Best Practices for Twitter Chat Guests & Participants

Twitter chat

Did you know that I launched my Twitter chat, #TwitterSmarter, way back in 2015? It’s crazy to think it’s been so long. But after years of running a weekly chat, I’ve certainly learned a thing or two about what makes a valuable chat guest and what makes an engaged participant. In fact, I’ve even shared some tips on how to make the most of Twitter chats you join.

But if you’re wondering what you can do to be a stand out as a guest or a participant, this post is going to help you out. It has some actionable advice that you can implement to go into each Twitter chat with confidence that you’ll make a splash.

7 Best Practices for Twitter Chat Guests

If you’ve been invited to be a guest on a Twitter chat, congratulations! Clearly, there’s something special about you that makes people see you as an authority and someone worth learning from. But if you’ve never been a guest before, or you have and want to step it up, here are some tips you should keep in mind.

1. Make Sure You Promote the Chat Beforehand

If you’re guest hosting a chat, you want to make sure people actually know about it with enough notice so they can plan to join. As the guest, it’s great to have some of your community members participate. This way, the host of the chat gets some additional exposure and you’ll have a nice group of people you know joining the live chat. This is especially beneficial for a brand new Twitter chat that needs a little boost getting the word out.

2. Arrive Just Before the Chat to Greet Early Participants

It’s also smart to arrive to the chat just before it kicks off in case people start joining in early. As people say hello and introduce themselves using the hashtag, reply to them with a warm greeting. Simply saying, “Hey! How are you today?” goes a long way and it gets the conversation started. You can even introduce yourself as the day’s guest.

3. Introduce Yourself at the Start of the Chat

The host of the Twitter chat will most likely introduce you, but it never hurts to introduce yourself as well. Since this is potentially a new community that you’re suddenly in front of, let them know what you’re all about. Share who you are, what you do, and who you serve. This way, people will see that you know your stuff!

4. Write Out Your Answers & Have Them Ready to Go

For those who have never been part of a chat before, theyit can be a pretty busy hour. In some popular chats, there are so many tweets being posted that it can feel a little overwhelming trying to keep up at times. That’s why it’s smart to write out all of your answers to the questions being asked beforehand.

As the questions are posted, you can copy and paste your response into Twitter. Instead of focusing on crafting the perfect answer, you can turn your attention toward engaging the participants and building relationships. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Always Engage With Others

Great Twitter chat guests know the importance of engaging with those who are participating. Don’t just pop in, post all of your answers throughout the chat, and nothing else. Start conversations. Respond to the answers others share. Chats are all about making connections and you’re missing out if you don’t prioritize engaging.

6. Retweet Some of Your Favorite Responses

Whenever you see a really awesome response to a question that was asked during the Twitter chat, share it! Hit that retweet button so it gains even more exposure by being shared to those who follow you. It just might draw more people into the chat.

And if you really want to take it up a notch, add your own thoughts instead of merely retweeting the post. This post on replying vs. quote tweeting will show you how. Just don’t forget to include the chat’s hashtag.

7. Thank the Host for Having You

As the chat wraps up, a simple “thank you” to the host really goes a long way. It shows that you are appreciative of the opportunity. And who knows? It could open the doors for you to be a guest again in the future!

5 Best Practices for Twitter Chat Participants

If you’re going to be a participant in a chat and you want to show up and do your best, these tips are for you! They’ll help you make the most of the chats each and every time you join. And who knows? Someone may take notice and invite you to be a guest one day!

1. Block Off Time in Your Calendar for Your Favorite Chats

The best way to become a better chat participant is by joining them often. Not only that, but it’ll help you generate more awareness for your brand and allow you to establish new connections once people begin to recognize you as a regular. Once you have your favorite chats in mind, put them in the calendar with a reminder to join so you never miss out.

2. Aim to Add Value With Your Responses

You have amazing advice to share during every chat you join. So, make sure you’re showing that off! Answer each question to the best of your ability by sharing the knowledge you already have. People will appreciate it and be able to learn from you. But you also need to take my next piece of advice into consideration…

3. Be Willing to Ask Questions

Want someone to expand on their answer? Need to learn a little more about a particular topic? Don’t hesitate to ask! People are generally pretty nice during Twitter chats and they’re more than happy to engage and answer any questions you have. Which connects back to my next point…

4. Open Yourself Up to Learning New Things

A Twitter chat can be an amazing opportunity to learn, if you allow it. Pay attention to the responses shared by the host, the guest, and other participants. It’s a great way to gain information from the perspectives of others. And don’t be afraid to chime in by responding to their tweets with your own thoughts.

5. Avoid Promoting Your Business or Offerings

A Twitter chat isn’t the time to promote yourself just because you can grab the attention of a lot of people. Self-promotion during this time can come off as rather sleazy and like you’re taking advantage of the community the host has built. So, avoid doing this unless the host invites participants to share links to their work.

Bonus Tips for Both Guests & Participants

And lastly, I have to share a few final tips that will benefit everyone joining a chat:

  • Use a tool like TweetDeck because it makes it easier to keep up with the flow of the chat. You can create a column specifically for the hashtag so it’s easy to see posts as they’re shared.
  • Always remember to use the hashtag, otherwise your post won’t be seen by those who are participating.
  • And make sure you label your responses with A1, A2, etc. because it helps to identify responses and they can easily be linked to the question that was asked.

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