4 Benefits of Joining Twitter Chats

April 17, 2012

A few Tuesdays ago I participated in the weekly Twitter chat called #influencechat. We discussed disruption and innovation (concepts made popular by Clayton Christensen, @claychristensen, a well-known professor at Harvard Business School @HarvardBiz). After debating the difference between the two terms, we discussed disruption and innovation in higher education.

Four benefits from joining the chat:

  1. Learning. I learned a lot. Experts host, moderate, and participate, so I gained some pragmatic takeaways from the conversation.
  2. Networking. It was easier for me to follow, and be followed by, people with similar interests. Twitter chats focus on specific topics, so I was able to connect people who are interested in that topic. A department twitter account could get involved in a twitter chat related to their subject matter in order to reach twitter users who are already interested in that subject.
  3. Visibility. It is a great way to gain visibility (click here to see stats from a few weeks ago) because a number of people participate in the chat, but many more follow the hashtag to observe. By participating in the chat, I augmented my reach to everyone involved, their followers, and additional people following the hashtag.
  4. Reputation. Become a trusted source by sharing your expertise in a twitter chat.

There are several regular Twitter chats that happen weekly or monthly around every topic you can imagine. Think of joining one this week.

How to join a Twitter chat:

  1. Know the hashtag. Let's say it is #influencechat.
  2. Know the time and day the chat is regularly held (#influencechat is every Tuesday at noon).
  3. Search for the hashtag (in this case, #influencechat) in the Twitter search box.
  4. Observe the conversation. Sometimes it is a group debate where everyone may share their opinion. Other times there is a moderator asking questions of a main tweeter (usually an expert in the field). Everyone joins with that conversation as the focus.
  5. Type your comment and append it with the hashtag to join the conversation. For example:

https://twitter.com/CHopeMurray/status/187216966782689280 People will see your tweets popping up as part of the discussion and will become aware that you exist. Your valuable contributions to the chat will help entice them to follow you and mention you. Members of the MIT community may be interested in these chats focused on business, science, math, and education. 

  • #MBAchat: hosted by @OfficialGMAT (2nd Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. EST). This chat is hosted by GMAT exam and business school admissions officers. They talk about subjects related to business school.
  • #BEchat: hosted by @BizExam (Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30 EST). The Business Examiner facilitates the conversation around current topics, trends, or ideas in the business world.
  • #scichat: hosted by @brunsell and @gardenglen (Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m. EST). This chat engages educators and scientists in an ongoing discussion with the goal of sharing ideas, growing professionally, and improving the teaching of science.
  • #mathchat: hosted by @colintgraham, @tcash, @4thGrdTeach, and @davidwees (Fridays, 1-2 p.m. GMT). For those interested in mathematics education as an educator, student, or other interested party.

Some of my favorite social media-related chats include #mmchat, #influencechat, #linkedinchat, and #USGuyschat. I get a lot of great ideas and advice when I participate in these conversations. See Mashable's article '15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers' for more Twitter chats about social media.

Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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