I’m trying to make Twitter Chats more of a priority for my blog. They’re a great way to meet other bloggers and get some ideas of how to grow your blog.
So, what the heck are Twitter chats, and how do they work?
What are Twitter chats?
Twitter chats are a way for people to get together and talk about a topic. There’s typically a theme, like blogging, food, or religion. But within those themes, there’s a specific topic for the day, like email lists, vegan recipes, or a certain Bible verse.
Twitter chats are typically an hour long, but that depends on the moderator. It could be longer or shorter if they want it to be. The same goes for how often the Twitter chat takes place–some are weekly, some are biweekly, and some are monthly. It’s all up to the moderator.
How do Twitter chats work?
The title of the Twitter chat is a hashtag. My favorite, for example, is #NectarChat. Everyone uses the hashtag with their tweets so everything is kept together. Hashtags create links, so by clicking on #NectarChat (or whatever the hashtag is), everyone can see everyone else’s tweets.
In order to encourage conversation, the moderator will ask a series of questions throughout the chat. They preface these tweets with Q1, Q2, Q3, etc., depending on what question it is. Then the attendees respond to these questions with A1, A2, A3, etc., so everyone else can quickly tell which question they are referring to.
No matter what, it’s important that you use the hashtag. Even if you reply to the moderator’s tweet (which isn’t necessary) and use A1, your response won’t show up to everyone participating in the chat unless you use the hashtag. There are a few times I’ve forgotten to include the hashtag, so I simply deleted my tweet and reposted it with the hashtag.
You don’t always have to be answering the questions provided by the moderator. If someone else says something that intrigues you, you can respond with your own question, or answer a question they have. Just make sure you keep using the hashtag!
My #1 recommendation for Twitter chats
As you can imagine, Twitter chats can get overwhelming rather quickly. You feel like you need to have 50 million tabs open at once to keep up with everything people are saying.
Well, I’ve got good news for you. There’s a tool that helps simplify everything and allows you to see it all on one screen: TweetDeck.
You can set up your own columns however you want and drag them around as you need. When I participate in Twitter chats, I use one column for notifications, another specifically for mentions, one for the Twitter chat hashtag, and one for the Twitter chat moderator.
It makes Twitter chats really easy because I don’t feel like I’m falling behind on anything. I can check the moderator’s feed for prompts, see who’s responding to me, and check out which of my tweets are the most popular, all while following the conversation through the hashtag.
Plus, you can tweet right from TweetDeck, so you don’t have to leave the screen for any reason. And the columns update automatically; you don’t have to click every time new tweets appear like you do on Twitter itself.
Bam! That’s a quick overview of Twitter chats. Do they make more sense now? I know I was very confused by them when I first heard about them.
Who’s joining me for #NectarChat this Wednesday at 9ET?