Yearning for company, learning, or meaningful connections on Twitter? Try a Twitter chat!
TWITTER CHAT A conversation that happens on Twitter that’s focused within a certain time (usually an hour) on a specific topic and by a specific person or organization.
If you’re struggling to “get” Twitter, Twitter chats just may give you that “aha” moment that turns you into a fan of the platform. There are many good reasons for nonprofit communicators to participate in a Twitter chat:
- Meet high-quality contacts to follow. The people who make the time for a Twitter chat are VERY interested in that topic, and are usually folks you want to follow.
- Gain high-quality followers. Chats can be your moment to shine, to show off your knowledge and resources, and attract new followers.
- Tiny commitment. Big potential payoff. Most chats are just 1 hour. In a great chat, the hour is up before you know it. Come, go and participate as you please. No cost. No RSVP. Lurk or post away, your choice.
- Lively discussion and engagement. The best chat moderators plan questions and keep the chat moving – a truly concentrated burst of learning. I usually have oodles of articles bookmarked after a good chat.
If you’re new to Twitter chats, ease into it:
- Lurk first to get the lay of the land
- Attend several so you can see different styles
- Increase your participation level, and have relevant links at the ready to share
- If you want your nonprofit to become more involved, consider pitching the host of a regularly scheduled Twitter chat for a guest appearance for you or your staff expert (see below for the BIG LIST of regular chats)
- If you want to host your own, trying doing it ONCE before committing to a consistent schedule – running a regular Twitter chat is a lot of work
- Don’t forget to promote your chat LIKE A BOSS (Twitter, blog, Facebook, email list, website, chat directories [listed below])
Chances are no matter what you do, and no matter which sector your cause represents (health, animals, justice, community benefit, etc.), there’s a Twitter chat for you to try.
PRO TIP You don’t even have to participate in a Twitter chat to benefit from it. Search the chat hashtag on Twitter, and then sort your results to find a super concentrated list of people, photos, videos, Twitter lists and Twitter collections.
Here’s a whole bunch of chats for nonprofits. If you’re in education or health, be sure to dive into the special directories listed in the OTHER section.
#AssnChat | Tuesdays @ 1pm CT (associations)
#CommBuild | Tuesdays @ 1pm ET (community building)
#FundChat | Wednesdays @ 12pm ET (fundraising)
#GrantChat | Tuesdays @ 12pm ET (grants)
#Npcons | third Tuesday @ 1pm PT (nonprofit consultants)
#Npmc | last Thursday @ 1pm ET (nonprofit marketing)
#Socentchat | Wednesdays @ 1pm ET (social entrepreneurship)
#Startinggood | Wednesdays @ 1pm ET (crowdfunding)
#Ttvolmgrs | Thursdays all day (volunteering)
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA
#Blogchat | Sundays @ 8pm CT (blogging)
#Bufferchat | Wednesdays @ 12pm ET (social media)
#cmgrchat | Wednesdays @ 2pm ET (community managers)
#cmworld | Tuesdays @ 12pm ET (content marketing)
#culturechat | Every other Thursday @ 1pm ET (generations and culture)
#JournChat | Mondays @ 7pm CT (pr and journalism)
#linkedinchat | Tuesdays @ 8pm ET (LinkedIn)
#muckedup | Tuesdays @ 8pm ET (pr and journalism)
#nywicichat | Every other Wednesday @ 8pm ET (NY Women in Communications)
#pinchat | Wednesdays @ 9pm (Pinterest)
#smchat | Wednesdays @ 1pm ET (social media)
#addictionchat | Wednesdays @ 9pm ET (addiction)
#AEDchat | monthly @ various times and dates (eating disorders)
#Agingchat | second Wednesday of every other month @ 4pm ET (aging)
#ALZChat | Mondays @ 3pm ET (Alzheimer’s and dementia)
#FoodFri | Fridays @ 1pm EST (food advocacy)
#WellnessWed | Wednesdays @ 11am PST (health and wellness)
#econchat | 2nd and 4th Sundays @ 9pm ET (economics and finance)
#edtechchat | Mondays @ 8pm ET (educational technology)
#Edchat | Tuesdays @ 12pm ET (education)
#kidscancodechat | Tuesdays @ 8pm ET (programming in education)
#spedchat | Tuesdays @ 9pm ET (special education)
#sschat | Mondays @ 7pm ET (social studies)
OTHER TWITTER CHAT LISTS
Healthcare chats: http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/tweet-chats/ (H/T Chritina Lizaso @btrfly12)
Education chats: https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-calendar (H/T Elana Leoni @elanaleoni of Edutopia @edutopia)
Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhisaMy5TGiwcnVhejNHWnZlT3NvWFVPT3Q4NkIzQVE&hl=en#gid=52
HANDY GOOGLE CALENDAR
Check this out: nonprofit colleague Lauren Girardin (@girardinl) has plotted many of these chats out on a handy Google Calendar.
Do you really need a tool to join a Twitter chat? Not exactly, but they do make it so much easier. These tools — all free — help you zero in on the conversation, AND they add the chat hashtag automatically.
Twubs (pictured below)
Which chats and tools am I missing? Share your contribution in Comments.