Getting started on Twitter can be a lonely and awkward experience. All these conversations are happening around you, and yet it can feel like you are tweeting all by your lonesome.
You know you should get in there and engage and chat with people but aren’t the type to just walk up to a stranger and tap them on the shoulder and say, “Hey..so you like stuff?” #awkwardmoment.
Enter Twitter Chats.
Now for the unfamiliar, Twitter chats are chats that happen using the hashtag functionality. This massive Google doc has a list and description of the different chats and you can find a chat related to every topic under the sun.
On Twitter, when you click on a particular hashtag, you will see all the tweets related to it and people who are talking about it.
What Are The Chats About?
You can find chats about pretty much everything from books, entrepreneurship to blogging advice.
Why Should I Participate?
While tweeting content regularly is great, Twitter chats let you maximize your time on Twitter and participate in existing conversations. Instead of tweeting 1-1 you are now engaged in a conversation with many people around a particular topic. Your tweets can be seen by hundreds as well as those who are lurking .
— Megan Madden (@southpawmegan) October 3, 2012
Think about it: your peeps are right there, gathered around discussing a topic related to your niche/industry/expertise. You don’t have to go searching for them..they are all there!
Not to mention all the knowledge sharing that goes on!
How Much Time Do I Have To Invest?
Most Twitter chats are one hour long and happen on a specific time and day of the week or on a bi-monthly basis. You can pop in and see if the topic that week is relevant to you and decide to participate or not. A lot of these chats have regulars so it’s a great way to build strong connections that can help your business. Like anything, what you put in is what you get out!
— Mack Collier (@MackCollier) September 27, 2012
How Can I Get Started?
- Find Your Chats: Check out the Google doc listing the various Twitter chats and identify a few that may interest you. Mark them in your calendar so you don’t forget.
- Research: If you use a tool like Hootsuite (or Tweetdeck) add a column and filter by the hashtag for the chat(s) that you are interested in. This way you can start to observe and see how people interact in the chat, what type of crowd it attracts and so on.
- Game Day: Once you’re ready to participate in a chat, I would highly recommend using a site like TweetChat so that you can focus on the chat and block out all the other Twitter noise. Most chats follow a Q&A format where the host will ask a question e.g Q1: Which Twitter chats do you recommend? and people will respond with a1)#yfechat, #shenowchat, #blogchat… and so on. Note: many spin-off conversations start as well-don’t be afraid to jump-in!
- Post-Chat: Connect with people you’ve chatted with and keep the conversations going!
— mairi mackay (@mairicnn) October 2, 2012
If you’re looking to connect with other entrepreneurial women who are starting their business (and further along), I would recommend:
#shenowchat Led by She Now Org these chats happen on a weekly basis serving a community of women that believes in pursuing their careers and dreams, having adventures, and living their own lives first!
and the soon to be launched
#bootstrapchat by the lovely ladies over at Kicksart Kitchen on Wednesday October 17th at 6pm PST/9PM EST where they will discuss getting the resources you need to build a thriving business on a shoestring budget.
Save the Date
October 9th: I’ll be the hostess on the upcoming #yfechat where we will be chatting about “Perfecting the Pitch”. I’ll be there to welcome people to the chat, and helping with the Q&A. Hope to see you there.
November 5th: I’ll be asking the questions over at #SheNowChat. Topic to come shortly..hope to see you there!
So ready to take the plunge? Which Twitter chats will you explore? Already chatting? What are some of your faves?