Tweeting with a purpose: A Tweetchat how to
In a world where breaking news happens on twitter before it’s announced to the general media, twitter is more than a teenager/celebrity medium. With over 140 million users information and news is being spread at a much more rapid pace than in times before. That is why twitter really can be an excellent learning tool, especially in the form of a tweet chat. ATweetchat is a pre-arranged chat that takes place on Twitter through the use of Twitter updates (called tweets) that include a predefined hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation. It’s like a chat room on twitter.
Formal Twitter tweet chats are arranged in advance and occur at a specific time. They may include a formal agenda with a specific leader or “speaker”, or they might involve a free flowing discussion between all participants. Questions are predetermined and asked throughout the chat to the various participants. The conversation then flows with responses to those inquiries as well as any others that people have. Some of these chats are used as more of an open forum for users to ask any questions on a predetermined topic.
The general topic of Tweetchat is so new and untapped, that there is only a wiki page about it, but not a full Wikipedia page. This is NOT synched up to the twitter Wikipedia page, so it takes quite a bit of time to really find it. This page only highlights when different chats are on Twitter. There is such little information on this topic generally other than a few blogger’s thoughts. But twitter chats are a fast and growing network of people. Everyone from marketers to single parents can find a different outlet for their thoughts on twitter chat.
The basics are that there is a # to be used at a specific date/time each day/week/month. You can either follow the chat on any number of different platforms. The tweet chat platform, tweet deck, or hoot suite deck have proven to be the best to participate in the chats. The tweet chat platform is the easiest though since it automatically puts the # at the end of your tweet and makes it clear how many remaining characters you have. While all of these do make the whole process of participating in a tweet chat much easier you must take in mind the speed of the events. Based on the amount of people in it, and how often they are participating, this can be an overwhelming experience.
Here are some tips to stay active in a chat you are in, and to get the most out of it:
- Research the topic beforehand
- Send a tweet out before the chat starts so your followers will know why there is a sudden influx of tweets coming from you
- Make sure to re-tweet anything that you found valuable
- Give credit to the person that you re-tweeted
- Ask questions relevant to the topic
- Thank the moderator
- Watch your character count, and make sure to leave space so you can be re-tweeted
- Have a list of links to any pages you think are valuable to the topic
- Don’t go off topic or add points that are not needed for the chat
- Be honest but not insulting to your fellow chatters
- Have fun!
“The term tweet chat is sometimes used to refer to conversations that happen on Twitter using hashtags that have not been pre-arranged as a formal chat session. The term can also be confused with the third-party Twitter application, TweetChat.com, which helps users separate tweets related to specific chats to make them easier to follow.” (http://weblogs.about.com/od/twitterfaqs/f/TwitterFAQTweetChat.htm)
Remember you are can be an active part of the discussion. Watching the discussion helps at times, but to really learn something and engage yourself the best way is just to participate.
Here are some links about Tweet chats that BeaconLive found informative:
Mashable Twitter search:
Five twitter tips for b2b marketers:
Twitter B2B Marketing
Cool twitter trick: (two links) YouTube
Video on twitter b2b
Mashable Twitter guidebook:
Twitter for business: the ultimate b2b guide (18 pages)
Twitter for b2b marketing, fad or function?
Are b2b marketers not using twitter correctly?
9 tips for b2b marketing success:
List of tweetchat: http://www.gnosisarts.com/home/Tweetchat_Wiki
5 common mistakes your business makes on twitter @nealschaffer: http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/03/02/improve-twitter-business-common-mistakes/
9 twitter etiquette tips for businesses starting out on twitter: @nealschaffer: http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/03/22/twitter-etiquette-tips-for-businesses/
Social PR lifestyle, Favorite Twitter chats:
Beginner’s guide to understanding twitter chats: http://grindandthrive.com/the-beginners-guide-to-understanding-twitter-chats/