By Mike Brown
A great way to participate in a large live Twitter chat event is with a group of friends who are on the lookout for each other’s tweets. You can do this through creating a sub-chat inside the bigger chat with its own hashtag. For example, author Jim Joseph is known for his #EXP chats that operate inside a big live Twitter chat event. Through Jim’s custom hashtags, there’s the possibility of both meeting new people and interacting with a small group.
To get the most from a live Twitter chat event, here are 12 tips for having more fun with your experience.
1. A Twitter chat isn’t about making pronouncements or simply blasting messages.
In a discussion-based Twitter chat, a moderator is usually providing questions one at a time for the group’s reaction. When you’re tweeting about a live event however, there won’t likely be pre-planned questions. Because of that, simply observe what other folks are tweeting. You can answer and respond to other people, even if a question hasn’t been posed.
2. When deciding what Twitter app works best, give Tweetchat.com a try.
One benefit of Tweetchat.com is that it automatically adds the hashtag you’re using within your tweets. This offsets the effects of number 5 (below). Tweetdeck (at least the old version of Tweetdeck) generally seems faster than Hootsuite, but the old Tweetdeck isn’t what it used to be. The refresh speed on the Twitter API is vitally important if you want to avoid being minutes behind in the conversation. No matter what, expect tweets to run slowly during major events, such as the Super Bowl.
3. Don’t use up all your tweeting energy in the first half / quarter / hour / preview show, etc.
If you’re really focused on a live Twitter chat event, you may be shocked at how tiring tweeting a live event can be. Pace yourself and stick around for the full event.
4. A live Twitter chat event is the perfect opportunity to become an MST3K character.
Discover your inner Tom Servo. Strive for being profound, insightful fun, or snarky—maybe all at the same time. If need be, consider using multiple tweets (and Twitter accounts) to be all these things.
5. Alcohol is an important part of an evening Twitter chat.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
6. Since so many people are watching the event, it’s more fun if you’re commentweeting.
People aren’t expecting news reporting regarding the event’s activities; they want to hear your ideas. Your commentweeting is what people really want. Deliver it for them.
7. If you’d like to be more outrageous when you tweet, a live TV event is the perfect time to try it.
The more outrageous you are, the more retweets and followers you’ll earn during a live Twitter chat event.
8. Be aware of good spelling, but don’t slow down for perfect spelling.
Share your ideas as fast as you can. People can figure out small spelling mistakes with few challenges.
9. Tweet short.
As with any other tweeting, if you want retweets, don’t fill up your tweets with all 140 characters. Include only the pithiest thing you have to say in 120 characters and give people a chance to make a quick retweet of your compellingly brief comentweeting.
10. If you’re in a sub-chat (i.e. a focused chat within a bigger event), include the hashtag for the bigger event in your best tweets.
Even through your focus might be on your small group of tweeters, you still want to try to get noticed by those tweeting with the bigger live event Twitter hashtag. Doing so can bring new tweeters to your group and grow your audience.
11. Follow people you’re tweeting with during the event.
Follow people liberally, or consider creating a Twitter list as another way to track the chat. Additionally, it’s fine to carry on side conversations while the event takes place. While the event brings people to the party, meeting new people you’ll enjoy tweeting with in the future is a big part of the event as well.
12. While Twitter chats are silent, they’re tremendously noisy.
Don’t believe me? If you’re concentrating on a live Twitter chat event, try “hearing” people talking around you and processing what they’re saying. It’s nearly impossible. It sounds stupid, but if you experience deafening Twitter chat loudness, you’re not alone.
If you’re a veteran of a previous live event Twitter chat, what suggestions would you add?
Or if you haven’t participated in a live event Twitter chat previously, what questions do you have? I’d be happy to provide whatever answers I can!
Mike Brown is the founder of the Brainzooming Group. He has been at the forefront of leading Fortune 500 culture change, contributing new approaches in research, developing simplified tools for innovation, strategy planning, and aligning sales, marketing, and communications strategies for maximum business results. Additionally, he’s won multiple awards for his strategic brand-building approach to customer experiences in NASCAR and conference event marketing efforts.