Twitter chats are a great way to participate with like-minded individuals in your community or industry, as well as possibly to get new Twitter followers. It also allows you to find new people to follow as well.
Twitter chats are usually about 30 minutes to an hour once a week. During the set time, there is a moderator who starts the chat with a discussion question or topic. Other participating users then chime in on their Twitter accounts, all using the designated Twitter chat hashtag.
For instance, there is a Twitter chat for glass manufacturers and vendors and their chat hashtag is #glasschat. When a user wants to respond to the discussion question or to another user’s comment, they tweet, and then end their tweet with #glasschat.
There are several different Twitter chats that are happening every day, in all different kinds of industries, including publishing, fitness, design, and marketing. The key to being successful in utilizing Twitter for this purpose is to only tweet with the hashtag when you have something valuable to say and to stay away from being self-promotional, unless it directly relates to the topic at hand and isn’t pushy or cheesy. This is the best way to turn people off from you and your company.
Here are two great resources that will help you find and participate in Twitter chats:
ChirpGuide is a great place to find Twitter chats to participate in. The chats are broken down into topics, such as politics, sports, TV, and news. You can also search by keyword or topic. If you sign in to the website using your Twitter profile, you can save your favorite streams or Twitter chats. This makes it easy to re-access them.
TweetChat is another Twitter chat website that functions more like a chat room when you are participating in a Twitter chat. You log in and choose the hashtag you want to follow. It then takes you into a “room” or window where you can see the tweets that contain that hashtag, streaming in real time.
No matter how you decide to participate in Twitter chats– whether through a site like TweetChat, TweetDeck, or just the old fashioned way through the Twitter website– regularly taking the time to talk to people in your industry can be a great way to continue to show credibility and value to you or your company’s Twitter profile.
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, The Social Robot, where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at The Social Robot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.