Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Does a Twitter Chat Work?

Tweet, tweet, time to work on your Twitter chat skills!

So you want to build up your Twitter following and work on establishing yourself as a Twitter expert in your chosen field. It is a noteworthy idea and one that I strongly recommend doing. You may have no idea on how to go about this, but have no fear because Super Erin is here to help you!
Okay, now let’s get down to business.

Twitter Chat 101

A Twitter chat is a way for online users to come together at a specified time to discuss certain pre-determined topics set by the facilitator of the Twitter chat. The facilitator is usually someone who is already well-connected in the Twittersphere. The conversation is given a specific hashtag to use. For example, if you are in a Twitter chat about monkeys in the Brazilian rainforest, then the hashtag may be something closely related to #BRMonkeyChat. The hashtag will allow tweeters to identify this particular chat.
Typical formatting of a Twitter chat will have a moderator (the person asking the questions) and possible guest contributors answering those questions. The guests contributor could be other leading industry experts or it could be anyone willing to chime in and offer up responses to the questions.
For each question and answer you will notice a corresponding “Q#” and “A#.” The “Q#” indicates the question and the “A#” indicates the answer to the appropriate question. This organization is done to keep the Twitter chat organized and allow followers of the chat to easily find the questions and answers. The hashtag must be used with each question and answer. This is part of the basic Twitter chat etiquette.
@Facilitator: “Q1: How long have you been studying monkeys in Brazil? #BRMonkeyChat”
@Guest#1: “A1: Well, since I was a freshman in college! #BRMonkeyChat”

Use Proper Twitter Etiquette

Making sure you are using proper Twitter etiquette during your Twitter chat. Some chats have particular rules they want participants to follow, so make sure you do a bit of research on the chat you are wanting to join in on.

Finding Twitter Chats

You may be asking yourself where you can find out about existing Twitter chats and one of the best ways to go about it is to follow people and track tags within your industry. There are also some great online resources for finding existing Twitter chats for small businesses. Try checking these out:
Once you have found a chat you would like to participate in, find a resource to help you manage the chat. You could simply track the hashtag in Twitter, but using a program to help you track them definitely makes it easier and more streamlined. Try these great resources for tracking Twitter chats: Tweetchat and Tweetdeck.

When all is said and done.

Make sure you are tweeting great content in your chosen field on a regular basis. If you are gaining followers, but not tweeting great content, you may as well not bother. I don’t mean good content, I mean great. Need someone to help you curate great content? Just let me know (insert winky face and shameless plus here)! In all seriousness though, one of the best ways to establish yourself as a thought leader in your chosen field on Twitter is to make sure you are tweeting about relevant industry information and making sure you are tweeting quality material regardless of doing a Twitter chat or not. This will help you maintain the followers you have. When it comes down to it – content is king.

Originally posted on colesandcolomy.com