To get started on Twitter it is always useful to participate on a Twitter chat.
What is a Twitter Chat?
Twitter Chats are subject specific gatherings on Twitter usually held weekly at the same time.
I find these alternatively referred to as tweet chats.
Twitter Chats are hosted by the founder or a couple of people who share the hosting. Sometimes a special guest co-host is brought in.
Why are Twitter Chats a Good Thing
On a chat you will meet people interested in a particular topic.
If you are just getting started on Twitter, at first it seems like no one hears you. On a Twitter chat, you are much more likely to be heard and enjoy interaction.
Twitter chats give you the opportunity to meet other people that you will want to follow and have a relationship with on Twitter. It is a good idea to engage them in some conversation because just following alone may not get a follow back if they don’t recognize you.
My client Jai Roberts started participating on the twitter chat called #GardenChat soon after she got on Twitter and it was a perfect fit for her. It’s always great to find a Twitter chat where not only can you learn, you can add value.
How To Participate
It is good to show up a little bit early. The first tweets will tell you what the twitter chat is about that time and allow participants to introduce themselves.
To find the chat, you will “search” for the #name of the chat. Let’s use #BlogChat as an example. All twitter chats have a name with no space that starts with #.
All of the tweets related to the Twitter chat will show up in that search stream.
Useful to Have Columns to Follow Twitter Chat
Personally, I like to do Twitter chats using a Twitter platform called Hootsuite. There are other platforms that allow you to make columns based on lists and search. This is one of them.
I set up one column to “search” the word #BlogChat
The column next to it, I set up to search my twitter name without the @. There I will be able to see both mentions of me and my sent tweets.
I need to remember to add #blogchat to every tweet.
It is easy to “retweet” on Hootsuite, adding a comment which is useful in a Twitter Chat. The #blogchat “hash tag” is already there in the tweet that I am retweeting.
Aside from tracking the chat with the two columns on Hootsuite, I have my iPhone nearby buzzing mentions through an app I use called Boxcar.
Many people like to use TweetChat or TweetGrid apps which add in the #name for you.
Don’t Worry if You Can’t Follow Everything
BlogChat is one of the first Twitter Chats and very active. If you are interested in blogging and would like to meet other bloggers and learn more about having a successful blog, this is a good chat for you.
Don’t worry if you can’t follow everything. The chat stream will go by very quickly. Just jump in where you can. If is Open Mic night you can ask any question you like relevant to blogging. You can answer someone who has commented or asked a question.
The more you come back to the same Twitter chats, the easier it will be as people will recognize you. But don’t be afraid to contribute. Just jump in!
Twitter Chat Schedule
This is the link to the google excel sheet that lists most of the Twitter chats on a large variety of topics. The originator of the concept of listing Twitter chats was Meryl Evans.
The Twitter chat known as #custserv is useful for both corporate and small business issues related to customer service. This is a well developed chat hosted by my friend Marsha Collier on Tuesdays at 9PM ET.
Please Don’t Spam
Don’t use Twitter Chat hash tags to just drop in a link to your website if you are not actually participating at the time. People will notice and you will do yourself more harm than good.
Come Join Us Tonight
The creator and host of BlogChat, Mack Collier is traveling home from BlogWorld tonight and I am guest hosting in his place.
We start at 9PM ET, 8PM Central, 6PM PST, 4PM Hawaii Time each Sunday and officially go for an hour but there is a warm up that is already going on and a cool down after the chat is over.
Tonight is Open Mic which means that you can ask any question you like and the chat will be quite free-wheeling.
Hope to see you there!