If you don’t know about Twitter chats, or you have never participated in one, you’re missing out. Twitter chats are scheduled discussions that happen on a regular basis – usually weekly. They’re set up by a moderator and each chat usually has a loosely set topic to keep participants on track. Moderators sometimes ask a feature guest to participate; this is usually someone in the industry that people will jump at the chance to ask questions of.

If you’re new to Twitter chats, be prepared to be overwhelmed the first few times you attend. Depending on how popular a particular chat is, it can be virtually impossible to keep up with everything that’s being said. That’s exactly why most moderators will record the chat and make a transcript available shortly afterward.

Here’s why we love Twitter chats:

Make new connections

Twitter chats are the perfect way to network with others who are in your field or have similar interests. Whether you’re participating for personal use, as a professional or as a brand, this is the perfect way to identify influencers and connect with them directly on a regular basis. And if you regularly participate and contribute great ideas, chances are good that you’ll be noticed by others.

Contribute to the conversation

It’s not enough just to set up a stream and watch the chat happen. Once you’re comfortable with the process, join in. Make sure that your comments are valuable, and start discussions with other participants. Chats are a great way to establish your expertise in your field. Just be careful that you’re listening at least as much as you’re contributing.

Discover resources

People who engage in these weekly chats are highly involved in their niche. They’re likely to be a wealth of information. Set aside some time to scan over the transcript once its available and look for links, tips, or resources that may have been mentioned. Check them out. If they’re helpful, send a word of thanks to the participant who shared it; this can go a long way to building stronger online relationships.

Great branding

If you’re participating as a brand or from your company or professional profile, chats are the perfect way to connect with your target customers, present your brand or company in a professional yet personable way, and demonstrate your knowledge in your field. People love a chance to interact with a brand or company; and letting them see that there are people behind the name will increase the brand’s likeability and leads.

Twitter Chat Schedule

Twitter chat schedule

Did you know there’s a public Google Doc that lists all active Twitter chats? This little piece of Twitter gold was started by Robert Swanwick and it lists chats on just about any topic anyone could be interestd in. The spreadsheet is complete with hashtags, organizers’ Twitter handles, descriptions of the chats, links to more information, and times.

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