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It’s true that social media can sometimes be overwhelming if you’re trying to learn how to do something or ask a question. Most people go to social media for quick facts or unimportant information (not to mention networking), but an organized meeting via social media does feel a little bit out of the ordinary.
“Twitter chats” have let plenty of people to break out of a comfortable social media coma where they just keep scrolling and reading quick articles and next thing they know it’s an hour later. Twitter chats have been around for a while to help people interact and make Twitter a place for in-depth and detailed discussions.
Individuals as well as companies can benefit from Twitter chats, and they’re easy to setup and attend. For most people, Twitter chats are a foreign idea. The question then, is simple: How do Twitter chats work, and which ones should I try to join?
How a Twitter Chat Works
For those who are unfamiliar, a Twitter chat is essentially a conversation that occurs on Twitter at a certain time. A person, company, or group of people will typically plan a Twitter chat and then try to spread the word so that others will join the chat at that particular time. The chat can be about absolutely anything—blogging and SEO, art, traveling, cooking, etc.—and there’s usually a leader of the chat who welcomes people who participate and keep things on track.
Technically, there are a few different types of Twitter chats:
- Chats with no agenda and no leader. These are very casual and anyone can join, and it oftentimes happens without any planning.
- Chats where a particular topic is posted and then everyone tweets about that topic.
- Chats with a speaker/expert and those participating in the chat ask the speaker questions.
- Chats where an expert or speaker posts a question and others on Twitter participate to answer.
- Twitter Chats about an event using a hashtag. This typically occurs if you’re watching something on TV. For example, the hit show The Voice allows users to join a Twitter chat using the hashtag #TheVoice and then those tweets are sometimes shown on TV.
Another way to think about a Twitter chat is like a chat room, the only difference is that it’s hosted on Twitter. It still happens in real-time, and in most cases anyone can join, although some Twitter chats are by invitation only. You keep track of a Twitter chat by using a particular hashtag. I like to find the chats and keep them organized by using a service called Twubs seen below.
Hint: Make sure that you don’t confuse a Twitter chat with the website TweetChat.com. TweetChat.com is all about helping you organize tweets by topic in order to follow them easier, but this is a third-party service, so it’s in a league of its own.
The Benefits of Joining a Twitter Chat
Joining a Twitter chat is a great way to network and make connections with others who have similar interests. It helps you show off what you know and find people you might be able to help and vice versa. It’s also an excellent way to learn more about your craft. If you have any questions and want to ask someone directly and in real-time then you can’t beat a Twitter chat.
There is also a ton of advice out there about starting a Twitter chat and how to make sure everything runs smoothly. You can visit this article by Ann Smarty to learn more about making it happen.
Possible Blogging SEO Twitter Chats for Small Business Owners and Webmasters
As discussed above, there are tons of different Twitter chats out there, but for now we’ll just discuss some popular SEO Twitter chats. Below are a few that have gotten good feedback and are expected to be beneficial for participants:
- #SEOchat — Thursdays at 10 am PST.
- #PPCChat — Tuesdays at 9 am PST.
- #MediaChat — Thursdays at 7 pm PST.
- #Blogchat — Sundays at 6 pm PST.
- #MMChat (marketing Monday) — Mondays at 5 pm PST.
- #IntDesignerChat — Tuesday at 3pm PST.
Do you enjoy participating in Twitter chats, or do you think they’re a waste of time? Have you been to a Twitter chat that you would recommend to others? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility.com, one of the leading SEO firms in the United States.