Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tweetchats 101

What is a tweetchat?
Tweetchats are Twitter conversations that occur at a set time on a pre-determined topic. All tweets are labeled with a designated hashtag and ready followed by searching the hashtag or using a program such at Tweetchat. As hashtags can be used by anyone, there are no limitations on who can join. For a great list of health care tweet chats, see Symplur.

How do I prepare for the chat?
Make sure your Twitter pic and profile represent you in a manner you wish to be represented. Your Twitter profile will serve as a supplemental, unspoken introduction during the chat. For tips on completing your profile, click here. In terms of preparing for the topic of a tweetchat, that will depend on the chat topic and your goals for the chat. Often no preparation is needed.

How do I follow so many tweets?
My preferred method to participate in a tweetchat is to simply use Twitter's native search function, then sort by "latest" to put the tweets in chronological order. In this method, Twitter autopopulations the hashtag into your tweets, however you have to enter it yourself when you are replying to a tweet. Some prefer using a chat platform such as TweetChat that allows you to log in with your Twitter handle, enter the hashtag of the event, and then collates the chat tweets for you. It also autopopulates your tweets with the hashtag as well as replies.

Is there any etiquette I should be aware of?
  • You may want to quote tweet the announcement for the chat, with a note to your followers that your tweets will be increased during the upcoming hour.
  • Be sure to introduce yourself at at the start of the tweet. Even if you plan to only “lurk.”
  • If your tweets are in response to specific topics or questions, try to label them T1 or Q1, Q2, etc.

Any final tips?
Have fun! Don’t be afraid to chime in or simply follow along. (Both are encouraged!) Tweetchats can move along quickly. Most tweetchats later post the complete transcript, often a Storify, which can be more carefully digested and followed up on after the tweetchat.

If you have additional tips or questions to share, please post them in the comments 😊

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