This post was originally published on November 17th, 2015. It was updated on November 6th, 2017.
I can’t remember what my first Twitter chat was, but I can tell you this… They have been a game-changer when it comes to growing my presence on Twitter. After I joined my first one back in 2014, I was instantly hooked. In fact, I had filled my schedule up with at least one Twitter chat per day. Sometimes I’d even juggle more than one within the same hour!
Joining a Twitter chat is an amazing way to make connections online. Whether you’re looking for new blog readers, potential clients, or just an online best friend, these chats can help.
Although participating in a Twitter chat has some quite naturally to me, I often get asked how to join them. To help you make the most of these chats, I’m sharing some advice that will help you out!
What is a Twitter Chat?
First, we need to talk about what exactly is a Twitter chat.
These chats are real-time discussions that take place on Twitter, obviously. Most of them take place weekly and they last for one hour. That means you have one hour to share your expertise and make connections online.
The person who hosts the chat will post questions throughout the hour, which you are invited to answer. You’re also able to see answers from other participants and you can respond to them as well. You just have to make sure you’re using the chat hashtag in order to be seen! It really is as simple as that!
Chats are a fantastic way to bring a like-minded community together. They’re perfect opportunities to build your online presence, generate brand awareness, and to also make some new friends.
How to Join a Twitter Chat
Now that you know what a Twitter chat is, we need to talk about how you can join in on the fun. These tips will help you find the right chats for your brand and will help you make the most out of your experience.
1. Search for Chats in Your Niche
The key to successfully joining a Twitter chat is picking the right one. If you’re trying to grow your audience with the right people, you’ll want to participate in chats where your target audience is hanging out. This will help you attract the right kind of followers and build relationships with those people.
I’ll admit that I went about this the wrong way years ago. As a fashion blogger, I started joining chats that were filled with creative entrepreneurs. These people weren’t necessarily interested in the fashion content I was sharing on Twitter. That meant they weren’t bothering to check out my blog or join my email list.
This is why it’s so important to pick the right chats for you. Choose chats from brands that you’d like to connect with and who have a similar audience as you. Select chats based on their topics as well, so you can make sure you have valuable advice to offer other participants.
2. Get Acquainted With the Host
Before you join a Twitter chat, I’d recommend getting acquainted with the host. Is the chat you’re joining hosted by a single person or is it run from a brand’s Twitter profile? You’ll want to know what the host is all about and where the chat questions will be posted from.
It’s also smart to visit the chat host’s website. Learn more about the chat so you’ll know what to expect when you join for the first time.
3. Join the Chat
Once you have a Twitter chat in mind that you’d like to participate in, it’s time to join everyone. All you have to do is log into Twitter during the hour of the chat and search for the hashtag. You’ll be able to see a stream of posts from everyone who is participating in the chat during the live hour.
Keep an eye out for the chat questions, which will be posted from the host’s account. These questions will be posted throughout the hour and are typically labeled with, Q1, Q2, etc. You’ll answer using A1, A2, etc.
To make sure your first Twitter chat is a success, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to share your advice. If you have knowledge on a subject, share your answers with everyone. This is no time to be shy!
- Make sure you’re paying attention to what everyone else is saying. This is a great opportunity to find questions your target audience is asking that you may be able to address in your own content later on.
- Engage with other participants to build relationships with them.
4. Mark Your Calendar for the Next Chat
Now that you’ve made it through your first chat, you’ll surely want to join another, right? If you want to get into the habit of joining chats regularly, mark them off on your calendar. You can think of it as a marketing task for the day, since it’s a great way to grow your audience.
Which Chats Do I Love?
Having been an avid Twitter chatter for many years now, it’s safe to say I have a few favorites. If you’d like to join some of the ones I love, here are a few suggestions:
- #ContentChat every Monday at 3 PM Eastern (hosted by @SFErika)
- #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday at 11 AM Eastern (hosted by @ExpWriters)
- #CMWorld every Tuesday at 12 PM Eastern (hosted by @CMIContent)
- #bufferchat every Wednesday at 12 PM Eastern (hosted by @buffer)
- #SproutChat every Wednesday at 3 PM Eastern (hosted by @SproutSocial)
- #TwitterChat every Thursday at 1 PM Eastern (hosted by @MadalynSklar)
- #HootChat every Thursday at 3 PM Eastern (hosted by @hootsuite)