Hey, hey! Let’s talk Twitter chats. I joined my first ever Twitter chat Monday night and learned A LOT. I wanted to share what I learned with you and hopefully, ease some of the anxiety you may be feeling towards joining a Twitter chat yourself.
Or if you’ve just been wondering about Twitter chats, what they’re like and how they work, this post is for you.
Before we get started, can I just say that I used to hate Twitter…with a passion.
I tried it in college sparingly and besides ranting about how much I loved Mike Posner and liking my sorority sisters tweets, I did not utilize it fully.
It was by far my least favorite social media platform and after a few months, I completely abandoned it.
Once I started researching on how to build my biz, one area I was totally lost on was how to actually connect with others who had similar interests (because let’s face it, my cat is no longer interested in my list building strategies!)
Even though I am part of a few Facebook groups, sometimes, they can get a bit quiet, so I wanted to find alternate ways of talking with others in my field.
I did some research and found that Twitter chats are awesome for initiating conversations and connecting with others.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter chats, they’re live “events” on Twitter where you can discuss a topic with many people at the same time using a predetermined hashtag. It’s like a party you can attend in your sweatpants and not be judged for it.
They’re usually scheduled to start the same time every week, run for one hour and are hosted by an expert in your niche. The host will ask a question, and everyone will respond with their answers, while also responding to other relevant answers that resonate. It’s an awesome way to engage in conversation, get new ideas and inspiration, and meet new people virtually that actually get you and your biz.
I made the decision to start with #CreativeCoffeeHour (run by Callie Gisler of CallieCreates.com, who is such a great host!!) since I’ve been reading her blog lately. I was kind of intimidated getting started, but got excited when I saw the topic would be how to utilize blogging to build your brand.
Here’s what I learned:
1. They’re SUPER fast paced
I read a great article by Marianne, of designyourownblog.com, that warned Twitter chats are really fast paced, so I was expecting it but I was still a little surprised initially by how many tweets were coming in simultaneously. In order to help you manage, she suggested using TweetDeck, which was awesome in helping me keep track of people that mentioned me and responding.
I also used TweetChat as well, I found the platform easier than TweetDeck for keeping up with the actual conversation, and helping me respond more efficiently . I kept two windows open on my desktop and checked on both to make sure I wasn’t missing anything (can you tell I’m a type A personality?!)
Another tip I would suggest if you don’t want to keep two tabs or windows open on your desktop, is to just use TweetChat for the conversation, and notifications on your phone to see when you were mentioned. I prefer TweetDeck because it’s way easier to see when someone “liked” your comment, or actually mentioned you and you need to respond, but your phone works just as well.
2. Twitter chats require you to be mentally present
If you’re expecting to just join a Twitter chat and not participate, it will be totally useless. To take full advantage of the conversation happening, you need to make an effort to participate by not only answering the posed questions, but also responding to others answers as well. I’m an introvert, so I was initially anxious by the thought of just jumping into a conversation, but after last night, I def feel it’s the best way to engage.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you have nothing to add to the convo, don’t just jump in to do it, make sure you have something to add, or ask a question related to it, make it meaningful, not just fluff.
Also, if you’re thinking you’ll get to catch up on the latest episodes of your fav show while partaking in a Twitter chat, think again! (Speaking of, anyone else excited about Scream Queens coming back? Chanel #1 is my sassy spirit animal.) I highly recommend closing any tabs not related to the chat, putting your phone away (unless you’re using it for chat notifications), turning the TV off and just tuning in fully. You don’t want to get behind, it’s fine if you do or you arrive late, you can always catch up, but it’s way easier to just follow along in the convo.
3. They’re so much fun
Remember how I said I hated Twitter? I take it back. I’ve been giving Twitter a whirl for a few weeks, and have been warming up to it. But to be honest, it didn’t make a huge impact on me, because I haven’t connected much with anyone since I’m brand new to it. Last night was a game changer for me, it helped me chat and connect with some awesome ladies, and left me feeling positive and energized from the conversation (rare for introverts, right?) They create the perfect virtual atmosphere to chat about a subject you’re passionate about from the comfort of your couch in a relaxing and fun way.
You get what you put in to them, so if you participate, be genuine in your responses and keep an open mind to learn and get inspired from others, you will absolutely love them. Overall, it was such a positive experience and I’m excited for next week, as well as to find some new Twitter chats to be a part of as well!
If you’ve been toying with the idea of joining a Twitter chat, I strongly recommend doing it! Don’t put it off, start today!
Here are some other tips that I found helpful before I started:
- Make sure you’re joining chats you’re passionate about or a topic you want to learn about. Don’t join a chat on web design if you hate it and have no intention of learning more about it, it’ll be a total waste of your time.
- If you’re not sure where to find Twitter chats in your niche, try using TweetReports.com, it’ll let you look up chats by days of the week, have the topic, the time, the host and a short description. You can also check out what Twitter chats your fav bloggers and experts are part of, or host.
- Once you’ve found one or two, put them in your calendar, virtual or physical, and also make an alarm to remind you 15 mins before so you don’t forget.
- Make sure you take note of the time zone, for example, the #CreativeCoffeeHour chat starts at 6 PM (PST), which is 8 PM for me over in Tennessee. This can be an easy way to show up to the party two hours too early -or late!
- This wasn’t a problem for me, since I only have a few followers, but you may want to send out a courtesy tweet to warn your followers that there will be an influx of tweets coming on their feed due to your participation.
- The questions will be asked by the host in the following way: Q1, Q2, Q3 (Q stands for question).
- Make sure you answer with the letter A (for answer) and the corresponding number: A1, A2, A3.
- Ideally, try to answer the question by rephrasing it so it makes sense to your followers (I know it’s hard because of the limited characters, so don’t sweat it if you can’t).
- TweetChat will highlight the question in yellow because it identifies the “Q1” format, make sure you’re not answering using “Q1”, it’ll confuse everyone in the chat!
- If you’re using TweetChat, the corresponding hashtag will already be inputed in your response, no need to do it twice!
- If you’re not using TweetChat, make sure to respond using the correct hashtag, so your comments pop up in the chat.
Have you guys ever joined a Twitter chat before? How did it go? Do you have any tips for making the most of it or any Twitter chats you love that others should check out? Let me know in the comments below!