Your Complete Guide to Twitter Chats: Why You Should Join and How to Make the Most of It

Your Complete Guide to Twitter Chats: Why You Should Join & How to Make the Most of It

Running a variety of Twitter chats for the past eight years (#TwitterSmarter, #SocialROI & #ggchat) has honestly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. One that has really stood out is #TwitterSmarter. It’s an incredible community of marketers, creatives and business owners from all around the world who come together each week to connect, learn and share Twitter tips. I couldn’t be more grateful to those who continue to come back and join me week after week!

But for those of you who aren’t familiar with Twitter chats, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

What even is a Twitter chat?

Why are they so beneficial?

And how exactly do I join and be a great participant?

Well, that’s what I want to talk about in this post. I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to share all the ins and outs of becoming a Twitter chat pro. So, let’s dive into the tips! (And if you’re thinking about starting a chat of your own, I have a guide coming on that soon too!)

But First, What’s a Twitter Chat?

Okay, okay… Before we dive in, if you’re totally new to the idea of Twitter chats, you might be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. To keep it short and sweet, a Twitter chat is basically a live hour of conversation on the platform.

There’s a chat host that asks questions and sometimes a guest expert who shares their responses. Every participant is encouraged to answer the questions from the host, as well as engage with others in the chat. Typically, chats occur on a weekly basis and last for one hour, however some people do them less often like every other week or once per month.

Chats are a way to connect with like-minded people from around the world to talk about a specific topic. While each week brings about a new discussion, most Twitter chats have an overall theme they stick to. Just like with #TwitterSmarter, the week’s topic is almost always tied to Twitter marketing tips.

Why You Should Start Joining Twitter Chats

If you’ve never joined a Twitter chat before, you might be wondering what all the hype is about. Are they really that great? Is it worth it to make time in your schedule for a chat? Well, it should come as no surprise, but I say that answer is a resounding YES! Here’s why:

1. Twitter Chats Are a Great Place to Make Connections

Social media is meant to be social. And if you aren’t making the time to engage with your audience, you’re truly doing it all wrong. Far too many brands these days are guilty of scheduling content for their platforms and then just walking away. They think they’re done for the day and there’s nothing left to do!

However, you need to make time to be present on the platform you’re using and actually connect with your audience. You should be getting to know the people in your target audience by having conversations with them. And the easiest way to do that is through Twitter chats.

Joining chats allows you to connect with so many like-minded people all at the same time. It’s perfect if you’re feeling shy about reaching out because people come to Twitter chats to make connections. All you have to do is find the chats that are of interest to you and your audience, then start participating.

2. There’s So Much Opportunity to Learn New Things

Another great thing about Twitter chats is that they can be highly educational. I don’t think a week of my Twitter chat goes by where I don’t learn something new. When so many incredible people come together to share their tips and tricks, you know great information will come up.

That’s why you want to pay attention to the responses people are sharing during the chat so you can soak up all of the knowledge they share. Plus, many Twitter chats have guest experts join, which is always a fantastic opportunity to get some insider information from people who have been there and done that.

But don’t feel pressured to consume all the information during the chat’s hour! Since they’re usually fast moving, it can be hard to keep up with all the posts. So, grab a pen and a notebook and scroll through the tweets after the chat is over to review any tips you might have missed.

Some chats provide a recap after it’s over. The day after my #TwitterSmarter chat I post a Twitter Moments recap and a blog post with the “best of” tweets. If you can’t make the chat live, you’ll feel like you were there when scrolling through the recap.

3. Chats Will Help You Build Your Presence on the Platform

Think about it… You’re participating in a busy hour of conversation with other amazing people from all around the world. It’s safe to say you’re going to see your follower count increase. And you’re going to see your engagement skyrocket too. (As long as you’re sharing valuable, engaging tweets throughout the chat, of course!)

So, if you’ve been wanting to build a strong presence on Twitter, chats are just one of the things you can add to your overall strategy that will get you results. It’s all about choosing the right ones to join so you can attract people who are going to be interested in the content you share. My suggestion is to attend 1-2 new chats each week until you find the best ones that connect you with your ideal audience.

How to Get a Gold Star for Twitter Chat Participation

Maybe you’ve never joined a Twitter chat before. Or perhaps you’ve joined a few chats here and there, but you don’t know how to make the most of them. That’s okay! I’m going to help you out with a few tips that will help you get the most out of the Twitter chat hour.

1. Remember the #1 Twitter Chat Rule

To get started, you have to remember one essential rule for successfully participating in any Twitter chat. And that rule is that you always need to remember the hashtag. If you forget the hashtag when sharing responses to the questions the host is asking, people aren’t going to see your post. You need the hashtag in order to be discovered.

To help you out, you can use a platform like tchat.io, which automatically adds the hashtag for you. Or you can simply copy the hashtag at the start of the chat and paste it at the end of every tweet you write. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to remember should you choose to do it this way.

2. Share Your Best Tips in Response to the Questions

People come to Twitter chats not just to make connections, but also to learn. They can be an insightful hour that’s jam-packed with actionable tips and tricks. And you want to make sure you’re contributing!

With each response you share, make sure you’re adding value. Give people the best advice you have so others can learn from what you know and have experienced. But if there comes a time when you don’t know an answer, don’t panic. Use it as a learning opportunity yourself and pay attention to what others have to say.

3. Engage With Other Participants, Not Just the Host

When you join a Twitter chat, you aren’t there to just post answers and ignore everyone except the host. You’re there to engage and be social because that’s what social media is all about. Make it your mission to respond to the posts others are sharing. Ask questions to keep the conversation going or add something valuable onto what another person has said. Even something as simple as complimenting another participant on a great tip will get you noticed!

4. Don’t Go Crazy With Self-Promotion

While Twitter chats can be an amazing way to get new clients or customers for your business, it’s not the place for self-promotion. First of all, it’s not your chat that you’re joining and the host might not be cool with you promoting your own offerings. In fact, some Twitter chats actually have rules against this!

Instead, you should only share your new blog post or course if you’re asked to do so or if it’s really going to add value to the conversation. Never join a Twitter chat and flood the hashtag with tweets about your business. That’s not cool and it’ll really turn people off.

This is why you should do a quick audit of your Twitter account because when you join chats, people are going to check you out. Make sure you have a great bio, profile picture, and header image to grab their attention and tell them about what you do.

5. Add Chats to Your Calendar & Become a Regular

And finally, the best way to become an amazing Twitter chat participant is to become a regular! When you join the same Twitter chats on a weekly basis, people will start to recognize you and build a relationship with you. They’ll start to see the value you have to offer, which is just one way to build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor and grow your brand in an authentic way.

When you find a chat you love, make a commitment to joining as frequently as you can. Add it to your calendar so it shows up each week. You can even add a little reminder to join 15 minutes prior to the chat, that way you’ll never miss a great conversation.

Okay, Now Which Chats Should You Join?

I’ve compiled a list of the best Twitter chats for social media and marketing. It’s jammed packed with amazing chats that you can join nearly every day of the week! This way, you can start filling up your calendar with chats and start building your presence on Twitter, while learning tons of amazing tips in the process.

Your Call to Action:

  • Join 1-2 new Twitter chats each week until you find the best ones for you.
  • Connect with at least 5 new people in each chat, including the host (send a private DM and have a conversation that goes beyond the one hour chat).
  • Find a chat where you can share your knowledge.
  • Find a chat where you can learn from the guest and participants.
  • If you’re bold, start your own chat. I’ll have more info about that in a future article.