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How to Participate in a Twitter Chat
Twitter chats are a great way for brands to engage with followers and a valuable resource for individuals to share and gain knowledge on various topics. If you've recently been invited to attend a Twitter chat or came across one that sparked an interest, here are some first-timer tips that will help you understand the process.
Your first question might be, "How do Twitter chats work?". Well that is a great question! Twitter chats are streamed through unique hash tags. If you're unfamiliar with hash tags, they are used to produce streams on searchable topics. So, if you’re going to participate in a Twitter chat -- you must include the unique hash tag in your tweet so it's pulled into the topic stream. If you don't, the other participants will not get to see your valuable input -- and what a bummer that would be for them, right?
Here's an example of how a hash tag is used to stream a Twitter chat:
Note: You'll notice that the host promoting the twitter chat will tweet something similar to "use #examplechat to chime in on the discussion" or "join our #examplechat today 10PST". This will indicate the appropriate hash tag to use.
So now that you've got that down, it's time to prepare for the action! Most chats will start off with an introduction by the moderator. (Feel free to introduce yourself as well. Don't be shy! ) Then he/she will introduce the topic or they might just start off with a question. Questions will be labeled Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. and the proper way to respond is with A1, A2, A3, etc. at the beginning of your tweet so participants can distinguish the responses. This can be seen in the example chat image above.
If you're attending a popular chat, you may find that the conversation moves fairly fast due to a high number of particpants. If you want to keep up, it's wise to filter by "Top" tweets rather than "All". This can also be seen in the example chat image above.
Bonus Note: Ask and answer questions if you have something helpful to share. If the moderator finds value or quality in your content they will Retweet your Tweet! That's when you know you're onto something.
And voila! It's as easy as that. You should be all set to participate in your first Twitter chat. Tweet, Tweet!
Here's a helpful Google Spreadsheet provided by Robert Swanwick on almost all reoccurring Twitter chats. Be sure to keep an eye out for @reddoor hosted Twitter chats too!
Feeling inspired to host your own Twitter chat. Here’s a helpful article from the Social Media Examiner on 5 Steps to Hosting Successful Twitter Chats: Your Ultimate Guide.