If you have access to my Twitter stream, you may have noticed a lot of hashtags lately. I’m kind of addicted to Twitter chats. If you’re not familiar with them, Twitter chats enable a group of people to have a productive conversation on Twitter following a specific hashtag. Each week, there are dozens taking place at any given time.
You may be thinking Twitter chats look like a bunch of noise and I’ll tell you that so far from the truth. Twitter chats, when done right, are organized and professional. The best chats have a good moderator to keep things on track.
Why should you take part in a Twitter chat?
10. Gather ideas
Twitter chats are inspiring. With so many great minds gathered in the same place you can’t help but walk away with business ideas, blog fodder, and collaborative efforts.
9. Learn who the top people are in a particular niche or industry
Most Twitter chats feature a weekly topic and guests who are ahead the game in their respective field. This is a chance to network and build relationships with the people who are getting things done in a big way.
8. Become a part of a community
Each Twitter chat is a different community. Here’s something else; when you’re involved in a Twitter chat you’re talking with a large group of people in a specific niche which means you now have a bigger list of contacts for your community and more people with whom to share your passion.
7. Jump in any time
It doesn’t matter if you show up late or if you’re shy, Twitter chats make it easy for everyone to have a voice.
6. Gain new followers
Unless you act like a tool, you’re sure to walk away from a Twitter chat with some new followers. If you really have something valuable to add to the conversation, you’ll find yourself with an onslaught of new friends.
5. Have an enlightening conversation
The purpose of a Twitter chat is to, well, chat. But about a specific topic. So not only do you get to hang out with people who share the same interests, you can share your passion as well.
4. Share your own expertise and (dare I say it?) influence
One of the beautiful things about hashtag chats is how they’re so interactive. Rather than observe, we’re active participants. We’re able to add our own point of view, even if we’re not the guest of honor. That’s not meant in a braggy, boastful way, but in a way that allows us to contribute.
3. Learn something
Walk away with something of value from each and every Twitter chat. Whether it’s inspiration for a blog post, a fact you want to look up later, or someone you want to get to know better, these chats are never a wasted experience.
2. Make new business contacts
Most of the chats I attend have to do with some form of business, and through them I made so many important contacts. There are a few speakers I want to investigate for BlogWorld, some community professionals I’ll enjoy interviewing for my book, as well as other important connections.
1. Meet new friends
The best reason to join a hashtag chat is all the connections you’ll make beyond business connections. You meet so many intriguing people, some who will become good friends.
Twitter Chat weapons of choice
Here’s the thing: Sometimes Twitter chats can be difficult to keep up with because there’s so much information flying by so fast. You need the right tools. I like to use Tweet chat, an app created specifically for hashtag chats that continuously refreshes itself so you can keep up. Also, use the search function Twitter management apps such as HootSuite, Tweetdeck and Seesmic to keep up.
Recommended Twitter chats
Since you’re probably here because you’re into blogging, community or general social media, I can recommend these chats for you:
- #BlogChat – Sundays at 9:00 p.m EST – Speakers and topics of interest to bloggers.
- #SpeakChat – Mondays at 9:00 p.m. EST – Public speaking tips and discussion.
- #cmgrchat – Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. EST – Discussion for community managers
- #BWEchat – Regular time TBD – BlogWorld Expo chat. After the first successful chat, we’re determining a regular time to keep it going.
Do you take part in Twitter hashtag chats? If so, tell us why, the benefits to you and your favorite chats. If you don’t take part in chats, share why as well.