Tweetchats are special gatherings that happen on Twitter.
They’re driven by a hashtag that charactertizes the conversation topic, but more importantly, there’s a community around the hashtag that keeps it very much alive.
Tweetchats are extremely informative, keep you up to date on current trends, supportive and social. I can’t say enough good things about them. A frequently used metaphor to explain Twitter is how it is like a digital cocktail party, but tweetchats truly bring meaning to this description. People even enjoy pretending they’re passing around drinks or munchies (or disclose what they’ve actually brought to the laptop) as they greet each other. Chats are one hour long events that happen at pre-determined times once a week, but the conversation can carry on by using the same hashtag. Plus, if you decide to join one, you’ll find some have Facebook groups. Most of them have featured guests every week for the audience to interact with, learn and ask questions. You’ll find many industry experts are a lot of fun and thrilled to join the conversation.
Other than a pair of limber hands, Tweetchat.com, and setting up a stream in Hootsuite are my favorite tools and usually the most popular. I especially love tweetchat.com because it’s fast, you can feature or block users, pause, set your pace for refreshing speed and it automatically adds the hashtag at the end of your tweet to ensure it shows up in the stream. Log in with your Twitter account and type the hashtag you’d like to follow in the search box. Important: with any tool you use you want to have visibility of mentions so you can respond (it’s not that hard to miss them in a quick tweetchat)!
If you have to use mobile (or prefer it because you have some amazingly strong and fast thumbs) you want to download the app Echofron (available for Apple products). Hootsuite is available for Apple and Droids and offers the same functionality to filter tweets based on the hashtag.
Hashtracking is a neat analytics tool if you’re a numbers kind of person or needs to deliver them. Features include information on impressions, reach, tweets, the top participants and influencers that were involved with the chat.
How many do I want to attend?
Before you start participating, you might want to “lurk” by following the stream to get an idea. Most first impressions are overwhelmed with the speed (but it becomes manageable)! How many you should attend a week is your decision. People can go high in double digits while some stick with a couple a week. Chats are either scheduled during the workday or evenings.
Personally, I was addicted once I started. It was an unbelievable way to improve my knowledge, ask questions and make righteous friends I’ve had the honor of meeting in real life (or intend to). I go to Twitter to….hang out! Just like you go to a friend’s house, coffee shop or book club. It does take up a chunk of your time so after many months, I started narrowing it down to a just a few a week. Just one can enrich your online experience. I stay in touch with people or moderators I’ve bonded with out of tweetchats. After all, as Dan told us, we don’t abandon relationships!
Which tweetchats do I go to?
Some of the killer social media and marketing tweetchats with amazing, intelligent, kind and welcoming moderators include:
- #MobileChat – @MarketingMusing & @Redeapp – This is somewhat new, and is growing rapidly. Learn about the trends and future of mobile (Wednesdays 9 PM EST)
- #MediaChat – @kilby76 – About online media, new apps and anything media related! Full of #bacon lovers. (Thursdays 10 PM EST)
- #BlogChat – @MackCollier – Tips and strategies to improve personal and corporate blogging. (Sundays 9 PM EST)
- #AWEtalk – @margieanalise – The Mojo Diva helps women entrepreneurs with their millionarieness mojo, but cool guys are welcome! (Mondays 11 PM EST)
- #PinChat – @Tribe2point0 – For avid Pinterest users to share information, trends and more. (Fridays 9 PM EST)
- #LinkedinChat – @LinkedinExpert – All things you want to know on LinkedIn. (Tuesdays 8 PM EST)
- #Brandchat – Variety of topics related to managing and growing brands – corporate, non-profits, etc. (Wednesdays 11 PM EST)
I could go on and on. Actually, there is this giant Google document floating around with hundreds of chats, names and times but I recommend doing personal research. You can ask your peers for suggestions that fits your interests. Do keyword research on Twitter and see what hashtags appear. After some listening you will notice some tweets are populated with certain hashtags more than others.
List.ly has an amazing list of resources to help your expedition! Store this link.
What if I can’t find a tweetchat I’m interested in?
Well, well. That is a fine opportunity for you to begin your own! I still strongly encourage you gain experience in tweetchats and establish (or maintain) an active presence on Twitter. With over 700 chats to date for various industries, causes and groups, there’s likely something for you. But if you can dedicate yourself and bring fresh ideas (and hashtag), it’s a remarkable way to build your community base, promote your brand and business. Check out this great guide to hosting a chat.
You’re going to have a blast. Please feel free to ask us if you want more names for chats for social media and marketing. If you have some you’re fond of then share the details in your comment!
What’s your favorite tweetchat?