Last week, I participated in a Twitter chat for the first time. I had no idea what to expect, and I wondered how informational it would be. I was hesitant to introduce myself because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and was nervous to comment. Now that I am familiar with the process I feel comfortable being active in the conversation next time.
The chat was with PR professionals and students had the opportunity to ask them specific questions. I thought it was really cool that professionals took time out of their busy schedules to help students aspiring to be successful in the field. Getting feedback about their experiences was so inspiring, and it is a great way for students to network with them.
There was only one thing I really did not like and found extremely distracting to the conversation. As people joined the chat after it had begun they would continue to introduce themselves instead of contributing to the conversation. Every few seconds getting an update saying, “Hi!! So and so from Delaware!!” was VERY annoying.
Misty Belardo, a Digital Sr. Project Manager at Barefoot Proximity, is a Twitter fanatic. She believes that if you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat, you need to!
Here are here five reasons why:
1. Your opinion will be heard – Twitter chats allow you to voice your opinion on different topics. Just follow the hashtag of a particular chat that interests you, watch for the questions asked, and send a reply tweet with the hashtag. Most chats are also documented, so if you participate, people will also learn from you that way. Your opinion will definitely be heard.
2. You will learn from people who have more experience than you – Most people who start the chats have vast knowledge on the topic being discussed. Joining chats will enable you to learn from the experts in that particular field.
3. You will gain friends – Most chats are informal, and you will notice that they are people you have seen in your Twitter stream for quite some time but have not had the chance to interact with very much. By joining the chat, you get to interact with people in a deeper conversation and have fun in the process too. The best part is that if you continue the conversation even after the chat, you will gain more friends in the process.
4. You will gain insight on topics far beyond what you can read online – I always believe that experience is the best teacher. People are encouraged to share their personal experiences when they respond to questions in Twitter chats.
5. You can use it as a poll – Aside from joining chats, you can organize one too. Use it as a personal or business tool to get opinions from people you interact with everyday. Get their views, share with their experiences, and get valuable insight on topics relevant to your brand or personal endeavors.