Up until July of this year I resisted and flat out refused to use Twitter. I truly did not get it. What was the point of saying something in just 140 characters. And what was I going to say and who was I going to chat with? I’m in the Midwest and Twitter has yet to really catch on here so none of my friends or clients use it. But I had been taking a class about online marketing and one of the things they taught was how to get involved on Twitter and how to meet other people.
I have to say now that I know what I am doing, I am in love with Twitter! I have met so many wonderful people across the country by engaging with then and connecting with them and others they know on Twitter. Twitter is even where I got my opportunity to write for Inman News!
In just a few short months, I have really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of Twitter. One of the things I had to learn fairly quickly was how to be involved in a Twitter chat. I will tell you, the first time I did it, I had zero idea what I was doing and I felt so dumb! Thankfully it was very easy to learn, but because it can be intimidating, I thought I would write about how to participate in a Twitter chat, in case you are a reader that ever wants to join us in our weekly #RealtorsUnite chat.
To make this easier to understand I am going to highlight our weekly #RealtorsUnite chat as an example.
What Is It?
A Twitter chat is like a networking meeting, just online through social media. It is a group of people getting together to discuss ideas and issues around a topic usually related to their industry. There is one host that will have prepared questions and will ask one question, give attendees a chance to respond, then go onto the second question and so on and so forth. Twitter chats typically last one hour.
In the case of #RealtorsUnite, Real Estate Agents from all over the country come together once a week to chat about a predetermined topic that relates to the real estate industry. We have talked about everything from Realtor Safety to Education to Marketing Ideas to Email Marketing and everything in between.
Why Would I Participate?
Twitter chats, like networking, are meant to improve your skills and help you learn more about what is going on in your industry. The Real Estate Agents that participate in #RealtorsUnite learn about what is working for marketing for others around the country and they help support each other with issues that arise in the day-to-day real estate business. There is even business being done through #RealtorsUnite! If one of your clients moves to a new state, there is a chance that a #RealtorsUnite member is in that state and would love the referral!
I think the mission statement for #RealtorsUnite says it all: “The purpose of #RealtorsUnite is for #Realtors to have a forum to discuss issues we face, give support, and assist one another.”
How Do I Participate?
Like I mentioned, participating in a Twitter Chat can seem intimidating when you first do it, especially because it moves so fast. Here are some steps to get you started:
1. Go to Twitter and in the search box, type the hashtag for your chat. The hashtag is how all members of the chat with each other. In our case you would type #RealtorsUnite. In fact, why not go to Twitter and try this so you can see how it works.
2. You will then see a screen that looks like this:
3. To participate with us on Tuesday nights at 6pm CST, you would follow step 2, to follow the chat. We usually start with a roll call which is a great way for you to get involved and try out your first Tweet in the chat! The host for the Twitter chat will announce themselves and ask everyone to check in. You then hit reply to the host stating that you are here and then follow that with the #RealtorsUnite hashtag.
4. Then the questions will start in a Q&A format like below. When you have something you want to add, you can either reply to the host when they ask the question or tweet using A1, A2, etc. at the beginning of your tweet indicating which question you are answering. This indicates that you are replying to the question asked.
Being involved in a Twitter chat is as easy as following the steps above. Simply reply to the questions you have thoughts on and share them with the group. The more engagement in a Twitter chat the more useful and fun it is!
- You can be a part of the chat using your phone or tablet. The Twitter app is great for this!
- Engage, engage, engage! Others want to hear from you and want to hear your opinion.
- Don’t forget to use the #hashtag for your chat. In our case it is #RealtorsUnite.
- If your point takes more than 140 characters you can place a (1/2) in your first tweet and a (2/2) in your second tweet to get all of your idea out there.
- If engaging with new people on the chat and you enjoy chatting with them, give them a follow!
If you would like to join our #RealtorsUnite chat on Tuesdays, we would love to have you! It is so fun when a lot of people are participating because the ideas just flow like magic. I highly recommend you check the group out, even if you are new to Twitter or haven’t even tried it yet. Participating in a Twitter chat is a great crash course on how to get involved with Twitter and a fun way to meet new people too!
Have you ever participated in a Twitter chat? How did it go? Do you have chats you participate in often? If so share them in the comments below! Thank you!