Tweet Chats, or Twitter Chats, are a great way to find people with whom you have common interests, to promote yourself as an expert in your field, or simply to gain new followers for your business. A Tweet Chat is simply a group of people who carry on one main conversation on Twitter, for a set period of time (usually one hour). The tweets are all linked with a hashtag, like #MyBookClub, which is the tweet chat I participated in last night, and typically follow a question and answer format.
There are tweet chats happening on Twitter every night of the year. I guarantee if you look hard enough you will find one that is appropriate for your business. Last night I participated in #MyBookClub, a regular chat with authors of great business books–it would be good for any entrepreneur who likes to read business books.
Chats are a great way to learn from new people. Whether the other participants are entrepreneurs too, or they are authors, marketers, motivational speakers, business coaches, financial experts, or country music fans, there is something for everyone. Just by lurking (watching and not participating) you can glean great gobs (I couldn’t resist the alliteration) of information. By putting yourself out there and answering a question, giving your feedback, or stating your opinion, you open yourself up to new conversations, new people and perhaps new ways of thinking.
Keeping Track of the Conversation
Participating in a tweet chat on Twitter.com is really cumbersome. There are many easier ways to take part. If you’re already using Hootsuite (if not, WHY aren’t you?), then you can add a stream for the hashtag of the event you’re following. The new stream will automatically update every few minutes and you can read the whole chat from bottom to top at your own pace, responding to anything that catches your eye.
If you’re still resisting my calls to sign up for Hootsuite, try TweetChat.com. Simply sign in with your Twitter account, enter the appropriate hashtag and it will pull the conversation together for you.
How to Participate
Most tweet chats ask a question every few minutes and ask the participants to respond, sparking lots of great conversations. The owner/moderator of the chat will post the question and it will look something like this:
— Peggy Fitzpatrick (@PegFitzpatrick) August 7, 2012
“Q1″ indicates this is question one, and answers will, accordingly, start with “A1″ as below:
— Anthony Meindl (@AnthonyMeindl) August 7, 2012
See? Simple. Answer a question if you feel inspired, or just follow the conversation to see what you can learn. Here are a few great tweet chats you might be interested in. Don’t be afraid to say “hello” and let them know you’re there…they are always happy to have new people join in.
#MyBookClub – 1st Monday each month, 9pm AST, also follow @mybookclub2
#SocialChat – Mondays, 10pm AST
#BlogChat – Sundays, 10pm AST, founder @MackCollier
#KDChat – 1st and 3rd Mondays, 6pm AST
#HCSMChat – Sundays, 10pm AST, Healthcare Social Media Chat
#PinChat – Wednesdays, 10pm AST, best practices for Pinterest
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