I’ve seen Twitter chats around for awhile and have participated in a couple of them, but it wasn’t until recently that I really saw the value in them. And that’s because I previously wasn’t taking full advantage of all that a Twitter chat has to offer. I was still playing introvert and you can’t do that in a Twitter chat. You need to put yourself out there, talk your ass off, and really connect with new people.
For those of you who are also struggling to see the value of a Twitter chat, here are a few things that you will get out of a good chat:
I gain at least ten followers after every single Twitter chat that I participate in. And not only on Twitter–I’ve seen responses on both my blog and Facebook Page from people I “met” in a Twitter chat.
There’s hardly a better way to really talk and “meet” and get to know other bloggers than an hour of constant tweeting. I have made so many blogging friends and discovered new blogging opportunities through Twitter chats.
Loyal followers and friends
Rather than a follower who checks in every now and then, Twitter chats lead to loyal followers and friends. Like the kind who tweet me weekly asking how things have been going for me.
An amazing support group
The women that I have met in these Twitter chats have been some of the most supportive, genuine, and willing to help people ever and I will forever be grateful for them.
Never participated in a Twitter chat before? Your first time can really make or break your opinion of them, so let’s be sure that you’re adequately prepared so that you can really see the value and awesomeness that is a great Twitter chat.
1. Check in early
Make sure that you’re ready for the chat before it starts. Twitter chats move extremely quickly, so it’s better to get acquainted with your surroundings before you’re thrown into a stampede of tweets. I keep each Twitter chat I plan to attend that week in my calendar with an alert set for 10 minutes before the event. This allows me to get into the Twitter chat mindset and make sure that everything has been taken care of for the next hour.
(Because you will literally be incapacitated and stranded at your computer for the next hour.)
2. Sign up for/open TweetDeck
This is my favorite app for managing a Twitter chat. This interface allows you to open up a few different Twitter windows on one screen.
For each Twitter chat, I recommend:
- Open one window for your notifications so that you can see direct replies and easily respond.
- Open one window for the Twitter chat’s hashtag so that you see tweets dedicated only to this chat and can easily interact with other participants.
- Open a third window specifically for the chat’s host so that you don’t ever miss a question.
Maybe you’ll find a method that works for your own madness, but this is mine and I would suggest trying it for your first couple of times. If this works best for you, that’s awesome, but if not…well, no hard feelings. ;)
3. Set aside the full hour of time
Just like I mentioned earlier, you will need to dedicate the full hour of time to your Twitter chat or else you won’t get the whole experience. I had my sister over one time during a chat and she kept trying to talk to me and I didn’t hear one single word she said. That’s how intense these things are.
The first couple of chats that I participated in, I tried to multitask and complete other projects at the same time. You. can. not. do. this.
With how fast paced Twitter chats are, you really need to be paying attention the entire time or you could miss something.
The most important reason for paying full attention to the chat is for engagement potential. Sure, you could multitask and only chime in when it’s time to answer a question, but what are you getting from the chat? You want to see every else’s opinions and offer your own.
4. Don’t forget the hashtag!
^^ Exclamation mark necessary.
If you don’t include the Twitter chat’s hashtag in your tweets, then no one in the chat will actually get to see them. Which pretty much defeats the whole point of you tweeting or joining in on the chat.
5. Always, always engage with others’ responses
I touched on this in number three, but I want to elaborate a little bit more.
If someone says something interesting, ask for an elaboration. If someone says something awesome, let them know how awesome they are. If someone says something that you want to know more about, ask them about it. If someone is participating that you want to have as a connection, strike up a conversation based on one of their answers to a chat question. If someone has a question and you know the answer, offer up your help. If someone mentions their own business or blog success, congratulate them. If someone says something that you 100% agree with, tell them.
Basically, if you see a tweet that you like, freaking respond to it. Don’t worry about whether someone will think it’s strange that you’re reaching out because it’s not. It’s networking. It’s gaining connections and furthering your potential for opportunity.
Want to make sure that you never miss an epic Twitter chat again? Bookmark my Twitter chat calendar so that you always have times of Twitter chats in the creative niche right at your fingertips.