The Newbie's Ultimate Guide to Twitter Chats
Now I'm not usually one to share blogging tips here; that's mostly because I'm usually the one who's asking for some! However, after many months of getting asked about them, I'm sharing all you'll need to know about twitter chats and I'm making it super simple.
I started participating in twitter chats in September when Melyssa Griffin sent out an email publicizing her (now super popular) #NectarChat, a twitter chat for creatives, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. A naturally curious person and a total twitter devotee, I figured it couldn't hurt to try something new. From that one chat I was hooked. I looked for more and more chats and created a week long schedule of chats I participate in.
Why do I participate in twitter chats?
Here are a few: I've grown my twitter following by over 400 followers, increased engagement on my blog, received feedback on some of my burning blogging questions, and found some amazing bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to follow. But the biggest reason has to be community.
Community is key when you're trying to build a blog (in my opinion and in the opinion of this lovely lady and this other amazing lady). The reason I started blogging was to connect to other people who are creative, love fashion, love to travel, and who inspire me. I've met so many amazing people, from the awesome bloggers and business owners to established and fledgling bloggers. From these twitter chats I feel like I've found my tribe.
Where did you find a twitter chat?
It's fairly easy to get started with chatting; you just have to find one that matches your interests! Below is my favorite list of twitter chats:
#creativecoffeehour, hosted by @calliegisler, Mondays at 9pm est.
this chat is for: bloggers and online entrepreneurs to connect in a casual way. You'll meet plenty of bloggers who are just starting out and growing their following. It's a great place to start building your tribe and making friends!
#fireworkpeople, hosted by @fireandwindco (formerly @fireworkpeople), Tuesday at 9pm est.
this chat is for: anyone who needs a little inspiration to get them through the week. The Firework people chat has the nicest group of humans on the internet who spend an hour every Tuesday lifting each other up. Be prepared to celebrate your achievements and the achievements of others!
#createlounge, hosted by @kayla_hollatz, Wednesdays at 8pm est.
this chat is for: bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. Much like #creativecoffeehour, amazing blogger babes (and some guys too!) hang out here to discuss how to be the best bloggers on the net.
#nectarchat, hosted by @NectarCollect, every other Wednesday at 9pm est.
this chat is for: bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives. I would say that this is the biggest twitter chat that you can take part in and the tips you'll pick up about blogging are invaluable.
Other twitter chats that you may want to check out: #owschat (blogging), #ambitionista (female entrepreneurs), #altchat (blogging tips from Altitude Summit), #SITSblogging (blogging), #PhlBlogChat (Philly bloggers monthly chat)
How do you start chatting?
When you decide which chat you'd like to participate in, you'll want to follow the host. The host will tweet out the questions and guide the discussion.
Twitter chats move pretty fast. That's why I open two tabs in my browser window: one for a regular twitter feed and the other is for Tweetchat. Tweetchat is a twitter feed service that asks you to enter in the hashtag for the chat and will then pulls all tweets for that particular chat. The reason for both windows is that, again, twitter chats move fast. Sometimes people will reply to you and it might get missed in the tweetchat stream. I keep an eye on my notifications so I can reply and also follow new amazing people in the chat!
The hostess will most likely start by asking you to introduce yourself and then might have another prompt to go with it (favorite quote, what you're drinking, a favorite song, etc.). Before you start you'll want to perfect your 140 character tagline. Make sure you include your blog address in there!
The hostess will tweet out the questions and then it's time to have fun!
- The questions are proceeded by Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.
- The best way to answer questions is to retweet the question with your reply labelled A1, A2, A3, corresponding to the question number. That way your twitter followers have context for your tweets and they may join in!
- You can also reply directly to the host of the chat. I'll admit that I do this sometimes so that I don't overwhelm my twitter followers with chat tweets.
- Make sure that you follow any of your tweets, retweets, etc. with the hashtag so everyone can see your tweets.
A few quick tips for making the most of a twitter chat:
Be yourself - the quick pace of a twitter chat means that you don't have time to formulate your answer so it's absolutely perfect. Say what you mean and mean what you say; the people you meet in twitter chats will enjoy your authenticity.
Reach out - a good twitter chat has many participants and it can often feel like you're lost at sea. To make it more intimate and worthwhile send a tweet out to someone in the "room". When you notice a tweet that you connect with, tweet something back to them.
Follow and make friends - if you like what someone says and who they are, give them a follow! I've made tons of amazing online friends through twitter chats. They continually share great resources and give me support. So use the twitter chat to find your tribe!