Twitter Hash Tag (#) Chats Help You
Find the Information You Want
Even if you’re a seasoned pro at Twitter, you might not know that there are a growing number of regular Twitter Chat groups waiting for your input. Joining a live conversation or just catching up on the various tweets in your favorite subject area will enrich your Twitter experience, as well as open doors to getting the help or information you need in a timely manner.
A Twitter chat is a conversation that includes hashtags (i.e. – the pound sign “#” followed by the chat group’s name). To participate, all you need to do is say your piece (or tweet your tweet), and add the hashtag for your group somewhere in your comment. One famous recurring group is #FollowFriday or #ff, where Tweeters share their favorite people/friends/followers so that others may find them and follow them, too. In the early days of Twitter, there were only about 20 hashtags people watched, now there are hundreds, both formal and informal!
You don’t need anything to get started with a hashtag chat. You can simply log in to twitter in your favorite browser
There are many FREE tools or applications you can get that help your Twitter Chat experience:
- TweetDeck is an invaluable, must-have, free application for anyone who wants to use or understand Twitter. You can organize your Twitter experience in different columns that follow various keywords you would like to track, people whose comments you enjoy, the entire feed from your followers, trending topics (it’s fun to see the waves of trends through TwitScoop).
- TWebEvent is a free application. Our Web Event Page for #ExcelHelp might be the easiest way to join the conversaion. TwebEvent is simple to use and allows you to choose a streaming “web event” or “chat” based on keywords that match your interests, and lets you log in through your existing Twitter account. Twebevent also tracks the upcoming scheduled Tweet Chats or Web Events, and you can integrate it with your online calendars to set reminders. (This last feature might be ”coming soon”, but I’m just so excited about it that I’m listing it here.)
- TweetChat is a free and simple application. Just go to www.TweetChat.com, sign in with your Twitter username/password (authorize the application access to your Twitter account), and enter the hashtag for the chat you want to follow (for example, #ExcelHelp)
Depending on the #hashtag you want to join, there may be different formats followed during chat hours. Some groups have guest speakers that will answer questions. Some formats allow free question and answer time between the general public, chat members, and the hosts. Other groups set up numbered questions and give participants the chance to give their feedback (with reference numbers) regarding each or any question. You might want to see if your Twitter Chat Group has a certain way of doing things.
In summary, if you would like to join in the #ExcelHelp fun, please do! We would love to see you and tweet with you regarding all things Excel (and Access!) every Tuesday from 12-2pm PST. Just log in to Twitter, open your favorite Twitter Chat tools, and DON’T FORGET THE HASHTAG!! #ExcelHelp.
Feeling shy? Try this great article by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone) “How to Participate in Twitter Chat”