One of my projects in the last month has been to learn how Twitter can extend the educational conversation. Twitter, for me, has always felt like a one way conversation pushing out content to an empty space; not terribly inspiring or motivating. So how does one make Twitter interactive, introduce Twitter Chats?
The purpose of a Twitter Chat is to connect and provide an interactive open forum of like-minded people and brainstorm or discuss topics of interest using a #hashtag to keep the topic marketable and searchable.
The Benefit of a Twitter chat is;
- to meet new people and thought leaders in your field;
- to learn something new;
- to enhance skills employers are looking for like leadership, communication, collaboration and organization skills to your career and business portfolio;
- and to create a community behind your business, school, project and other areas of interest.
To Begin you need to find Twitter Chats you might be interested in. Search general search engines and ones specific to your industry. A suggestion, when searching I found it was useful to include the word ‘best’ or ‘top’ and the date e.g. ‘best twitter chats in social media marketing 2012.’
Here are a lists of Twitter Chats you might find of interest:
- A Google Spreadsheet of over 575 chats created by Robert Swanwick
- The Top 50 Education Twitter Chats
- Top 16 Twitter chats for Social Media and PR Pros
- 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers
- Twitter Chats for Learning Professionals
- Twitter Chats for Journalists
SearchHash is a tool enabling you to download all the tweets related to a specific #hashtag as a spreadsheet. No login required.
Learn the Twitter Glossary to better understand how to use the @ symbol, when to tweet or retweet, and follow the #hashtags. If you are new to Twitter, attend and watch what people say, how they respond and the terminology used. It doesn’t take long to learn and by the end of a chat you will be able to easily ask a question, make a comment and even add a link.
If the list is daunting and you just want to dive in, here are some Twitter Chats I’m currently following (check your time if not in EST):
- #TalkTech – covers emerging trends and technologies as they relate to learning. The gathering is every Thursday at 3 pm EST.
- #ideachat – focuses on the power of ideas in a socially connected world. Held Saturday from 9 to 10 pm EST.
- #Socialmedia – looks at how to leverage social media in business.
- #Lrnchat – discusses how people learn. Begins every Thursday night 8:30-10pm EST.
- #LinkedInChat – anything regarding LinkedIn. Held every Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST.
Here are two of the numbers of tools you can use to participate in a Twitter Chat.
- Twitter.com – On the day, and time of the Twitter Chat, go to Twitter.com and login, type the #hashtag assigned to the chat like #TalkTech – and you can then follow or participate as you see fit.
- TweetChat.com is less distracting by allowing you to see only the tweets related to the chat you’re participating in. Login in with your twitter account, type in the #hashtag and your good to go. Unlike Twitter.com, the #hashtag is automatically included making it more convenient.
In the end participate in a way you feel comfortable; ask a question, include a link and above all be civil and respectful. You will meet some amazing people, feel like you’re a part of like mind people and learn a lot.
Here’s my question. Using the Social Media Club’s twitter tag @socialmediaclubwhat is one idea from a Twitter Chat (name the chat) you have participated in that helped improve what you do?
How to Twitter Chat: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ij1OcNsjZU&w=560&h=315]