How to Participate in a Twitter Chat


I'm testing out running a weekly Twitter Chat with my pal, Jill, from Spark and Influence.

We have a ton of fun on the chats, and we've talked about everything from solopreneur finances to dealing with imposter syndrome

There are 2 questions, though, that we hear a lot: 

  1. "How do you participate? I'm not sure what to do!"

  2. "Do you use any tools to manage it all? The chats go too fast for me! I can't keep up!"

So, in case you've been wondering, here's the basic premise behind a Twitter chat:

  1. Moderators pose questions, like this: "Q1 Let's get started! Where are you from and what do you do? #thebalancechat" (Q stands for the question number!)
  2. You start each answer with the corresponding A for answer - A1, A2, and so on.
  3. You will see the moderator always close tweets with the chat's hashtag. Be sure you do the same. This helps everyone on the chat find your responses! 

it's true that twitter chats can move fast and feel overwhelming. here's how to deal with that:

There are 3 ways to tackle this: 

1. TweetDeck

TweetDeck allows you to add "columns" to your dashboard. You'll hit the "+" sign at left, and enter the chat's hashtag. Then this will show you the most recent activity, and you can favorite, retweet and tweet all from inside the app. I find that it does take a bit longer to populate than Twitter. But the interface is so clean that I prefer this one. 

2. TweetChat

When you open TweetChat, you'll start by entering the hashtag. Just like TweetDeck, you'll be able to interact totally from inside the app. You'll see the latest posts, and there's a field at the top where you'll type your tweets into. I like that it's so user friendly and clear about "what to do next." One nice feature is the built-in link shortener. That's a great feature.

3. Right inside Twitter!

If you're not ready to tackle a new tool just yet, then just stick to Twitter itself! Enter the chat's hashtag in the search bar at the top right of your screen. When it opens the search results, click on latest. (It defaults to the top posts with the most interaction.) This will show you the most recent posts. You can refresh the screen and interact right there!