Joining a Twitter chat is a great way to engage with your nonprofit’s online community, as well as build your brand and following.
You know you’ll connect with new people and learn new things, but if you’ve never participated in a nonprofit Twitter chat before, it can be intimidating! Learn some Twitter chat basics before you start tweeting.
1. Twitter chats are online conversations that happen at a predetermined time.
Usually, they last one hour. At that time, participants will log in to Twitter, search for the chat’s unique hashtag, and join the conversation.
2. Each chat has a unique hashtag.
For example, on World Refugee Day, GlobalGiving hosted a Twitter chat that used the hashtag #RefugeesLead. Each tweet in the conversation should have the unique hashtag so you and others can follow along effectively.
3. The chat will have a theme.
The #RefugeesLead chat was about how nonprofits serving refugees can become more community-led. Each question in the chat related to this overarching theme.
4. There will be one host, and maybe several co-hosts.
The host will tweet the questions throughout the course of the chat. Questions are usually designed with Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. and participants include A1, A2, A3, etc. in their response to avoid confusion.
5. To streamline communication, you should quote retweet your answer to each question.
That way, your Twitter followers not participating in the chat can still follow along!
6. Questions are usually sent out to participants a week or so before the chat.
Having the questions before the chat helps your nonprofit think and craft your responses. Planning your answers is particularly key if you want to include images or graphics in your tweets during the chat.
7. Interact with other participants by liking, retweeting, and replying to their tweets during the chat.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll connect with a prospective partner or forge a new friendship!
8. While you can join a Twitter chat simply by logging in to Twitter, there are free tools that can help you stay organized.
Try Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to track the chat’s hashtag and engagement.
Featured Photo: Empowering Youth with Entrepreneurial/IT training by Carolina for Kibera