Lately we’ve been taking part in a lot of Twitter chats. In fact, they’re currently my favourite way to spend time on Twitter. So, today I thought I would tell you a bit about what Twitter chats are and why I think they’re so great.
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a scheduled time (usually one hour) when people get together on Twitter to discuss a topic. They do this by using one specific hashtag. By using a hashtag, people can read only the tweets that have that one hashtag for the duration of the hour, and get to talk about all kinds of interesting topics with a group of people also interested in that topic.
How do you filter out tweets with a specific hashtag?
There are various ways to do this:
- The simplest way is to click on the hashtag in one tweet. It will pull up all the other tweets with that hashtag. You can then keep refreshing this list.
- Create a stream for your hashtag. This is similar to the first way of doing this, but you can create a permanent stream in a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to follow a hashtag.
- Tweetchat is an online tool built for you to log in to and follow a specific hashtag. It also automatically populates all your tweets with the hashtag so you don’t have to keep re-typing it.
- Nurph is very similar to Tweetchat, but it has a few add ons I really like, including retweeting and a playback feature.
What do you talk about?
During a Twitter chat there is a host (or several hosts) who tweet out a series of questions. Anyone can then answer these questions. People often start breaking off into discussions with each other over the answers to those questions.
A Twitter chat is a great opportunity to learn more about a topic and find other people who are interested in that subject.
What’s in it for me?
- Twitter chats are a great place to find people who are like-minded. By finding a chat that is centered in your industry you have the opportunity to connect with all kinds of new people that you could end up working with.
- Twitter chats are a great place to learn. I take part in a lot of business related chats and I get to learn from the people hosting the chats as well as all of the other people taking part. They often have great insights into topics I don’t know a lot about or they broaden my knowledge on that topic.
- Twitter chats are a great place to prove your expertise. By taking part in a chat about a topic that is of interest to your audience, you can show that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re worth following and getting to know better.
Twitter chats are too fast - how do I keep up?
Twitter chats ARE fast - no doubt about it. Here are a couple of tips to help you ease your way in:
1) If Twitter chats feel overwhelming, watch a couple of chats before trying to take part. Most chats have a rhythm and once you’ve witnessed a couple you should start to feel comfortable jumping in. You can even check out a past chat on Nurph and watch it at the speed that feels most comfortable to you.
2) Don’t worry if you can’t read all the tweets. Do your best and then skip to the next question.
Give one a try!
There are so many reasons that Twitter chats are great. Google search for twitter chats in your industry or ask your friends if they take part in any chats and check one out. They are a lot of fun and they have led to not only a lot of learning and making new friends, but to new clients and sales for us. We’re having a Twitter chat for Social Capital this coming Thursday at 1:30pm too - we’d love to have you join us with hashtag #socapott.