I’ve participated in more tweetchats lately, and I’ve been having the time of my life.
For those people who ask “What is a tweetchat?”, it’s a live conversation that happens on Twitter. Your host announces the day and time the chat will take place, and everybody tunes in at the required time from wherever they happen to be. (It’s definitely a challenge for those who live far away from the host. One person I saw stayed up until 11 p.m. his time to participate — now that’s dedication!)
The host then provides a series of questions that people answer. You can answer the host’s question directly as well as comment on the other tweets that you read. As you write your tweet, you provide the chat’s hashtag in the tweet so that others can read it.
The tweetchats where I’ve been a participant have to do with marketing topics such as #SSHour (Social Selling Hour), #ugcchat (User-Generated Content chat) and #cmgrhangout (Community Manager Hangout). It’s great fun — I get to talk with fellow marketing professionals worldwide. There’s a lot of banter and wit going on, and I’ve made some new online friends.
I call it a type of online roundtable. Everyone brings their experiences and knowledge, and we all learn information and tips from one another.
The time flies by. Each chat only lasts about an hour and it’s over before you know it, because you’re busy reading what others have said, responding to those tweets and paying attention to the next question.
Some of the tweetchat hosts convert the tweets into a Storify article. Storify is a social media tool that helps you put tweets together and create an entire story with them, so I can catch up on some tweets that I missed. I got notified by the host that some of my tweets had been quoted, and my reaction was “Whew! Thank goodness I didn’t say anything awkward!”
Other hosts record the tweetchat on YouTube as a live streaming event, so I can go back and watch it. I like seeing and hearing the people behind the tweets.
The tweetchats can be funny as well. For one guy, we were teasing him about his bright yellow shirt and even brighter orange couch that was visible in the background. He then favored us with a selfie and a quip.
I first became aware of tweetchats through a LinkedIn friend who works in social media, and then my U.K. blogger buddy Chelsea (take a bow, Chelsea!) was kind enough to send me a list. She tells me there are some tweetchats for bloggers as well, so I’m going to seek those out when I’ve got time.
For me, Twitter’s a good source of keeping up with what’s going on with the world and admiring the great artwork and humor of others. But it’s also a valuable educational resource, because when it comes to social media, you never stop learning.
Side note to my U.S. blog followers: Have a good Memorial Day weekend!