What is a Twitter Chat/Hours/Party? :
Twitter Chat/Hours/Party are basically a fast-paced, interactive conversation between multiple people using the same hashtag # at the same time. So, for example, #elevenseshour is every weekday between 11am-12pm, almost like a natural mid-morning break you would have in an office. Basically, for that hour you are encouraged to follow the hashtag, tweet replies, comments using the hashtag and network with new and old faces. Find out who the hosts are, follow them if you want and include hosts in your tweets they will help direct people to you and highlight comments when it starts getting too fast!
Some hours are informal and one long chat, others have themes and hosts will ask questions. Questions are usually numbered Q1, Q2 and include a graphic with the relevant reply information (host and hashtag), when you reply its customary to add A1, A2 etc … to your replies so everyone following knows what question you are replying too.
There are a plethora of hours out there so there literally is something to suit everyone. National, regional, genre specific, hours for causes, daily hours, weekly hours, monthly hours ….. List goes on!
Do you need to bring wine and cheese?:
Wine and cheese is not compulsory and is not advised during lunchtime Twitter parties 😉 However, having a good Twitter Bio is! An hour goes so fast and so much information will be flying around that you won’t have time to research everyone then and there so ensure you have a clear avatar, website address, what you do and if possible include some hashtags.
Have a plan!:
Decide how you intend to work. I normally go to #DorsetHour with one blog post I want to promote and have these promotion tweets scheduled in. Then I can just go with the flow and be interactive and organic with the conversation.
Pop the hashtag in the search box, make sure you click on latest to keep the conversation in chronological order. Occasionally I check my mentions if I notice the number increasing (you do normally catch the mentions in the feed as your name will catch your eye) try not to do this too often (check mentions) as you will lose the thread as it will move incredibly fast. If you can use 2 tabs on your computer – one to follow the hashtag and one to follow your mentions (or one tab and your mobile phone).
What happens after the hour finishes?:
It is advised after the hour ends and your hosts have said farewell to go lie down in a dark room! When you have stopped shaking you are allowed to check your Twitter feed once more!
I find at the end of Twitter Hours; this is a really good time to go and check my mentions properly. Make sure any questions that were asked I replied to. Say thanks for any RT’s etc. still using the hashtag!
Look at people who have started following me;
- What do they do?
- Do they interest me?
- Shall I follow them?
- Tweet “thanks for the follow” (remember to still use the hashtag so they know where they found you).
Any top tips for Twitter Hours that you’d like to share? Please do leave me a comment below or even tweet me JoanneDewberry
Download a list of UK Twitter Hours – this list is not exhaustive and does not include any regional hours.