Twitter Parties and How They Work
Twitter chats – or Twitter parties as they are often called – are a great way to learn new topics and connect with a community of like-minded individuals. We like to equate a Twitter chat to a giant reception or cocktail party. The chat is usually organized around a specific topic or theme, but there are many different conversations happening at the same time.
When you tweet with a party hashtag – or the # sign – everyone
following that conversation will see your tweets whether they follow you
The Online Mom community has been coming together under various hashtags since early 2010. Our parties are regularly featured in Twitter's list of top trending topics both in the US and internationally, and we have hosted hundreds of Twitter parties on behalf of The Online Mom and our clients.
How to Participate:
1. Open a Twitter account. In order to participate in a Twitter chat, you must have a Twitter account. Opening a Twitter account is easy. Just go to Twitter.com and follow the instructions.
2. Choose a Twitter chat platform. The best platforms to use during a party are TweetChat (www.tweetchat.com), TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com) or HootSuite (www.hootsuite.com). When you use Tweetchat, you don’t need to add the party
hashtag at the end of each tweet. This saves you time so you can focus
on asking your questions and getting to know others on the chat. If you are new to Twitter, TweetChat is probably the easiest to follow. Log on with your Twitter ID and password, choose a hashtag to follow, and start chatting. It's that easy!
3. Follow the hosts. Each party has a host or a series of hosts – be sure to follow them so you know the questions being asked and the important tips and advice that are being discussed. The hosts will often start the chat by pointing out other experts or guests that you should also follow for that particular chat.
4. Prizes and give-aways. Many parties offer prizes and give-aways to attendees. These are usually provided by sponsors and are handed out towards the end of the chat as both an incentive to participate and as a reward for contributing your time. If you are interested in prizes and give-aways, be sure to follow the individual rules and instructions for each party. For example, you may be required to pre-register for the chat (RSVP) or actually participate in the chat to be eligible for a prize.
5. Don't be shy! The more you tweet, the more you will get out of a chat. Feel free to tweet openly to everyone or address questions and comments directly to the hosts and other party attendees by using their @names. If you attend parties on a regular basis, you will soon get noticed and pick up lots of extra followers!
The Online Mom currently hosts two regular weekly chats:
#TheOnlineMom chat takes place on Wednesday evenings from 9 – 10pm ET
#VZWBuzz chat takes place on Fridays from 3–4pm ET on behalf of Verizon Wireless and the mobile lifestyle
The Online Mom also hosts other Twitter chats and special events on a regular basis. Check TheOnlineMom home page for the upcoming schedule.
(Note: We are often asked by overseas guests whether they are eligible for the prizes that are offered during Twitter parties. The simple answer is yes but we must be able to ship to a U.S. or Canadian address. Also keep in mind that certain electronics and other gadgets may only work in the U.S. In particular, smartphones and tablets are usually shipped 'locked', which means they are tied to a specific U.S. cellular provider.)