How to Participate in a Tweetchat and Why You Should

How to Participate in a Tweetchat and Why You Should

Tweetchats are a fast-paced and exciting social experience. They appeal to a wide variety of audiences and have a variety of benefits for both participants and organizers. However, if you’ve never participated in a tweetchat it can be difficult to get a firm grip on how exactly to participate. It might also seem overwhelming or confusing. Although there is no clear cut rule book, there are standard practices that most tweetchat organizers will expect you to follow to participate in the chat. Once you get these standards under your belt then the twitter fun can begin!

Benefits of Tweetchats for Organizers and Participants

Tweetchats come in all shapes and styles, but most share some common benefits. If they are held routinely, they often attract the same group of people can build relationships and form a sort of community because of this common interest and experience. Before digging into the details on what exactly to do to make sure your tweets are seen during a tweetchat, let’s first examine the reasons that one might organize or participate in a tweetchat.

Benefits of Tweetchats for Organizers:

  • Grow your network
  • Learn more about something new
  • Show your expertise and build a following on a topic
  • Announce a new product or service
  • Promote a giveaway or event

Benefits of Tweetchats for Participants:

  • Grow your network
  • Learn about something new
  • Show your expertise and build a following on a topic
  • Receive the instant gratification of replies and retweets
  • Connect with brands and businesses you are interested in

You’ll notice that many of the benefits for organizers of tweetchats are exactly the same of those for participants. It’s not a coincidence. The reason why tweetchats are so successful and continue to grow in popularity is that everyone involve benefits and many times in the exactly same ways.

How to Participate in a Tweetchat

Tweetchats exists for a variety of purposes, but almost all follow the same basic format. Here are a few things that you need to do in order to get the most of the your tweetchat experience.

  • Use the hashtag on every tweet you make during a tweetchat. This includes mentions and replies. If you do not include the hashtag in a tweet during a chat it will not get seen by the larger tweetchat audience.
  • Topics will usually be started with a T and then the corresponding topic number. Example: T1, T2, T3. These topics are the discussion points that you should focus on during the tweetchat
  • Answer topics by adding A and the corresponding topic number to the beginning of your tweet. Example: For T1 your answer should be preceded by A1.
  • While you can participate in a tweetchat by searching for the hashtag, it is much easier to use a website or web app design for this purpose.

Tools to Participate in a Tweetchat

Tweetchat.com

One of the best tools to use to participate in a tweetchat is tweetchat.com. It’s great because it automatically adds the hashtag to your tweets and has a link shortener right on the page. It also automatically updates with the latest tweets in the conversations. This makes it one of the easiest ways to participate in a tweetchat.

However, it is not without it’s quirks. Ideally you should be able to go directly to a tweetchat room by typing in a fixed URL like http://tweetchat.com/room/healthcarechat. However, sometimes tweetchat.com doesn’t like to render the room this way and instead you might see a screen like this:

If you see this message, have no fear. Simply browse over to tweetchat.com and enter hashtag for the tweetchat you want to participate in. After you input the hashtag, you will be prompted to authorize a connection with twitter.  Click the “Authorize app” button. You will then be put in the room with the tweets you are looking for.

Hootsuite

If you have a Hootsuite account it can be a great tool to monitor a hashtag and participate in a tweetchat. The major benefit is that you can see multiple streams going on side by side. This means you won’t miss any mentions or direct messages you get during the tweetchat. However, you will have to remember to manually enter the hashtag with tweets in the tweetchat.

Hootsuite has a blog explaining how to use Hootsuite to manage twitter chats if you want to learn more about this method.

TweetDeck

Tweetdeck is similar to hootsuite, but it uses a desktop client or Google Chrome browser extension.  You simply have to add a column to your tweetchat to follow the tweetchat. You will also have to remember to add the hashtag for your tweets manually. Tweetdeck does tend to update a little faster than Hootsuite, so that is an advantage.

 

Join us for #HealthcareChat

Starting March 9th, #HealthcareChat will be hosted on Mondays at 2 pm ET. Topics and guests will cover various aspects of healthcare and can be viewed on our event calendar page.

Now that you know the why and how to participate in a tweetchat, you'll be ready to join in the next #HealthcareChat.

 

Start Your Social Collaboration Now

Tweetchats only last an hour, but social collaboration shouldn’t have a time limit. Join us on Next Wave Connect to discuss healthcare topics you are passionate about now!