Why Twitterchats Are Worth An Hour Of Your Time

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:

To Learn

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!

Twitterchat conference quote

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.

Twitterchat people quote

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.

Gather Opinions

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

Twitterchat real life conversation

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?

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Leveraging Community Influencers: April 6th #cmgrEMEA Tweetchat

What are community influencers? Where are they? How do you connect with them? How do you become one? What do you do once you find them?

These are the questions we’ll be asking at #cmgrEMEA, a tweetchat for community managers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Our next chat is being held on April 6th at 1 pm GMT!

cmgrEMEA Apr6 Post Guest

Our guest, Nick Emmett (@nickemmett), is the Community Manager for a cloud computing company. He works to drive engagement and connect people in this growing community, and was one of the first participants at #cmgrEMEA! Nick also authors Socially Learning, a blog dedicated to community management and social media.

Mark your calendars for this tweetchat – it’s a great way to connect with other community pros in this time zone!