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Social Media tip: How to Successfully Participate in a Twitter Chat (or Twitter Party)

There are many reasons why you should take part in Twitter Chats if you are on Twitter. Some give you the chance to win prizes and others are simply a great way to engage with others with a similar interest and build your following. So here are some social media tips to help you if you've never done a chat before or if you feel like you aren't doing them right, there are certain things you can do to make sure you are getting the most of your chat.

1) First, understand the difference between Twitter Chat and Twitter Party.

A Twitter Chat takes place when there is a discussion or a topic where experts discuss advice and opinions surrounding that topic. You join in these discussions and usually answer questions and engage with other twitter users during the scheduled time. A Twitter Party on the other hand includes discussion surrounding a certain brand or company. Usually, but not always, there is a chance to win prizes based on your participation in the party (and most times, you have to RSVP in order to win).

2) Depending on which type of event you are in, figure out your purpose.

While many Twitter users and participants of chats and parties may feel differently, I always try to alter my behaviour a bit depending on the type of event. For example, if I'm involved with a Twitter chat discussing young adult books or publishing trends, I'm more likely to stay engaged with other participants as well as respond to the host’s questions. With these chats, I'm much more likely to gain new followers since I am engaging with people who share the same interest at me (hence the reason we're all at the chat!).

But then, if I'm taking part in a Twitter party and my primary goal is to win a prize, I usually take a different approach. While there are occasions I do engage with other users, I mostly keep my eye out for the questions asked by the host of the party. You can usually figure out who the host is based on your RSVP for these events and if you keep an eye on their tweets, by responding to their questions, you are engaged for the event and you are likely to win a prize.

3) Figure out which platform works best for you to view the event.

I hear a lot of Twitter users boast about the amazing things that TweetDeck can do, but I haven't used this web-based program yet. However, I do highly recommend checking it out to see if that is the most comfortable experience for you during a Twitter event, whether it's a chat or a party.

For me, I find that using my Twitter iPhone app works the best. I click on the event's hashtag and I basically track that and send out my Tweets throughout. I find that whenever I use my laptop, whichever program it is, my computer freezes or it's extremely slow. This can make or break whether or not I have the patience to stay involved in the event or not.

4) Respond to and follow other Twitter event participants.

In all honesty, whether it's a Twitter chat or party, if you engage with other participants and reply to their tweets throughout the event, you are more likely to gain them as a follower. I tend to go through and follow a good majority of people involved in events for a few reasons. One, I know they are an engaged Twitter user. The worst thing for me is when I follow someone randomly without even realizing they haven't sent a tweet in months. Two, you know you share a common interest, especially if it's someone you met on a chat that is about a certain subject you care about or are interested in. By following someone from the chat, you know you are following a like minded user and that is extremely important on a network like Twitter where interaction can improve the overall experience.

5) Be returning user to Twitter chats and parties.

Often times the Twitter user or company that hosted the last event, will host the next one. Also, if it's a Twitter chat, you will most likely see familiar users. This is a great way to get yourself known among the areas that you tweet about or want to become an expert in. You are also more likely to get your tweets mentioned by hosts and other users especially if they recognize you from the last Twitter chat or event.

Overall, aside from the obvious purpose of the Twitter chat or party, these events are a wonderful way to expand your influence on the popular social network. But if you are new to the game, these events can be very overwhelming. Hopefully, with a few of these tips under your belt, you can conquer your next event and make the most of your experience.

Nicole Pyles

Nicole Pyles is a writer, blogger and social networker - and she's good at it, too. She blogs about her creative writing journey over at World of My Imagination and hopes one day she will find her own book on the shelves of bookstores and libraries everywhere.

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Social Media tip: How to Successfully Participate in a Twitter Chat (or Twitter Party) Reviewed by Alex Carson on Friday, January 31, 2014 Rating: 5
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