I actively took part in my first tweetchat yesterday. In previous tweetchats I had been only a lurker, reading but not replying to anything. This time I commented and asked questions, and got a lot of interesting answers in return.
The idea of a tweetchat is like a conference where everybody gets together and discusses a specific topic at a particular time and place–but the place is at your computer, using Twitter. The Twitter hashtag (in this case, #cmgrchat) for the chat gets announced ahead of time, so that interested people can follow the conference conversation by following only the tweets that include the hashtag.
Often there is a series of questions that the tweetchat moderator asks, and then people chime in with opinions and answers. And of course all the questions and answers have to be less than 140 characters!
The tweetchat yesterday was for community managers, and was co-organized by @jpedde and @kellylux (see their website, cmgrchat). The topic was on how to use Twitter to create a community.
My top 5 takeaways:
- Use TweetChat.com to take part in a tweetchat. It automatically pulls in all tweets with a specific hashtag, plus it automatically puts that hashtag into your tweets. Waaay easier than using Twitter.com. I had been using TweetDeck but TweetChat is even easier than TweetDeck.
- I can create or use hashtags around conversations I want to ignite (thanks @kellylux).
- Twitter is useful for me to keep on top of what’s happening in social media and tech–so I can pass the useful info along to our clients (even if I don’t pass it along to them using Twitter).
- I want to be more creative about ways to connect people on Twitter. I need to look for common threads and interests to bridge the gap between different areas of my audience (thanks @EliseMarieTrent).
- Give away free pies as an incentive for people to follow you on Twitter!
A Twitter chat schedule, listing hashtags, dates, and times of many of the tweetchats you can join, can be found at Future Business.
The addictive Twitter image is by carrotcreative.