Networking is a prevalent theme here on IFB. Like any industry, networking is a crucial part of the blogging process. We need it to learn about new resources or ways of doing things; for getting or vetting ideas; and of course, to promote and hopefully attract readers to our blogs. Some of the most frequent comments I see on IFB are “I don't have time to network;” or “I don't live in a place where there are lots of other bloggers.” Still others are very shy or reserved in real life, and going to blogger meet ups or events is not something they gravitate towards. So how can we make these connections – to bloggers, brands and resources – in these circumstances? This is where social media can be your friend rather than a distracting foe.
What are Tweet Chats?
Twitter has been particularly helpful for me when it comes to meeting new connections, and that's the reason I spend most of my social media time there. When I first started tweeting (circa 2008-9), tweet chats started to pop up more and more. Tweet chats are essentially live group chats with Twitter as the main platform. You can view tweet chats in other third-party sites, but you always have to log into Twitter to participate, and your tweets are your mode of communication in them. Tweet chats are usually a half-hour to an hour long, and centered around a specific topic. There are tweet chats happening on fashion, style, travel, marketing, blogging, wine and so much more! Some of these are so popular, they occur on a regular basis – weekly for the most part. A host and/or moderator will prep 5-10 questions to ask the group throughout the chat, and we're encouraged to tweet our answers to each one. We're also encouraged to tweet at others participating in the tweet chat. Get the hang of it? By the time a couple of questions have gone by, the hour is over and you've most likely tweeted at least three new people! (Remember that “tweet 3 new people every day” challenge? :))
Tweet chats are also an excellent way to share your expertise and help build ‘street cred' around your knowledge of fashion, styling, blogging, photography or whatever else lights your fire.
For those who are new or not very active on Twitter, tweet chats are a simple and quick way to jump into the swing of things, with a group of people who are interested in things that you're interested in. Tweet chats are also an excellent way to share your expertise and help build ‘street cred' around your knowledge of fashion, styling, blogging, photography or whatever else lights your fire. These days, it's not uncommon to see a tweet chat hosted or sponsored by a brand or community site. Who knows whose eye you might catch, and if your tweet chat participation might lead to a brand partnership or something more!
With that said, here are a few general tips for top-notch tweet chatting, followed by a short list of regular tweet chats I've seen.
Be on time.
As mentioned, tweet chats are usually no more than an hour, so to get the most out of it, add it to your calendar and make it a priority to be online and tweeting during that hour. Almost every tweet chat begins with an “Introduce yourself” type of question, so that's when you'll learn about who the others are that are participating.
Don't be shy about helping others out. Ever. Tweet chats are a power hour of info-sharing and resource-referring, so if you have an answer to a question someone else is asking, be proactive and answer them! Don't just leave it to the host to lead.
Always use the hashtag.
The only way others in the tweet chat can see your answers or other tweets related to that chat is if you use the appropriate hashtag. That also means special attention to how you say things, since you've only got 140 characters to work with!
Follow that hashtag.
The only way you can follow the tweet chat is if you're following that hashtag. Sites like TweetChat, TwitterFall & Twubs make it easy for you to do that, or you can add a stream in your Tweetdeck or HootSuite if those sites suit your fancy.
Make a friend.
I gotta throw this in there because it's almost impossible to not talk to anyone new if you're actively participating in a tweet chat. If someone said something you vibe with, follow them and keep tweeting with them after that tweet chat is over.
#BlogChat discusses professional, business and personal blogging topics. Sunday, 8 – 9 p.m. CST
#BlogTrends focuses on personal and professional blogging. Monday, 6 – 7 PST
#InspireChat is about self-growth, love, kindness and other topics that foster more balanced lives. Thursday, 11am – noon EST.
#MyBlogGuest covers essential blog topics like SEO challenges and content marketing. Thursday, 11am – noon EST.
#StyleChat covers fashion & beauty trends, personal style and more. Wednesday, 3 – 4pm EST.
#IFBChat happens on special occasions, on blogging and personal style.
If you've got any more tips or tweet chats to add, please share!
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]