When you join a Twitter chat for the first time, it is a little like walking into a high school lunchroom all over again.
Some people are regulars to the chats, they have accounts that are welcomed by participants, their tweets ballooning in retweeted & liked popularity. Other users pop in & out throughout the chat – they cannot be there the entire time, but they have the natural ability to know exactly what resonates with everyone else (answers the chat’s question) in 140 characters or less. Still others are here for the memes & GIFs – the users that give their tweets a funny bone.
The good news is that whether you are new to Twitter chats / a longtime regular shyly tweeting from the sidelines, there’re plenty of ways that you can draw attention to yourself during a chat & engage with others in a lasting way.
Follow these tips to get yourself & your business noticed and make Twitter chats an hour each week to anticipate.
1. Follow the rules
Twitter chats typically follow the same format for participants – every chat has a specific amount of questions asked & each one is numbered accordingly, i.e. Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. A chat-specific hashtag is included with each question.
Everyone participating needs number their answer to the question. So other users know which question they’re responding to, while they need to include the hashtag when replying so that they can track their responses & the replies of other users.
Some Twitter chats can have a few other expectations for joining in, but this is the etiquette criterion across the board. Whether you want to get your business noticed, follow the rules first.
2. Less is more
Do not create a thread of replies when responding to a question or an answer that is too roundabout or clunky – sound bite everything you tweet.
Keep it simple, to the point and have fun with your answer too.
If other users have questions about what you said, they will ask them – you can respond and get a separate discussion within the chat going together.
3. Visuals are everything
Study shows that tweets with images generate 150% more retweets than those without. Do not be afraid to flex your visual muscle during a chat with a relevant picture, emoji or a GIF image to express your emotions.
If you’re doing this from a business account, ensure that the GIF is suitable for your company – high quality (avoid grainy images when possible) and relatable to the topic / question being asked.
Now that you know to compose a solid reply, you can relax & let everyone come to you, right? Not quite.
5. Chat with other users as much as you do the hosts
Your main priority during a Twitter chat could be to answer the questions from the hosts in a timely manner – but make it a point to @ mention other users.
Consider the chat to be like networking – some of users might not be at the next one, so take the time to mingle with other like-minded participants & strike up a conversation together.
6. Become a regular
Make it a point to consistently participate in the chats on a regular basis. If they are held every Wednesday at 11 AM PST, block off your calendar for the amount of time. Sometimes the topic will not be something your business specializes in, and it is okay to skip out when that happens. But if it’s something you feel confident responding to, knowing your area of expertise, stay for the whole hour & enjoy the conversation.
7. Join in on several chats
Who said you have to stop at one? If there is more than one chat being held on a topic that your business specializes in, hop in as many as your schedule lets.
Pretty soon, your presence at the chats will be less focused on being a well-liked regular. Instead, you will be here to make new connections, learn more and grow – everything that a business could be doing in the social media space.