If you are on Twitter chances are you’ve heard the term “Tweetchat” but maybe you aren’t quite sure what it is or how to participate or start one. Tweetchats are essentially organized group discussions taking place on the Twitter platform using a hashtag (#). Real-time Twitter Chats occur on a weekly basis at the same time. To participate, participants use an assigned hashtag (say, #socialmedia) for their tweets during the discussion. The format can be structured by the organizer or free form discussion. Anyone can participate. There are benefits to participating in a tweetchat such that it crowd-sources ideas and brings people together who have a similar interest.
There are also benefits to starting a tweetchat. Have you heard of Klout? Your Klout score demonstrates your ability to create change and action on the web. By hosting a tweetchat your increase the number of times a person replies to your tweet or retweets your tweet, thus increasing your Klout score.
The best way to participate in a tweetchat is by using a tool such as Tweetchat.com or Tweet Grid. Tweetchat.com allows you to follow a chat real-time. Tweet Grid does the same, but also allows you follow more than one via a split screen (for all of those multi-taskers with A.D.D.). You can also use TweetDeck or HootSuite.
The best way to host a chat is to have a twitter account with some followers. Pick a theme and frame some questions around it. Promote it ahead of time on your blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other online platform you can to give people ample time to plan. Make sure that you take time zones into consideration when planning. Create a hashtag that is short like “smchat” or “consultchat” or “writechat” and inform others to use it.
To find a tweetchat you can do a search on Twitter for “tweetchat.” Here are some tweetchats that occur by industry:
- #DIYMKT – chat about do-it-yourself marketing. Mondays, 11:30am – 12:30pm Eastern. DIYMarketers Webpage.
- #Sbbuzz – chat about small business technology. Tuesdays, 8pm – 10pm Eastern. Small Business Buzz Webpage.
- #Smbiz – chat about small business issues. Tuesdays, 8pm – 9pm Eastern. Smbiz Twitter page.
- #Brandchat – chat about personal branding. Wednesdays, 11am Eastern. Brandchat Twitter page.
- #YVRREChat – Tuesdays from 9:00am — 10:00am PST
- #RealtorChat hosted by @Edina_Realty
- #writechat – Every Sunday at 12:00 pm PST / 3:00 pm EST (and lasting approximately 3 hours)
- #journchat – Mondays PST: 5-8 pm MST: 6-9 pm CST: 7-10 pm EST: 8-11 pm
- #litchat – Mon, Wed, Fri: PST: 1-2 pm MST: 2-3 pm CST: 3-4 pm EST: 4-5 pm
- #pblitchat (picture books) – Mondays, PST: 7 pm MST: 8 pm CST: 9 pm EST: 10 pm
- #poettues – Tues, 10am ET
- #kidlitchat – Tues, PST: 6 pm MST: 7 pm CST: 8 pm EST: 9 pm
- #memoirchat – every other Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST. Moderator: @alexisgrant
- #WNW – Wed Night Writer chat – Fantasy/Fiction discussion group on Twitter.Moderator: @_decode_ . PST: 5-8 pm MST: 6-9 pm CST: 7-10 pm EST: 8-11 pm