Tips for a Twitter Chat Newbie
Guest blog by Amy Hild of Modern Rural Living
Are you new to twitter chats? Well so I am!
Yes, I know you’re thinking, “why is a newbie writing about how to participate in a twitter chat?” Well, it’s because I was thrown in and had to learn rather quickly.
When I was invited to participate in the #MWTravel twitter chat, here are some of the questions I had and what I learned:
- How do I follow a chat?
The first thing you want to do is find the hashtag that goes along with it the chat. For example, the hashtag for the weekly Nostalgia Chat is #NostalgiaChat. To find it, go to twitter.com and enter “#NostalgiaChat” into the search bar up top.
Side Note: This hashtag is determined before a chat by the hosts. If you click on any word that has the # sign in front, it will show all of the tweets about that subject.
What is the best way to follow and participate in the chat?
My first ever chat, I had about 3 or 4 browser windows open and it really slowed things down, but it worked. But I then discovered TweetDeck. This is an application that you can install on your computer.
The way I set my TweetDeck up is that I have an @Mentions column, a column with the hashtag (#NostalgiaChat), then a column for the user leading the chat (@bekiweki).
How do I reply within the chat?
Sometimes in a chat there is a predetermined topic for the week but most of the time, there will be questions asked that will start with Q1, Q2, etc. If you answer the question, it’s courtesy to tweet with A1 leading the tweet.
In every tweet that you send you want to have the appropriate hashtag in your tweet.
Those are the first major questions that I had before joined the chats, but here are a few Do’s and Don’ts that I learned along the way:
- First thing, say ‘hello’ and introduce yourself to the group.
- Let everyone know that you are a newbie to the chat. It’s really okay to say that you are new because people will help you out along the way. We have all been there so it’s nothing to be scared to admit.
- If someone @mentions you, reply back to them. Have a conversation.
- When conversing, make sure to include the chat hashtag in EACH and EVERY tweet you post so you are not just listening, but staying apart of the conversation.
- A (Answer) the Q (Questions) as they come along and provide value and knowledge in your A (Answers). You can reply more than once if you have another thought.
- Follow not only the chat leaders on Twitter, but also follow the people you interact with. You can also follow others you have an interest in.
- RT (Retweet) good or memorable tweets of fellow participants.
- Have follow up conversations after the chat.
- To help stay organized, put together a Twitter list with the chat participants so you know how you met them.
- Do not RT (=Retweet) each and every Q (question) that is being asked. It’s not necessary and becomes redundant.
- Do not jump into a conversation without knowing or reading what they are talking about. Look back through a conversation, then give your input.
- Do not link to unrelated topics and spam the group.
- Do not ‘hijack’ the #hashtag and start an unrelated conversation while the chat is going on. (If you start a side convo, just remove the chat hashtag in those specific tweets.)
- Do not use the chat to market yourself or sell products. People are there to learn. If you have a blog that pertains, do it in a conversaional manner.
I hope some of these tips and tricks have helped other newbies out there because the advice given to me from people within these chats has helped immensely! Not only have I made some new and great connections worldwide, but I have also learned a lot about the uses of twitter and being social online.