Twitter is an amazing tool for a number of reasons, one of the being the ability to network and learn from your peers or gurus in your industry. One of the ways to do both of these at the same time is to participate in a Twitter chat.
What is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter chat is discussion around a specific topic that has been organized to take place at a specific time on a specific day. Many Twitter chats happen once a week on the same day at the same time. For example, I started a Twitter chat in 2011 for bloggers called #BlogTrends. Every Monday at 9pm ET bloggers from around the world join in to discuss a different topic related to blogging. Some topics have included how to create a post series, editorial calendars, and balancing life and blogging. This chat is no longer active but there are quite a lot that happen weekly that are worth checking out.
How Do I Join a Twitter Chat?
You can join a chat in a couple of ways. First, you’ll need a Twitter account. If you haven’t already signed up head over Twitter.com and sign up. Each Twitter chat has a specific hashtag that you will need to include in all of your tweets to make sure they are included in the conversation. You will need to follow that hashtag as well to see what others are saying in the chat. You can follow a hashtag simply by searching for it on Twitter, but the easiest way is to use Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com. You can visit either of those sites to enter the hashtag you are looking for and it will generate an automatically updated feed of tweets for all chat participants and you can send your own tweets right from the website.
But Wait… What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is the “#” symbol followed by a word or phrase with no spaces. Jaclyn Stevenson of Winstanley did a great presentation on hashtags for the BVB recently. You can watch it here to learn more: