We’re always talking about how Twitter chats can really help you build up relationships and readerships but what if you’re so new to them, that you’re not even sure how to join in? We’re here to help as always!
First, find the chat that you want to join. That might seem a little obvious, but there’s not much point in a fashion blogger joining in a parenting blogger chat if they don’t have children or any interest in the topic being discussed! You can find times and dates of all hashtag chats over on the calendar – you can subscribe to the calendar if you want the notifications for them!
You might want to warn your followers that you’ll be taking part in a chat – if they use a client that allows them to mute hashtags, then they may appreciate the heads up! Echofon (both iPhone and Android), Tweetbot (iPhone) and UberSocial (Android) are really good at this (especially Tweetbot – that app allows you to mute anything you want, even random words! You can also set a time limit on the mute as well) . The official Twitter apps don’t allow muting of hashtags yet, but keep an eye out for that – they have introduced being able to mute certain users, so it’s not a huge stretch to think that this could be next.
Spend a little time to see what the topic is and what other people are talking about – it’s tempting to jump straight in, but it’s much easier to reply to a few tweets first before tweeting out to everyone.
Be polite! Try to avoid promoting yourself too much during the chat times, and outside of those times, try to not overuse the hashtag. We love to check out certain hashtags outside of the usual chat times to find new blogs, but when it’s the same person tweeting every hour about their blog? It’s a bit of a turnoff. If the topic is something you know lots about, there’s a delicate line between being helpful and taking over the chat! Perhaps it would be better explained as a blog post – we’re always looking for people to contribute over here if it’s a blog based topic!
Retweet things that you think are interesting, but again, try not to overdo it – if your followers want to take part, then they will, but if they don’t want to take part, they probably won’t appreciate your multiple retweets!
Instead of using the search function in your Twitter program, why not try out TweetChat? It’s a website that you log into with your Twitter account, then tell it which hashtag you want to chat in. It has some pretty useful features that you wouldn’t get in your usual Twitter client – like showing you which chats are on at the time, pausing the updates if you’re scrolling back through the tweets and adding the relevant hashtag to your tweets. You can even block users if someone is spamming the feed and you don’t want to see them anymore!
Lots of people tweet at the end of the chat that they’d love to get some blog links – it’s a great way to find new blogs and people to follow, but instead of tweeting out your link to anyone that asks, try to limit it to people you’ve interacted with in the chat. Make sure to take advantage of all these new links being posted to find some awesome new blogs – perhaps you could mention some blogs you love instead of promoting yourself?
What tips would you give someone wanting to join in?