Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to Participate in a Tweet Chat - Like #FLBlueChat

A tweet chat like the #FLBlueChat chat starting on February 11th at 12:00EST can be a great resource for obtaining useful information and tips about a specific topic. It’s also a great way to make new acquaintances, share your knowledge with others and establish your personal brand. In advance of this new chat on the topic of the ICD-10 mandate, I wanted to share some information on participating in tweet chats and getting the most bang for your tweet chat buck.

Prepare for the Chat

1. Review chat topics

If available, review the chat questions prior to the event. These are often posted on a blog or other page. Spend a little time ideating your contributions and questions.

2. Use a tool to make it easy on yourself

Some chats move very fast. Most popular Twitter clients can be used to follow and participate in a Twitter chat using the official Hashtag for the chat. A few of the popular tools include:


You can also follow a Hashtag in a Twitter client like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Just set up a search for the #FLBlueChat Hashtag and all of the tweets with that Hashtag should show up in the search window. I use Tweetdeck and setup multiple search columns; each using the designated Hashtag and one of the topic tags. For instance “#FLBlueChat T1”

Quick tip: for all of the tools above, consider filtering out retweets to remove the clutter.

3. Prior to the start of the chat, you may want to RT the host’s tweet announcing the chat. This can also inform your followers that your Twitter stream may be overly active for a short period of time - assuming you plan to share a lot.

4. As the old saw goes about God giving us two ears and one mouth, computers support connecting multiple monitors but only one keyboard. Consider using two monitors to be able to read and listen more than you speak or type. :)

“Listen” and Absorb

1. When you first join the chat, scan the tweets being shared. Note the type of information being shared and who’s doing the sharing.

2. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the chat. This is especially important if you’re a first-timer/relatively new or if you’re Tweeting as a brand. “Hey all, Steve here from suburb of Phoenix – healthcare payer IT guy”.

3. If you just plan on lurking, say so and get it out of the way: “Hey all, Steve from Arizona. Excited to lurk and learn today.”

4. You might want to let others know you’ll be participating in a chat in advance. This is a nice way to support the host and let your network know you may be a bit noisy during that time.

Jump In and Participate

1. Re-tweeting what others share is a common way to support statements from other tweet chat participants and share them with your own Twitter network.

2. Ask questions! Hosts love questions. Sometimes even irrelevant questions because some hosts think EVERYTHING is related to their topic. It may be helpful to preface your tweet with “Question:”

3. Be sure to include the Hashtag in each of your tweets! If you ask a question or respond to someone in the chat, use the Hashtag so others will see your tweet.

4. Note the account names of those sharing interesting information, comments or perspective. You may want to consider following them or adding them to a list of those to observe for a while prior to following.

It’s Not Over Until You Say It Is!

1. When the chat ends, tweet a message of thanks to the host(s) and anyone who made the chat more worthwhile to you. Consider following those accounts whose contributions you found especially valuable.

2. Follow-up. If everything went well you’ve made a new connection or two. Follow-up in the coming days with a friendly tweet. Continue the conversation that was started and begin to build the new relationship.

3. Review the chat summary or transcript. Many hosts will post a transcript of the tweet chat. This is particularly helpful if the chat was fast moving. @Symplur is a free tool you can use to review transcripts and statistic summaries for tweet chats that have registered on the site.

4. Storify is a tool used to create a transcript o a series of tweets and add some commentary and context to the chosen tweets. If someone has “Storified” the chat using @Storify, then check that out. Moreover, you can subscribe to stories and obtain new information that may be subsequently added.

Come Join Us!

I hope the above information was helpful. Why not come join the first of a series of #FLBlueChat chats on Wednesday, February 11th @ 12:00pm EST.