Starting around June of this year, I stopped impersonating an ostrich and got my head out of the sand.
I finally realized what a Twitter Chat was, how successful they truly are, and how to join one. I was amazed how long these had been going on (we’re talking years for some).
Now, in August, Express Writers and my social team (including myself) are active in #bufferchat, #semrushchat, #CMWorld, #LinkedInChat, and just starting to poke our heads into more.
We’re also on the brink of creating our own (stay subscribed to our newsletter and we’ll let you know when we do!).
Today, I am going to give you a tour into Twitter Chats and help you learn more about these awesome tools, and how you can successfully participate in one.
How Do Twitter Chats Work?
Twitter Chats have been around for quite some time and have provided awesome connections for businesses and clients.
But, before I get into some excellent rules to help you be a successful participant, you probably want a brief rundown of just what a Twitter Chat is.
Nicole Miller from Buffer lays out what this is perfectly in her article about Twitter Chats. Basically, a Twitter Chat is a group of Twitter users who get together and chat about a certain topic.
One or two people host it and a hashtag is given out for people to use throughout the chat. Sometimes a chat involves the hosts asking questions and receiving answers from participants.
Alternatively, a Twitter Chat can involve participants asking questions with the hosts providing answers.
Now that you have a brief rundown let’s look at how you can participate and do so successfully.
10 Great Rules to Help You Have an Awesome Twitter Chat
Do you want to engage in an awesome Twitter Chat? Well, I’ve compiled some great rules that can help you have an awesome experience.
1. Have Great Twitter Chat Etiquette. Etiquette is a vital part of participating in a Twitter Chat. A lot of basic, in real life etiquette can work well for these. Things such as not talking over the host, letting others get a chance to participate, and respecting the rules will go a long way to making your experience grand.
Be sure you know the rules beforehand and always make sure you follow them closely. If you need, have the rules pulled up on your computer for quick access during these chats.
2. Know How to Answer the Questions. When you get the rules for a Twitter Chat, make sure that you know the format for answering or asking questions. Do you use Q1 (Question 1)/A1 (Answer 1) or something else?
Whatever is listed, be sure to use it. For example, if I were to ask something like this for a #fantasylitchat: “Q1: Who is the best fantasy author? #fantasylitchat” you could write your answer as such: “A1: JRR Tolkien! #fantasylitchat”
3. Figure Out and Use the Correct Hashtag. As I showed above, my make believe chat has a certain hashtag. All Twitter Chats will have a specific hashtag and you need to use it.
This means that you will need to keep your questions or answers short so that you can include it at the end or beginning. This helps to keep track of all the comments people are making and makes it easier for people to connect with each other.
It also makes it easier for the host to find your responses and respond themselves. So before you start joining in on a Twitter Chat learn what the hashtag will be.
Hashtags are great for so many things, helping to put everything under an easy-to-locate tag. Even when you aren’t doing a Twitter Chat, you should still be using hashtags in your other social postings.
4. Make Sure Your Followers Know You Will be Tweeting More. Along with basic etiquette when participating, you also need to show respect to your followers. Make sure you alert them to your increased tweets an hour or so before you start.
And always make sure you inform them just before the chat begins. This gives them the option to mute you during the chat or to follow along.
5. Don’t Overly Promote Yourself in the Chat. Twitter Chats can be used for connecting and networking, but their primary goal is to provide information and knowledge to people.
What this means is that you shouldn’t overly promote yourself in the chat. If your business already does something mentioned in the chat, you can say so but don’t “advertise” it. In a way, simply by participating, you’re already promoting yourself.
Just engage with people as a regular person, have fun, and take this time to learn awesome new things. You’ll be surprised by how much networking you can get done just by answering or asking questions and not promoting yourself.
6. Proofread Your Answers Well Before Tweeting. Yes, you want to get your tweet out there ASAP so that the hosts can see your answers or questions. However, you don’t want to have a lot of typos.
When you engage in a Twitter Chat, make sure that you are proofreading each and every tweet that goes out. This can help boost the likelihood of getting re-tweeted and/or getting responses.
Plus, if you make sure there aren’t typos, you’ll look professional and knowledgeable. You might be incredibly smart and know your grammar and spelling, but just a few typos can really damage the way others perceive your business.
7. If You’re Asking a Question, Have What You Want to Ask Ready. Engaging in a chat where you ask the questions is a great chance to have an outline ready. You already know what you want to ask, so why not write it down beforehand?
This gives you the ability to know all that you want to ask and to evaluate which questions are the most important to you. This will also ensure you remember what to ask and get the answers you’re looking for.
8. Have Others from Your Business Engage in the Chats. You don’t need to be the only one who is engaging in the chats. In fact, other employees from your business can, too. As I mentioned earlier, there are people from the whole EW team who engage in these.
This helps provide more coverage for questions and answers and ensures you will learn significantly more. This can work with being a participant or even if you decide to host a Twitter Chat yourself.
9. Engage with Other Participants and Form Connections. As I said, this is a great chance to build connections and, instead of promoting yourself, engaging with others is the best way to do so.
If you have advice to give a person based on a question they asked, answer it. You can mark it to respond to later to allow the hosts to answer. But this can help create strong connections with others in your industry.
In fact, everyone involved can learn a lot of great, new things when they all start connecting and engaging.
10. Use Tools to Help You Keep Up With the Chat (Tweetdeck is Great). It can be overwhelming to try and keep up with everything during a Twitter Chat, especially if you’re just using the regular desktop version of Twitter.
We love being part of #semrushchat and during one of the chats we saw over 2,000 tweets in an hour. Crazy, isn’t it?
Using a tool like Tweetdeck can help you stay on top of the chat, seeing people’s questions and answers, as well as not getting too overwhelmed by all the interaction.
4 Easy Twitter Chats to Participate in for Marketing
Now that I’ve looked at some rules, what about some good marketing Twitter Chats? Here are a few that I think are great to be part of for your business!
1. #SEOtalk. This is great to learn more about SEO, how to use it for your business, and learning new tips and tricks from industry leaders.
2. #BlogChat. If you want to connect with other bloggers or to learn some great new tricks, this is the chat for you.
3. #BufferChat. This is a fun, warm community that revolves around social media, community, and online marketing topics (Buffer.com is the creator & host).
4. #SEMrushchat. I love this chat for Express Writers and I know that all of our clients would definitely like this Twitter Chat. It’s all about SEO, content marketing, and often has excellent guests.
This is by no means a thorough list. I’d recommend checking isocialfanz.com excellent calendar for all the top Twitter chats.
Get Chatty, Make Connections, and Boost Your Knowledge
This is the perfect time to get chatty within your industry and learn excellent tips and tricks for your business. You don’t need to be a large business to participate in these chats.
In fact, most of these chats are absolutely perfect for smaller businesses.
Do you have any favorite Twitter Chats or tips to offer the Twitter Chat beginners? Please share in the comments!
Ostrich – sportsjournalists.com