Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Power of the Twitter Chat

In doing some research for my own use of Twitter at work, I was a bit surprised to find that 60 percent of educators use social media for professional development, including use of Twitter. A colleague asked, “How can you possibly learn anything in 140 characters?” (Obviously, not a Twitter user.)

Well one effective tool is the “Tweet Chat.” This is a scheduled conversation where participants use a common hashtag (#) so that all the related tweets will show up in a search. This is how you can hold a news conference on Twitter or have a Q&A session on your new product.

To test it out, see this list of chats, topics and the times they run at Twitter Chat Schedule. There are topics ranging from architecture, to dogs, from baking and business intelligence to Beattlemania.

Then see Sam Fiorella’s “12 Most Helpful Tips for Conversing in a Twitter Chat,” for some great ideas on participating in a chat.

And Lee Odden has suggestions for hosting your own chat, “Twitter Marketing Tips: Twitter Chats & 8 Marketing & PR Chats to Follow.”

And remember the first rule for PR and related folk when using social media: Don’t drop in and start selling. Be a contributing member first. Then, when it’s appropriate and relevant, you can share information about things you’re working on.

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