The fun of a tweetchat

Roundtable

My more usual type of roundtable. Image courtesy of ronnieb, Morguefile.

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!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The fun of a tweetchat

  1. Thanks for this little intro to tweet chats. Now I want to try being in one, too.

  2. I am a pathetic Twitter user. I just haven’t ever gotten into the groove of that particular platform, but I would like to try to make better use of it. How does one get involved in a tweetchat, exactly?

    • Just tune in to Twitter at the required time/day, do a search for that particular hashtag and start responding to questions from the host. The tweetchats I’ve been to usually start out with the host asking everyone to introduce themselves. The host often sends you a tweet welcoming you in and then the questions start going out to everyone.

      You can comment on someone else’s tweet (I’ve complimented others on their insight, for example) or answer the host. The host’s tweet question will start out with Q1 (for question #1) and your answer should start with A1 (for answer #1), so everyone knows what question you’re responding to.

      To find tweetchats about a topic that interests you, Google “tweetchats about …. (insert name of topic)” for example. Or keep an eye on the Twitter people you follow because the host will announce an upcoming tweetchat.

      Sarah, check out Paul McFedries’s book “Twitter Tips, Tricks & Tweets”. You can probably find it at your local library or it’s available online at sites like Amazon. So far, it’s the best book I’ve found to explain Twitter. It’s a bit old in social media years (published in 2010 and social media changes regularly) but a lot of its basic info is still good.

  3. Scott

    Thanks for this informative intro to tweetchats–sounds like a lot of fun.

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