What Is a Twitter Chat and How to Participate

Twitter is a great social media tool for connecting with others online that have similar interests as you. If you are someone involved in investments for example, you twittercan find others who are also involved in the investment world or interested in investments. Following them on Twitter, retweeting their tweets and creating conversation with them will begin to grow your reach on Twitter. Another great way to connect with others on Twitter who share similar interests as you is by participating in Twitter Chats.

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter chat is basically a conversation that is scheduled for a specific time on Twitter using a specific hashtag and usually organized and hosted by someone.  There are some Twitter chats that revolve around a very specific topic each week and there are others that are a more general topic such as personal finance and then focus on a chosen subject within that topic to discuss that week. Twitter chats usually run for around 30 mins. to an hour.

How Do I Participate?

First of all, if you don’t have a Twitter account then that is the obvious first step. Decide on a topic that interests you and speaks for what area you are hoping to connect with others in. Do a internet search for Twitter chats in your are of interest. For example, i.e. “personal finance Twitter chats”.  Make a list of some that you find that interest you. Follow those on Twitter who are hosting the Twitter chats. Before the Twitter chat begins, you must understand what a hashtag is. A hashtag on Twitter is a word or phrase used along with the # symbol to organize people around a specific conversation. Now, if you peruse Twitter you will find many people using hashtags in their normal tweets to guide others looking for those topics to their tweet. In the case of a Twitter chat though, the hashtag is to allow people to follow a specific conversation, not just find individual posts surrounding a topic. If you search on Twitter for the hashtag #WBChat then the tweets that come up will be from the weekly #WBChat Twitter Chat hosted by Wisebread. If you performed this search during the actual time of the Twitter Chat then you could follow along by being able to see everyone’s tweets who is participating. To participate yourself then you just need to make sure when you tweet you include the hashtag at the end of your tweets as well.

Log in to Twitter about five or ten minutes prior to the start of the Twitter Chat. Specifically pay attention to tweets coming from whoever is hosting the chat. Most chats follow the same format. The moderator or host will start by asking a question and each question will usually have something like Q1: to start. Each following question will be Q2, Q3, etc. To reply, you would reply to the host asking the question and put A1, A2, A3, etc in front of your answer, followed by the hashtag at the end of your reply. Of course you can participate in conversation with others in the Twitter Chat to by replying to or retweeting them. It is a good idea to go back after the chat is over and follow those who participated. These are usually going to be people who share your interest.

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