When I first started to use Twitter, I was very overwhelmed. I didn’t even know where to start, are bloggers even on this platform? Should I devote my time to Instagram or Pinterest instead? Let me tell you now – Twitter has been tremendous in growing my blog + helping me cultivate relationships with other bloggers. I can’t believe I wasn’t on it earlier! If you’re just starting out on Twitter, and you’re looking for a way to grow your blog + gain new followers, then you have to be participate in a twitter chat.
Why? Because not only can Twitter Chats offer insight to a problem you might be having, it’ll also help you grow followers on twitter, and create relationships with other bloggers!
So, first things first – What exactly is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter Chat happens live, and is usually focused around a topic. Twitter Chats normally happen at the same time and day each week though it can depend. These Twitter Chats are monitored by a cohost, and have a hashtag to distinguish itself from others.
Here is an example of one of my favorite twitter chats which is hosted by Caitlin Bacher of little farm media.
Her chats are held on Wednesday at 7pm PT. Notice how she named her chat : #creativebizchat ? That is what the hashtag will be (I’ll go into more detail below). As you can see, this chat is for “Makers, Artists, Designers + Bloggers.” But there are Twitter Chats for almost anything now! So whatever you’re into, I’m sure there’s a twitter chat for that.
How do Twitter Chats get an audience engaged?
Now for my favorite part! Usually, twitter chats are centered around a discussion. Hosts who have run twitter chats for a while and have experience would usually post up questions beforehand so that participants know what to expect – that way you can plan your answers or see what the discussion will be about.
an example would be this post from Social Studio Chat . All of the questions are clearly outlined, so you can prepare your answers!
How to Participate in a Twitter Chat
There are many different websites out there that will let you tune in to a Twitter Chat (you can even do it from your twitter, but it gets too crazy and I don’t recommend that), so here’s the website I use. >> tweetchat.com <<
I choose TweetChat because it is the most simple and easy way to participate in Twitter Chats!
1. So, type in a hashtag to start : for now we can use #viralchat.
2. Press Go and Authorize your account.
3. You’ll see everyone who is participating tweet. All you have to do is type in the field below.
As you can see, #ViralChat asked a question which is highlighted. Some hosts don't highlight their questions (but you can easily do so by clicking on the highlight feature).
The awesome thing is that you don’t have to add a hashtag at the end! Tweetchat automatically does it for you. And voila! You’re done, wasn’t that easy? See, participating in a Twitter Chat isn’t THAT scary.
>> You can bet that there's a free checklist for you at the bottom! <<
Want some more tips? Well, you’re in for a treat, my friend. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up after participating in so many twitter chats back to back!
1. Make sure you favorite tweets + engage with other participants.
The whole point of a Twitter Chat is to make new followers, engage with people who have the same interests as you, and learn something new. Make sure you engage with other users by favoriting their tweets to show your support, answer any questions that other participants might have, and give them feedback.
Every reply counts, even if it’s just as simple as, “Wow, great idea Diana! I never thought about that!”
Tip: I try my best to be as helpful as I can and to add to the conversation. If you and someone are tweeting at each other, then follow them – most of the time, they will follow you back!
2. When you answer the Question, make sure you put A(question #).
In this case, the question was Q7 and Sam from Love and Wonderful answered with A7. This shows other participants what question you’re answering. It also keeps things very organized as well.
Extra Tip: You can also retweet the original question and add your own answer. This lets your followers know that you’re participating in a twitter chat and they can jump in as well!
3. Make sure to introduce yourself!
If I arrive to a twitter chat right when it’s starting (rarely, but it sometimes happens) then I follow the examples of other bloggers and introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Diana and I blog over at www.thecoffeedate.com” there’s nothing I like better than checking out other active bloggers websites.
Don’t be afraid to say hi to bloggers that you admire or follow. If I see a blogger whose website I love, I’ll usually tweet, “Oh hey Sara! I love your blog. So excited to see you here!” Twitter chats are all about building relationships. Don’t forget that.
4. DON'T BE SHY
Sam from Love And Wonderful gives some advice and says, “Participate in a twitter chat within your niche and you won’t feel like you’re being left behind.” If something is in your niche, then you’re going to be interested in the discussion. If you have something helpful to say, tweet it. If someone said something that you agree with, let them know. The more effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Twitter Chats are about building relationships and for sharing advice. Don’t be afraid to speak up, or ask questions.
Let's get this party started!
#blogelevated 7pm PT hosted by Blog Elevated
#Creativebizchat7pm PT hosted by Little Farm Media
#Nectarchat (every other Wednesday) 6 Pm PST hosted by Melyssa
#ellechat5pm PT hosted by Elle & Co
Other Resources for you
So, I hope you've enjoyed this extensive guide to participating in your first Twitter Chat! Have you ever participated in a Twitter Chat before? What are your favorite ones? Let me know below in the comments!