As with so many other parts of the web, social media is ever-changing, always adapting. For lots of people in the industry, this is what they love about working with the internet, for others, it’s a downright frustration.
The part that always stays the same however is the importance of engaging. We’re not necessarily talking about your Twitter analytics here but more about the general usage of Twitter and social media. We believe that it should focus on talking to other people, really getting into the social side of social media!
Our topic for this week isn’t a new one, Tweetchats have been around for a long time. Many of the more prominent tweetchats out there have gone through multiple iterations/topic focuses and there are new ones popping up every day. In this post, we will introduce you to the idea of tweetchatting from a participants point of view.
Tweetchatting is a simple enough idea, it’s based on getting into conversations with other people on a variety of topics. Each tweetchat session usually lasts an hour and as Twitter is an international platform there is sure to be some that fit into your timezone and schedule.
Each tweetchat will have;
Mods/Moderator –The person or people asking the questions and keeping control of the flow of chat.
Participants – The people that join in to answer questions, the number of people will range week on week but there will likely be regulars. Tweetchats love to get newcomers as they always bring something new to the table.
Guests – Guests will be brought in on certain topics. Usually, ones that they are influencers for or they work in. Sometimes they will create questions and they are a font of knowledge!
A question that often gets asked is “how do I participate”. Twitters UI isn’t particularly intuitive on this front. In fact, trying to keep up with the deluge of comments and questions can be a struggle, even for the most tech-savvy people out there. At Avidmode we have used a number of third-party tools to help out. Our current go to is TweetDeck.
This screenshot should help give you an idea of how the application works. You can edit the columns to show you all sorts of different things. In this case, we have our notifications on the far left, our hashtag feed for the tweetchat hashtag “#digiblogchat” in the middle and on the right is a column following the moderator of #digiblogchat Carol Stephen! Having the moderator followed makes it easy to jump into a conversation when a new question is asked.
Each time we jump into a tweetchat, we fire up TweetDeck and follow the conversation there. Some people don’t enjoy the column format (Tweetdeck is similar to Hootsuite in that way). If you think you are like that then there are other options for you to try including Tweetchat and tchat.io – both of these nifty apps allow you to follow the conversation at your own pace and without all the extra bells and whistles.
The benefits of joining a tweetchat
I could wax lyrical for hours on how beneficial tweetchats really are, but let’s keep it brief!
One of the main reasons you and your brand are out there in the world of social media, you want to connect with an audience. The best way to do this is organically, through engagement in conversations that are happening on the platforms.
With the immense amount of people that use the social networks, there is always someone that knows more than you. Even if they don’t know more about everything, they have unique insight. Tweetchat subjects are broad, one week you might be talking about how to use Pinterest as a business and the next it might be looking at leadership from a business perspective. Take the opportunity to learn.
I’m not just talking about the business skill here. It can be lonely out in the world of social media especially if you sit trying to get into conversations that never come to anything! Tweetchats are full of likeminded people all wanting to get involved in a conversation, sometimes it might even turn into a conversation about topics outside of the work sphere. Some people say that it’s impossible to make friendships on the internet let alone long lasting ones but I totally disagree. Get out there, chat to people and you’ll become fast friends.
Where can you find these fabled Tweetchats?
This one I personally find a little tricky. The ones that I partake in weekly were suggested to me by word of mouth (or text of mouth if we’re being precise). Think about the area of business that you work in, do a quick google search with your topic area and the word tweetchat and see what pops up.
If you are in the business world it’s likely that you will be following lots of people that attend a weekly tweetchat, you can notice a tweet chatter by a large number of conversations they are involved in. They might be answering questions from the moderator with A1, A2, A3 etc. Pop onto the hashtag in these comments and see whether the topic interests you. It might look a little bit like this screenshot below.
Our top five business tweetchat list –
#DigiBlogChat – A whole range of topics pertaining to business and the web. If you’re looking for something cosy then this is the one I’d suggest. Newcomers are always warmly welcomed and there’s never been a chat yet when I’ve not gone away knowing more than I did before I joined. It goes without saying that these are some of the kindest and friendly people I’ve ever met on Twitter! Every Tuesday, 4pm EDT/9pm BST
#BrandChat – You guessed it, this fabulous chat is all about branding for your business. The topics can vary from sector to sector which makes each week feel fresh. There are always new faces in BrandChat with many specialists popping their heads in to offer their insights. Tip for BrandChat: They like GIFs so come prepared with some of your best! Every Wednesday 10am CT
#BizapaloozaChat – The newest addition to the top five list. We’ve been attending Bizapalooza for a few weeks and it’s been an amazing experience. The questions focus on a range of topics, recently leadership, writing books and influencer marketing. Ivana and Iva do an amazing job of moderating and there are always a few laughs had! Every Monday at 2pm ET and Thursdays at 8pm ET
#SEMrushchat – A more technical chat looking at digital marketing, SEO, websites and other such topics. Always draws in a very knowledgeable crowd with amazing tips. If you’re looking to get into digital marketing or you’d like to learn a little bit more for your own business then say hello to the guys over here. If you miss a chat you can always catch up on their weekly recap, here is the latest. Every Wednesday at 4pm BST.
#AXSChat – This one is a little bit different. It covers the accessibility of businesses, they regularly cover topics on how to make businesses more access friendly, from the design of websites to physical locations to the awareness in the workplace. It’s quite an eye-opener to jump into one of these chats so I’d suggest popping by and saying Hi. Every Tuesday at 20:00 BST.
To keep these chats friendly there are usually some basic rules to follow. Keep to these below and you’ll be on the right track.
1. Introduce yourself each time, as newcomers come in it’s nice for them to understand who they are talking to.
2. Answer the questions from the mods using the A1, A2, A3 format. It’s easy to forget (I know I do it all the time) but it helps make the walls of text easier to read!
3. Be polite, same as you would in a conversation in real life. Say please, thank you, hello and goodbye. It will be appreciated!
4. Don’t go into these chats to spam with your products or be overly sales-y. These are places for engagement and conversation, not your storefront.
5. You will likely get a lot of responses, retweets, likes etc as you go through the chat. Try and respond in kind. Make sure you are doing a bit of retweeting and liking content as it scrolls past. If someone is talking to you directly, try to answer them. Usually, I take a little bit of time after the chat to do a cleanup and respond to any messages that I had missed.
So, there we have our basic guide to Tweetchatting. Now it’s up to you to get out there and participate. If you have any tweetchat’s that you attend, we’d love to hear about them and pop along at some point!