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How To Participate In A Twitter Chat

January 25, 2009 - General Twitter Discussion, Twitter Tips

I recently got a mail in my inbox coming from TwitterTipsCenter dot com, and it was a question related to asking experts questions, but failing in getting a response, anyway here a quote of the mail:

According to me, Twitter is the best social media site that helps people communicate with each other, but my problem is when I ask expert bloggers questions I never get any response, what can I do about that?

Very true, I can tell that expert bloggers never check their -@- messages, neither direct ones. I don’t blame them, they always get spammed, also they can’t answear to thousands of questions everyday. So, in this situation I’d recommend you to get involved in a community in Twitter! Finding one can be a challenge for Twitter beginners. Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites established communities that are easy to find. Same as Twitter, just they’re often a best-kept secret.

Enter #hashtags and Twitter chats:

As experts can’t chat to you directly on Twitter, they can on Twitter chats! Currently there are about 35 weekly sheduled Twitter chats on certain days and times with like-minded professionals discussing a variety of questions. How can I find a Twitter community and participate in a Twitter chat ?

Step 1: Finding and Using the Hastag:
People broadcast their tweets to a specific group and follow others tweeting just by using a hashtag. It’s a symbol “#” followed by a name or abbreviation. Hashtag is a perfect way to get involved successfully in a Twitter chat – Check this Google Doc list of Twitter chats.

Step 2: Twitter Chat Tools, Best Way to Monitor the Conversation:
Twitter chat tools allow you to follow the coversation without being bombarded by other unrelated tweets. They are neccessasy as following a conversation with Twitter’s main page is very difficult. Also Check out the list of 10 Free Twitter Chat Tools To Facilitate Monitoring Conversations on Twitter.

Step 3: Follow the Twitter Chat Basics:
Now, since you’ve indentified the hashtag for your community and the Twitter chat tool that works best for you. Start communicating, login to Twitter and your Twitter chat tool at the appropriate date and time and there you go.
Twitter chats are different, some of them insist that people discuss specific topics or questions, I’ve seen some Twitter chats with guest experts leading a discussion and answearing questions, All you must do is to follow the rules of these chats and stay on topic as many chats have a moderator to help guide and facilitate the discussion. Don’t be a weirdo and ask something that makes no sense to the people in the chat.

That’s it! With Twitter chats, even beginners can participate in expert chats!

Good luck and I hope to tweet with everyone of you in a Twitter chat in the future 🙂
Oussama