Twitter, you either love it or hate it. But as a brand or marketer, it’s an important network. Getting started on Twitter can seem intimidating due to the massive amount of content. How do you get your name out there? How do you add value and build relationships? Twitter chats are a great place to start.
Twitter chats are basically real time conversations (through Twitter) with a group of people, discussing a certain topic. The organizer is the moderator and will post a series of questions that people reply to and build on.
There are Twitter chats for EVERYTHING! Marketing, social media, writing, anime, sports, education. Literally everything.
Each Twitter chat has a unique hashtag so that it’s easy to see which tweets are part of the conversation and which are just normal posts.
Most Twitter chats will be on the same day and time weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on who’s running it and the availability of resources to organize the chat.
It’s common for most Twitter chats to last about an hour long. The number of questions can vary depending on how quickly the host moves on to the next question, usually around 6-10.
You don’t have to participate the whole time, so even if you can only stop by for a bit, that’s better than nothing.
Twitter, and social media in general, is all about making connections. Twitter chats help you build relationships with people, learn new things, stay updated on trends, educate others about a topic and join a community.
Twitter chats are filled with experts in their subject areas. Having access to converse with people who have mastered certain topics can provide you with tips and tools to be more successful in other areas.
Join a Twitter chat that deals with something you want to improve on or about some skills that you need brushing up on. Want to learn about video production? There’s a chat for that! Writing a novel but don’t know how to go about publishing? There’s a chat for that!
Even if you join a chat that you consider yourself an expert in, you are guaranteed to learn something or open your mind to new things. Every single chat I’ve joined, someone will be tweeting, “wow I’ve never considered that!” or “I had no idea. I’ll have to look into that.”
Many people join Twitter chats to get information. And if your brand is in that chat, they see you, you’re answering questions and showing personality, you now have a new potential customer.
You can definitely expect to gain some followers each time you join a chat, which helps expand your reach.
If you’re adding value to the conversation, you’ll start to nurture these new connections and convert some to customers.
Twitter chats are pretty tight-knit communities (but they love newbies). When you join a chat, you’ll gain followers, encourage comments on your posts, get retweeted and increase your overall engagement.
First thing’s first, you need to have a Twitter account. Twitter is an awesome platform for pretty much all brands and individuals, so if you don’t have a Twitter account, wanting to join a chat is the perfect reason.
There are tons of ways to find chats that interest you.
Once you start following people in different industries, you’ll notice when they tweet about specific chats they are involved in. Most accounts that organize Twitter chats will also have information about them in their bio.
You can also search for key words or hashtags that might bring up some good ones. Googling will also provide you with results. If you type “Twitter chats for education” into Google, tons of results will come up. There are also some online databases like, TweetReports, that have a list of Twitter chats with the day and time listed for you.
For social media managers and marketers here are some of my go-to chats:
Twitter chats can be accessed on mobile or web versions of Twitter so you can do them pretty much anywhere. BUT…using the Twitter app or website will mean you are constantly refreshing your page to see new posts and you’ll miss a majority of the conversations that branch off of the original question.
TweetDeck is a platform from Twitter that allows you to view multiple timelines on one dashboard. You can have a column for notifications, certain hashtags, specific accounts, trending, and so much more right up next to each other instead of Twitter’s normal interface. And let me tell you, it is an absolute life saver for Twitter chats.
Why? TweetDeck allows you to add columns for specific hashtags and then will update in real time as users post using that hashtag. So every time someone uses the hashtag, you’ll see it in the post.
Here’s an example of the the conversation you would see on TweetDeck following a hashtag vs. what you would see on the same post directly from Twitter.
Getting started with TweetDeck is super easy too! And it’s completely free and customizable. Here’s how:
And that’s it. You’re now able to respond to questions, comment on other people’s posts, get involved in side conversations happening and really see what’s going on in the chat.
There are also other third-party apps that can do the same thing, but Tweetdeck is free and easily integrated with Twitter. But with anything, you should do some research and find out what works best for you.
Most Twitter chats have their own set of “house rules” that will either be posted on the organizer’s Twitter or tweeted as a reminder/heads up to newcomers right when the chat starts.
Generally speaking here are some things to keep in mind when participating in a chat:
Twitter chats are a great place to build a community, increase engagement and learn something new. So pick a topic of interest to you, find a Twitter chat to join and get tweeting. And if you ever see us in a chat, be sure to say hello!