Top Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketing Professionals & Educators

I have been actively building my social media presence since March 2015. Over the past several years, my brand and community have grown rapidly. In this article, I’m going to share one specific practice that has helped me build my professional network and expand my social media marketing knowledge: Twitter chats.

When I first started my social media journey, I had about 300 Twitter followers. I tweeted inconsistently and my content was random. However, through consistent participation in Twitter chats and engagement with other users, today I have nearly 10K followers — all of whom I gained through organic engagement.

Even more importantly, I have developed a close community that feels like an extended family. Many of my community members and virtual connections have become friends, mentors, and collaborators. For example, my Twitter story, Twitter chats in particular, was featured in the latest edition (4th edition) of Mark Schaefer’s book, The Tao of Twitter.

So, let’s dive in!

How to participate in a Twitter Chat: A three-step guide

There are many platforms that you can use to join a Twitter chat, such as TweetChat, Nurph, Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc. My favorite is TweetDeck, which is owned by Twitter and I will use this as an example to illustrate the three steps.

Step 1: Log into your TweetDeck page

Picture One

Above is a screenshot of what my TweetDeck’s homepage looks like. You can simply log into yours using your Twitter account.

Step 2: Create a column of the specific hashtag for a Twitter Chat

As you can see from the first picture that I have different columns, categorized by different hashtags. These are the hashtags that are relevant to my field of public relations and social media, and I monitor these hashtags on a regular basis. I have at least twenty hashtags that I follow so that I can stay updated on topics and trends related to public relations professors and social media marketing.

How to create columns like the ones above? Click on the search icon on the top left corner of the screen (see the red circle in the following graph, Picture two). Type in the hashtag that you would love to follow such as “#PRProfs” and you will be good to go.

Picture Two

Step 3 How to live tweet while participating in a Twitter chat

See the picture below (Picture three). To compose a tweet, click on the little square icon on the top left corner (Number 1). Once you click on it, you are able to compose a tweet in the white box in the center of the screen (Number 2). Make sure that you add your hashtag into your tweet while you are participating in a chat. Otherwise, your tweet won’t show up under the corresponding hashtag column. To enrich the content of your tweet, you can add a picture (Number 3). And to make things easier, sometimes I schedule my tweets ahead of time, especially if I am the guest or moderator for a chat. Scheduling my tweets allows me more time to focus on engagement during a chat. How to schedule tweets? See Number 4 at the bottom of the page.

Picture Three

Once you complete these three steps, you are ready to excel in a Twitter chat. It does take some practice to get used to tweeting, monitoring the flow of conversations, and thinking and typing at the same time. But, just like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. If my guide here is not clear, Buffer has another specific step-by-step guide that teaches you how to participate in Twitter chats and even host your own.

My top Twitter chats as a Social Media Educator and Practitioner

I want to share with you my top favorite Twitter chats that are relevant to communication, social media, and public relations. By no means is this a complete list. Please feel free to add your own favorite ones in the comment section below. The following chats are listed based on a chronological order, from Monday to Friday.

🔶 Tuesday: #RaganChat, 3 P.M., ET; #BizHeroes, 2 P.M., ET; #SocialROI, 5 P.M., ET

🔶 Wednesday: #SEMrushchat, 11 A.M., ET; #SEMChat, 1 P.M., ET; #WinnieSun, 2 P.M., ET; #SproutChat, 3P.M., ET; #AdobeChat, 4 P.M., ET

🔶 Thursday: #TwitterSmarter, 1 P.M., ET;

🔶 Monthly chat: #PRStudChat, noon, ET; #ContentWritingChat, 11 A.M., ET; #HootChat, 3 P.M., ET;

Conclusion

Gary Vaynerchuk shared the following in an article, titled, This generation will be fine: Why social media won’t ruin us,

Technology is not undermining real human interactions. Instead, it is exposing people for who they really are.

I can’t agree more with Gary. Participating in Twitter chats or hosting one’s own is an effective means to amplify one’s community building and networking efforts, brand visibility, as well as conversion rate.

What are your favorite Twitter chats? How have you benefited from participating in or hosting Twitter chats?


Ai Addyson-Zhang is a professor, speaker, live streamer, social media expert, and digital learning consultant. She coaches educators and leaders to embrace digital storytelling to build thriving communities conducive to teaching and learning. Ai has been featured in Forbes and Inside Higher Education. She is also a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and Thrive Global. Ai is on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. She’s the host of a weekly Facebook live show, Classroom Without Walls on every Wednesday at 5PM, EST.