I have to be honest: There was a time when I couldn’t understand the appeal of Twitterchats. I thought, “I’m too busy, I don’t have time” or “What would I contribute?” or “What could I gain from an hour-long nonstop Twitter stream of opinions?”
And then everything changed.
A few years ago, I participated in a #cmgrchat, a Twitterchat led by Jenn Pedde at The Community Manager. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it wasn’t the chaotic stream of random thoughts or multiple conversations that I imagined. The questions were thought-provoking, and even better – the answers and conversations were insightful. I was officially a convert!
These days, I attend Twitterchats regularly. Why? I have a few reasons:
The initial reason I joined Twitter was to learn. It’s a fantastic platform for sharing content, no matter the subject. Articles, blog posts, images, infographics, lists – the content is never-ending (literally!). However, a Twitterchat provides an opportunity to learn from individuals in real-time. This means conversation, asking follow-up questions, and comparing experiences. You have the opportunity to learn from individuals who work or play in the same arena, and have different (and possibly much more!) experience, such as Madalyn Sklar‘s #TwitterSmarter. It’s like attending a virtual mini-conference every week!
Increase Your Community: Quantity AND Quality
Nearly every single time I participate in a Twitterchat, I gain a few followers. Now, as you know, I don’t really care about increasing my Follower count. What I DO care about is connecting with people who enjoy sharing and conversation, and that’s what happens at Twitterchats. I have found that the individuals I meet at Twitterchats are people who continue to interact long after the chat concludes. Show them some love by following back and retweeting their posts!
Connect With Potential Clients
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, customer service rep, salesperson, artist, or freelancer, participating in a Twitterchat can be a connector to someone who needs your services! Answering questions and offering tips is a great way to establish authority and create a face for your business. Live conversation will make much more of an impact on potential customers than simply visiting your website or reading your timeline.
Offer Your Expertise And Create A Voice
Everyone has something to offer – even if it’s a small bit of information or experience. Perhaps you’ve had a unique interaction with a customer, a successful experience with a new client, or you managed a profitable project. Twitterchats allow you to share your insight with a worldwide community of people in your field. Sharing specific tips, resources, and experiences in a Twitterchat will help you stand out in your field. Show that you’re helpful, friendly, and honest – this will make a lasting impression! Note: Stay mindful! Don’t hijack the chat with links, or discount others’ contributions. Remember that it’s a conversation, and not a megaphone.
In one short Twitterchat hour, you’ll hear more tidbits of knowledge, opinions, and points of view than combing through posts or articles. If you’re curious about a micro-topic, you’ll encounter people with varying levels of experience, from beginners to gurus. Influencers and novices alike have valuable viewpoints to share. Doing research? Writing an article? Collecting insight for your next project? Twitterchats are quick way to poll and record ideas and experiences.
Make New Friends
This may sound a bit simplistic, but Twitterchats can lead to some terrific friendships! Because of the informal and conversational nature, there’s space for deeper and more meaningful connections. Treat it like a real-life encounter – talk about where you’re from, a challenge you’ve recently faced, or a tool you benefit from, and don’t forget to listen. Engage! You’ll find you’ve opened a door to new friends! For example, I’ve met a bunch of people whom I consider friends at Buffer‘s #bufferchat. There are a lot of open and friendly folks there!
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Why do you enjoy participating in Twitterchats? What’s your favorite reason for joining? How have you benefited from engaging?