Want to meet likeminded people from the comfort of your office?
Perhaps you’d like advice from a veteran in your niche. Maybe you want to grow your network and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’d simply like to touch base with some interesting folk.
Whatever your reason for reaching out, Twitter Chats are a great way of doing so.
All you need to get started is a Twitter account. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved, starting with the basics.
What is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter Chat is a group of people who get together on Twitter to talk about a specific topic.
There are Twitter chats about pretty much everything you can think of, including:
- Spirituality and Faith
- TV shows
- Learning foreign languages
- Job hunting (and networking with recruiters)
- Publishing and writing
- Local issues
Chats take place on a regular basis, usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, at a specific time, and usually for one hour.
During the chat, people taking part use a specific hashtag so that everyone who’s taking part in the chat gets to see their tweets.
Why Take Part in a Twitter Chat?
Twitter is the networker’s social network. It’s the perfect place to reach out to new people and grow your network.
Twitter Chats are one of the best ways of meeting new people, not least because the people taking part in the chat want to talk to you.
You can use Twitter chats to:
- Network with other business owners and leaders in your niche. As you get to know people, you can share ideas, contacts and useful information.
- Meet other people with similar interests to you. Whatever you want to talk about, there’s likely a Twitter chat for it. And if there’s not, you can always set one up.
- Educate yourself. Twitter chats are good entry points if you want to expand your knowledge on a particular subject. They’re a good place for asking any questions you have. So why not take the plunge into a completely new niche or topic using a Twitter chat? You never know where the journey could take you.
How Do You Find a Twitter Chat?
There are many different ways of finding Twitter chats. These include:
Looking out for the chats your friends are taking part in. If your friends are part of the conversation, then it must be a cool chat to take part in, right? Also, you have the added benefit of knowing someone who’s in the chat “room”.
Running a Google Search. Type “Twitter chat” and the topic you’re interest in into the Google search bar. You’ll find all kinds of relevant chats.
Using a Twitter chat database. A number of different websites collect databases of popular Twitter chats. Our faves include:
- The TweetReports Twitter Chat Schedule.
- ChatSalad, a Twitter Chat calendar which shows all upcoming chats.
- The Google Docs Twitter Chat Schedule.
- The Twubs Twitter Chat Schedule.
Got your own favorite place for finding Twitter chats? Let us know in the comments, below.
What Should You Do in a Twitter Chat?
The best way to get involved in a Twitter chat is just to take the plunge. Find a Chat on a topic you’re interested in, turn up on the day, and type the hashtag into the Twitter search bar. By doing this, you’ll be shown a stream of all the tweets in the chat.
When you’re ready to join in, send out a tweet that includes the hashtag. If it’s a busy chat, you’ll likely be surprised at how many replies you receive.
Other than that, just be a decent human being, don’t do (or say) anything your momma wouldn’t approve of, and do your best to stay on topic.
Want extra guidance? Then keep reading…
- Many chats have a moderator – this is someone who’s in charge of keeping the conversation on track. When you join the chat, drop them a message to say hello and include the chat’s hashtag.
- Remember that whatever you say in the chat is public and forever. All your Twitter followers will see your contributions to the chat.
- Want to get the attention of another participant in the chat? Then retweet something they say, or ask them a question. Retweeting is always a way of showing agreement with what’s been said.
- Most Twitter chats are not places for self-promotion. You will meet fascinating new people, who may become useful business contacts. Never try to sell in Twitter chats.
Make Twitter Chats Simple With These Tools
Taking part in a Twitter chat is easy enough. You just log-in to Twitter at the right time, and enter the chat’s hashtag into Twitter’s search bar.
However, there are tools that make chatting on Twitter even easier than that. These include:
- Tweetchat. This tool creates a chatroom for any Twitter chat, so you can keep up easily and take part in the chat without constantly re-typing the hashtag.
- Twubs features a schedule of popular chats, and also provides a chatfeed so you can follow any live Twitter chat.
- TwChat allows you to create a chatroom for any hashtag.
Start Your Own Twitter Chat
After you’ve taken part in a few Twitter chats, why not start your own? When you do, you can:
- Start with a launch party. That way, you’re not committing to regular chats. A launch party allows you to gauge interest, and (if lots of people show up), start with a bang.
- Get your chat listed. Once your chat is up and running, make sure you get it listed in all the major chat directories (see above).
- Invite guest interviewees. Inviting guests grows your community (many of them will come back for other chats), and it keeps things fresh and interesting.
- Be strict on yourself in keeping to the schedule. If you need a break, pass on responsibility for organizing the chat to someone else.
What’s Your Chat Experience?
Have you taken part in a Twitter chat? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments section, below.
If we’ve inspired you to go out and find a Twitter chat to take part in, let us know about that too.
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