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Guest Post: Twitter Chats – #ToJoin or #NotToJoin?

December 9, 2011

This week’s guest post comes from MarketWave’s intern, Yasmine Gila. Here she gives tips on how to get started on Twitter Chats.

Via Mashable

If you are one of the 100 million active users on Twitter, I highly recommend participating in a Twitter Chat. According to Mashable, “Twitter Chats are scheduled gatherings of people on Twitter to discuss pretty much anything that interests them, using a hashtag to keep track of the conversation.”

Twitter Chats are a great way to make new connections while expanding your online network, and can become very addicting.  With hundreds of chats occurring weekly, the chance of you not finding one that interests you is slim. Topics range from job hunting and travel to apps like FourSquare!

Personally, I have developed friendships with people that I met though Twitter Chats who I know I can go to if I have a specific question or want advice on a certain topic.

If you’re new to Twitter Chats, check out some tips on how to navigate your first chat:

  1. Be prepared. Sometimes moderators will post the topic of the chat before it starts. Taking some time to research the topic will help you not waste time when the chat begins.
  2. Pick your tool. Using a Twitter tool will help isolate tweets from your chat, so they aren’t lost in your timeline. My favorite site to use is Tweetchat.com. It adds the hashtag at the end of your tweets for you.
  3. Use proper etiquette. Introduce yourself when you join, and thank the hosts and users you interacted with at the end. Also, since it is an open dialogue, be polite and respectful of others’ opinions.
  4. Participate. I was intimidated when I first started and just watched what was being said. You can’t experience the full potential of Twitter Chats if you don’t participate. Retweeting statements you agree with and answering questions help keep the conversation going.

Extra tips to make your Twitter Chat a positive experience:

  • Twitter chats can go pretty fast. Try zooming out on the page to allow more tweets to be shown.
  • If you’re using Tweetchat.com, refresh your speed to every 5 seconds.
  • Give your followers who may not be participating in the chat a heads up that you might be sending many tweets in the next hour.

The more Twitter Chats you have under your belt, the more comfortable you will be with them!  Have you participated in any Twitter Chats recently? Which ones are your favorites?

Here are some chats I participate in:

#journchat
Topic:
Journalism
Host: @PRsarahevans
When?
Mondays 7PM CT

#pr20chat
Topic: New Media and Public Relations
Host: @PRtini and @JGoldsborough
When? Tuesdays 8PM ET 

#PRStudChat
Topic: No not just for PR studs, for PR Students
Host: @dbreakendridge @valeriesimon
When? Wednesdays 8:30PM ET

#U30pro
Topic: Chat for Under 30 Professionals
Hosts: @DavidSpinks @CubanaLAF @sjhalestorm
When? Thursdays 8PM ET

#SoGoodChat
Topic: Social Good
Hosts: @TweetDriveHQ
When? 25th of each month at 9PM ET

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