recap of the chats on our site so that anyone who wasn’t able to attend can still learn from the information shared.
Are your ready to join the conversation but aren’t totally sure how Twitter chats work? Read on for a step by step guide explaining how to participate.
The steps below are the same for #SMTLive as any other Twitter chat; so you can apply this to any chat you decide to attend.
Step 1: Pick a chat to attend
This is simple. Do your research and find chat hashtags that others in your industry participate in. Often, Twitter chats that meet regularly will have a page with a schedule so that you can see the upcoming chat topics and decide which ones you would like to attend.
Example: The #SMTLive schedule can always be found on our community page.
Step 2: Mark your calendar
Just like any other get together, each chat has a date, time and place you are expected to meet. Mark your calendar so you don’t forget.
Our #SMTLive chats take place twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. If you are someone who likes a classic day-of email reminder, we suggest our participants RSVP to the chat’s they’re interested in and we will email you an hour before to remind you it’s almost time to get tweeting.
Step 3: Find the chat on Twitter
When the time comes, jump on Twitter and search for the hashtag and follow along on the "Latest" tab.
Step 4: Alert your followers (optional)
If you plan to tweet a lot during the chat, it's not a bad idea to send out a brief message to your followers letting them know that you are attending a Twitter chat. A simple polite warning such as the one below will do.
Feel free to introduce yourself as well. It’s always fun to see where people are tuning in from.
Step 5: Follow the hashtag. Use the hashtag.
Follow the conversation watching the hashtag stream.
You're already on the hashtag stream (step 3) so all you need to do now is read along. You may have to refresh often as the conversation continues.
PRO TIP: Mute any bots that are clogging up your feed. Any account that looks spammy or is simply retweeting everything the host says, you should block or mute.
The person hosting the chat will ask questions in order to spark conversation between you and the other participants. You get out of it as much as you put in. Read along and join in wherever you feel fit.
Join the conversation by using the hashtag.
When you're ready to join in, you can either reply directly to the tweet of the question or tweet a singular tweet referencing the which question this is the answer to. For example, if we say "Q1..." you should respond by saying "A1..." and so on.
The #1 rule to always use the hashtag in every one of you tweets. (ex: #SMTLive) If you don't nobody will see it.
Final Step: Enjoy the chat
Share your ideas, ask your own questions, make a new friend, or just sit back and watch. Whatever is best for you.