Tweetchats, in my opinion, are one of the best social media inventions of all time. Tweetchats are conversations people have that use hashtags to group all of the tweets together. For instance, #agchat is a tweetchat every Tuesday night where people weigh in on agriculture. These tweetchats are a great way to meet other people interested in agriculture and, if you find the right tweetchat, a place to connect with consumers. Whenever I participate in tweetchats, I always get a lot of new followers and people to interact with on Twitter. Below are the top 5 things you need to know about tweetchats.
The hashtag is the thing that makes the entire tweetchat work. If a post doesn’t have the hashtag in it, then it won’t be seen in the tweetchat stream. #agchat, #blogchat and #foodchat are great examples of tweetchats that you can get involved in.
2. How it works
There is some variation in how tweetchats work. Some have a question and answer system, like #agchat, while others have a free-for-all like #blogchat. It really depends on the preferences of the people in the tweetchat. When there are questions that are asked, the tweet usually starts with a question identifier like “Q1.” Whenever you answer that question, your tweet needs to have either “A1” for answer one or “Q1” at the beginning to tell people you are answering that question. Then you answer the question the best you can in 140 characters or less. Usually the hashtag will go at the end.
My favorite thing to use for tweetchats is tweetchat.com. This website allows you to login to your Twitter account and follow a tweetchat. When you use Twitter search it doesn’t show you every post that comes through, especially when there are a lot of posts quickly. Tweetchat makes sure you see all of the posts with the hashtag. Another nice feature is that it has a refresh speed you can set. This allows you to choose how fast tweets can come into the feed, which is important when you are trying to read a bunch of posts. Tweetchat.com still counts your characters for you, just like Twitter, but also automatically adds the hashtag at the end of your post. Just one more thing you don’t have to remember in the furry of a tweetchat.
4. The speed
Tweetchats can go by really quickly, which is why it is really important to remember that you don’t need to read every tweet. It is more important that you engage and talk to people in separate conversations. Tweetchats were created to help its users make connections and find answers to their questions, not to just read the answers of others.
5. Tips and tricks
In my time participating in tweetchats, I have found it really helpful to have tweetchat.com and Twitter open at the same time. I use Twitter to keep track of all of my interactions by staying on the “connect” tab. When I am in tweetchat.com, new interactions show up on the Twitter tab. This tells me that I have a new interaction and that I should engage this person further. It is also really important to be on tweetchats that pertain to your target audience or help you succeed. In our case, we probably want to use tweetchats that have our target consumers on it or that help social media agvocates succeed (like #agchat).
Tweetchats are a great way to find connections, find answers and have interesting conversations, but they are also really hard to master. Feel free to post your questions about tweetchats in the comments section below and I will answer them the best I can.