If you’re a Twitter regular, chances are you’ve probably noticed a hashtag reoccurring every week or every two weeks. You may have asked yourself, what makes a hashtag ebb and flow during somewhat predictable time frames? Well, it may not be a trending topic per se, but rather, a hashtag that is the central part of a Twitter chat.
A Twitter chat is a live discussion marked by a #hashtag. As an example, #decortrends and #DIYtips are two hashtags used by @ZirconTools to identify chat tweets. By participating in a Twitter chat, you can elevate your company or brand. If you’re wondering how to join one, here are ten easy tips to get you well on your way to be an expert tweeter.
- Sign in and set up. By making the most of your free Twitter account with a short bio, optional link to your website, and a bio image, you’ll be ready to go.
- Find your experts. Identify and follow Twitter influencers within your industry that will help you understand which Twitter chats are most relevant for you to join.
- Find applicable Twitter chats. You can find relevant chats by searching popular chat sites, such as Tweetchat.com. Once signed in, available “rooms” are listed and by clicking into a specific one, you can see the most recent tweets for chats of interest. Note the date and time of the chats.
- Join the chat. There are multiple ways to log in and sign into the chat. Although all you need is a Twitter account to participate in a chat, it is often helpful to sign into Tweetchat or Twubs which are both cloud-based apps that specialize in Twitter chats. The advantage of signing into either app is that a live stream of tweets is automatically displayed for the specific chat and the hashtag is also already included.
- Listen. Once you’re signed into a Twitter chat take a few moments to listen and view the chat dialog. By first monitoring the chat, you’ll become familiar with the chat lingo and the way the chat is orchestrated. Each chat has a host or a moderator. The host usually has the duties of posting chat questions.
- Tweet. At the chat scheduled time, participate. It’s fine to take a step back, review, and listen to the online conversation before tweeting; however, if and when you feel compelled, jump into the conversation. Tweet questions are usually designated with a “Q” before the question number and will appear as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. For others to see your tweets, make sure to include A1, A2, A3, etc. in your tweet and always remember to also include the chat #hashtag.
- Share and retweet. When you find a tweet that you find particularly interesting, share the tweet or tweet directly to the person who posted the specific tweet. When you retweet, you’re acknowledging the other person’s idea and this can help build your own thought community as well.
- Ask questions. While chatting, you may want further clarification. Often, the question is to be directed to a specific chat participant. Ensure you use the @ with the participant’s Twitter account, so the individual will know that the question is directed to him/her. Keep it brief and to the point.
- Stay on topic. As proper chat etiquette, be focused on the chat conversation rather than straying toward commercial messages about your brand or tweeting about other topics that are not relevant to the chat.
- Deepen the Relationship. The objective of the chat is to engage and share on-topic information related to the subject or theme. After the chat, enhance the relationship by following your new-found chat friends. Also, this will be a suitable time to expand the conversation to other topics of interest to you.
Let’s exchange Twitter chat ideas. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com. Interested in hosting your own Twitter Chat? Please read our blog, How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat for timely and useful tips.
Join us each Thursday at 11 am PST for #decortrends #DIYtips. Learn, share and engage.