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 19
Sep

Tweet chat in 5 easy steps

Liezl Hesketh in Tips 

how-to-take-part-in-twitter-chat

Social media management has become an art. One need only look to Twitter to see the truth in this statement. The social network may not fit the traditional sense of the word, but with the increasing influence of follows, hashtags and retweets, you can’t deny the mounds of planning and technique required to run a successful campaign.

Although #bringbackourgirls is a prime example of the impact a single hashtag can make, organisations and individuals are increasingly looking to engage audiences on a personal level with the twitter chat. Awkward Black Girl  star @IssaRae recently published a great parody of this growing phenomenon. It’s the perfect visual to accompany our guide to tweet chat in 5 easy steps.

What is a tweet chat?

A tweet chat is a live event that happens when people set a date and time to discuss a topic over Twitter. As a hub of conversation, these chats are also referred to as tweet parties. Unlike a real party however, there’s no dress code and the only invitation one needs is the chat hashtag (not forgetting the time and date). The hashtags helps filter all tweets related to the discussion, that way anyone looking to participate can easily follow the train of thought and voluntarily join the ride.

Step 1: Find a party
Assuming that you already have an account, the first step to joining a party is finding one. Like all conversation, tweet chats work best if the people involved are interested in the topic. Find suitable parties and schedules on the tweet party resource page or search through the hashtag directory using twub.

Step 2: Live in the moment
Tweet chats are good spaces to interact with like-minded people, but the trick is to contribute. Because several individuals take part simultaneously, tweets may stream in rapidly. You can get a recap by clicking on the hashtag to see what thoughts, replies and commentary has come up. If something grabs your attention don’t be shy to throw in your 2cents, or retweet. Timing is everything. Remember to keep it relevant and use the hashtag.

Step 3: Network
Chances are you’ll meet someone at the party who intrigues you. Some people are keen to follow-back; this gives you an opportunity to establish a relationship by sending a DM (direct message), but mention can be just as effective. Be sure to leave the hashtag out if your message is unrelated to the chat.

Step 4: Decide how to follow
Once you’ve found a match, you have several options to follow the party. You can follow the moderator. This person usually hosts the chats; s/he welcomes the participants and poses questions. Moderators are the best people to follow because they know all last minute announcements or changes about the chat. Alternatively, following the hashtag will keep you up-to-date with participants’ tweets. Announcements are also likely to trickle down, so you’re sorted either way.

Step 5: Multi-task
You’re likely to find more than one party to attend. Managing these can be tricky if you’re using the standard mobile twitter application. You may want to try out Uber social for your smartphone or Tweetdeck  and Hootsuite to tweet on your laptop. These apps let you view multiple accounts, hashtags or activities simultaneously. You always have the option to schedule your tweets, so you can still engage in the discussion, without personally attending.

Tweets chats are a wonderful way to engage without having to leave the comfort of your home. So you have no excuse not to attend. Why not give it a try. Join TheRoomLink’s weekly #StudentSA  chat; Wednesdays 9-10pm and be the life of the party. We’d love to hear from you.