The Before, During and After of a Twitter Chat

By Brian Murray Recently at Likeable Media, there has been a lot of discussion about great Twitter chats. Much of this has been due to the creation and success of #LikeableChat which has been going on for about a month! If you haven't joined the conversation yet, be sure to tune in every Sunday at 10pm ET. Mallorie Rosenbluth recently blogged about five twitter chats that you can't miss. Some of our employees went so far as to create their very Twitter chat surrounding their passion for Disney (#DisneyChat)! In light of recent excitement surrounding Twitter chats, I've decided to share a few quick ideas and tools that will allow you to participate and learn!

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a discussion surrounding a hashtag that is regularly scheduled and usually moderated by one or more people. These discussions are usually based on a common interest of the participants. The moderator asks a question and these are answered by the participants. Many chats will announce a theme for the week.

Before the Twitter Chat:

One of the ways to discover a Twitter Chat is to regularly engage with your followers and the people you are following. In my case this has led me to participate in a variety of chats including #U30Pro and #SMManners. Don't be afraid to join in and get involved. If you are looking for like minded individuals to discuss your favorite topic, be sure to take a glance at the official Twitter Chat Schedule. Most of these chats have websites or blogs where you can read background information on the moderators and chat!

During the Chat:

There are a few tools you can use that will help you participate. You can always use the Twitter Search functionality but the best tool I've found to get involved is TweetChat. When you authorize TweetChat you will be able to specify the hashtag you'd like to follow and participate. This third party app will even tag your tweets with the respective hashtag!

A couple of other quick tips:

  • If you see something you like, retweet it - Twitter is about engagement and people love when you do this. It will say I like what you said and I am listening to you!
  • Keep your tweets as short as possible - This is important because it makes it easy for others to retweet you! I usually try to keep them under 120 characters.
  • Don't hijack the conversation - We all have short attention spans these days. But that doesn't mean you should start talking about other things during the chat. If you want to interact with someone you can simply remove the hashtag.
  • Thank people - If someone says something nice about you, say "Thank You". They will be more likely to do it again in the future.
  • Watch your @Replies - I usually keep Twitter.com open in the background to watch who is mentioning me. With the speed of some chats it can be very easy to miss but this will allow you to answer in a timely fashion!

After the Twitter Chat:

If you have ever participated in a Twitter chat you know things can get fast and furious! A great tool to go back and see what you might have missed is TweetReports. TweetReports has a free feature that allows you to get all tweets surrounding a keyword or hashtag. If you are setting it up to see the transcript of the chat use the filter that allows you to edit times. Just be aware that they use Greenwich Mean time so you must adjust in order to get the right information!

Other things to do:

Follow people - If you found anyone to be interesting follow them to keep the conversation going. You can usually find some great people to follow and interact with! You already have something in common.

Check your ReTweets - Check to see who Retweeted you and thank them! I prefer to do so individually but sometimes just listing the names can work as well.

Check your @Replies - Check who has mentioned or sent you an @ message. It's possible to miss a few when you are involved with the discussion. I suggest going back and continuing the conversation.

Follow up with people - Make sure to say "Thank you" to your new friends and engage with them in the future!

 

About #LikeableChat:

Last night was the fifth #LikeableChat which was started in the beginning of June. So far over 468 people have participated and used the hashtag #LikeableChat over 5,200 times. We've discussed topics such as what it means to be likeable, the importance of transparency and our passions. Each week Michele Weisman moderates a discussion with hundreds of people! We've had big brands including DKNY, JetBlue, Chipotle, and Sharpie join in the conversation and interact with us. If you would like to see the latest transcript about transparency you can read it here.

Have you ever been involved in a Twitter chat? Which are your favorites?