Tweet Chats are everywhere on the Twitterverse. You’ve seen them on Twitter and wanted to join in on the fun and win those cool prizes you see but you weren’t quite sure how, right? If so, this page is for you! We’ll help turn you into a pro!
Tweet Chats, Twitter Parties and Twitter Chats are all ‘events’ on Twitter where a group of people tweet about the same topic, using a specific hashtag (# symbol) chosen for the topic/discussion. The hashtag allows you to follow the conversations on Twitter.
Tweet chats are often set on a particular day and at the same time. For example, at PTPA, we host #TweetTuesday all day long on Tuesdays with a prize winner selected after 5pm EST. Those who participate are automatically entered for a chance to win! We also have Tweet chats using #ptpachat. Some tweet chats are during the day like our #ptpachat following our Congrats-a-thon week (for example, on a Thursday from 12 – 1pm EST) or a themed chat like our Sleep Chat or Food Chat in the evening because that works best for most people with kids already in bed (hopefully).
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN A TWEET CHAT
First and foremost, if you don’t already have a Twitter account, you’ll need to open one up. It’s free and it’s easy! Visit www.twitter.com, fill out your profile, add a profile pic, and you’re almost ready to go. If you’re participating in a tweet chat, make sure to follow the “leader” or “host” of the tweet chat. You should also follow the other co-hosts or moderators, if any. You’ll likely find some interesting people you’ll want to connect with, so follow other guests too! You’ll see that it’s not difficult to engage, and you’ll actually have fun!
To be honest, having a profile pic makes me more likely to follow a person than having a generic default Twitter avatar (the egg symbol). Your profile is important too. Sure, what you say/tweet is important, but your profile lets people know more about you and why they might be interested in following you. Just a little FYI, if your location (Canada, United States, UK, etc.) is clear, it’s also easier for the host of the chat to pick you for prizing purposes if the chat you’re participating in has prizes offered.
Usually, the hosts of the Tweet Chats announce the dates and times for the chats in advance, so you have ample time to mark it on your calendar. Keep note of regular chats you’d like to participate in and also keep an eye out for interesting ones that may come up (*ahem* Like the #PTPAMomThrive one)!
I’d highly recommend following the hashtag and hosts on Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or even TweetGrid. These services allow you to see what the host is saying in one column, what others are saying in the next column, and what people are saying to you in the next column. It looks a little intimidating at first but if you watch what happens for the first few minutes, you’ll get the hang of it! It will make following the conversation so much easier.
- Have a Twitter account
- Follow the “leader” or “host” and any other co-hosts or moderators
- Know the date and time of the chat in advance so you’re ready
- Follow the hashtag (i.e. #ptpachat) to see what everyone is saying, not just the host!
- Try a service like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or TweetGrid which allow you to
For the Tweet Chat Newbies
For anyone who hasn’t participated in a tweet chat before, here are some ins and outs of tweet chats to make things easier for you to join in.
- When a tweet chat is organized, the organizer will select a hashtag for the event (the hashtag is related to the chat topic/theme) and the host/organizer chooses a time to hold the chat.
- Organizers do their best to let as many people as possible know about the tweet chat and ask them to spread the word on their social media platforms. The more, the merrier!
- Usually, organizers assign a moderator to welcome tweet chat participants, ask questions, RT tweets, and keep the conversation on going and going in the right direction.
- Before joining a tweet chat, I like to make sure I know what the topic is about. You can check out the conversation or search the hashtag to see what people are talking about.
- You can share tweets from the chat that you feel are relative or that you agree with or like. Do this by retweeting or replying with a comment of your own. Definitely feel free to share tweets that you are in support of/in agreement of.
- Make sure to always use the hashtag for the duration of the tweet chat so your tweets can be followed. Very important! When we randomly select winners for prizing, we need to be able to follow the tweets and tweeters. We do this with the help of the hashtag to follow tweets!
- If you ask a question or respond to someone’s question in the chat, use the hashtag so everyone can be in on the conversation too. The beauty of Twitter is its social aspect. Anyone can jump in on the conversation.
- Manners, manners, manners. It’s advised to not blast, shame, or call out people during a tweet chat if you disagree with them. It’s okay to disagree, but if it’s something you wouldn’t want your grandma or your kids to hear, please take it privately and send the person a DM (direct message) instead. Once your tweet is out there, it’s out there. People will have seen it even before you have time to retract or try to delete. Don’t tweet something you might regret later.
- During a chat, if you ask the host or moderator a question, make sure to stay on topic. Usually tweet chats are an hour (sometimes two hours, but mostly one hour), so not all questions may get answered. Don’t feel shunned if your answer or comment wasn’t addressed. Moderators and co-hosts try to include and reply to all.
- One thing that is not cool is to Twitter bomb a conversation and make it all about you or your product. Someone else’s Tweet Chat is not the place for you to plaster all your info. For example, if you are a brand that is not a sponsor of the tweet chat, you are more than welcome to join in and have fun. However, if you are not a sponsor, but are monopolizing the conversation or acting as though you were a sponsor, that is not acceptable.
- Courtesy tweet. It’s a great idea (and it’s polite) to let people know you’ll be participating in a chat in advance. Once the twitter party has begun, the tweets fly! It’s fast and furious…and fun! Your twitter feed will likely be very busy, so letting people know you’re taking part in a tweet chat is fair warning. You can even tell people they can “mute” you for the hour long chat if they don’t want to get flooded with tweets.
On the personal side of things: Tweet chats are a fun way to talk about a topic, meet new people interested in the same thing as you are, and yes, they’re a fabulous way for you to expand your own social network . In all honesty, they are really fun and can be a little addictive! In a good way!
On the business end: Tweet chats are quite possibly the best things since sliced bread. It’s a great way for brands, companies, organizations, and groups to interact and engage with their followers and fans. It’s all about making that connection and building relationships. The latter two can also build loyalty. The main thing is: Have fun! Engage! You won’t be sorry you did!