“Anjali, I have to attend your TweetChat. Tell me how do I do it?”
This phone call is common in my life. Often, it comes just at the time when I am about to get the ball rolling for a TweetChat. That makes me realize that though it is one of the most desired things to indulge in a meaningful conversation with the right people around a trending topic of interest, most of those present on Twitter have no idea how to do it without creating any nuisance.
You need to have a Twitter account
Yes, you can see any tweet without signing up for Twitter. It is public by large. That same rule doesn’t apply if you want to participate in a TweetChat. Get an account, sign in at the time mentioned for that TweetChat and then participate.
Follow TweetChat host
A host is either a company’s account or an individual’s account or, in some cases, both. (e.g. #TTRT host is @Rezoomex and @AnjaliTwist). These accounts would be the ones tweeting the questions for discussion. It would be easier for you to see all questions on the host’s timeline or your own feed. You can also get mobile notification from host account if you don’t want to miss any question.
Follow TweetChat hashtag
Search for TweetChat hashtag (e.g. #TTRT). You would be able to see ‘Top Tweets’ with the given hashtags. These tweets are the most popular tweets for that hashtag. You can also see the current tweets for this TweetChat in the ‘Latest Tweets’ section.
Answer Questions of TweetChat
TweetChat is an opportunity to learn as well as showcase your expertise. So, it is important that you know how to identify questions and give answers in the right way.
General practice is to put forward question tweets beginning with Q and question no. (e.g. Q1., Q2., Q3.). Always retweet the question before you answer them. That will help visitors to your profile view the question and its answer on your timeline itself. You can indicate which question are you answering by beginning your tweet with A and answer no. (e.g. A1., A2., A3.). It is just like how you use to answer questions in school exams 😉
Use TweetChat hashtag at the beginning or end of your answer. Both are acceptable. However, if you forget to put hashtag, your tweet will not be visible to other participants in hashtag feed.
Sometimes, the hosts of the TweetChat disclose the question in advance. You too can read about the topic and prepare your answers in advance.
To use or not to use the Reply feature
There is no rule as such but to answer TweetChat questions, you can use reply feature of Twitter. This helps collect all answers at one place and raise discussion. It gets difficult to follow hashtag feed if there are more participants. Reply feature can help you identify answers to a particular question at one place in replies.
The tradeoff is that your answer tweets would not be visible in you ‘Tweet’ timeline. They will be only in your ‘Tweets & Reply’ timeline. You can always retweet your answers to make them visible on your timeline.
The 149 Characters Rule
Twitter is a short & sweet expression platform. Every tweet has only 149 characters and this rule applies to your answers to TweetChat questions too. Still, you can answer a question in more than one tweet, if need be. For doing so, you need to specify in your tweets which part of answer it is (e.g. (1/2), (2/2)…).
Your answer can be seen later in sequence if you reply to the previous part of your answer itself.
Interact with TweetChat Guest
Many TweetChats invite an eminent guest who has ample knowledge about the topic of TweetChat. Like any other participant, the guest will share his/her views and insights on each TweetChat question. It is an opportunity for those who want to learn more about the topic from an expert. You can also ask related questions or have a meaningful conversation with the guest. Do not forget to mention guest’s twitter handle along with the TweetChat hashtag while interacting with guest. You can also reply to the guest’s tweet to discuss further on his/her answer.
Other Ways to Participate in TweetChat
You can like & retweet any question and answer. You can also initiate conversations with other participants on their answers by replying to their tweet. The TweetChat continues even after the time is over. You can keep following the updates even after that.