What Is a Twitter Tweet Chat or Twitter Party?

Twitter Chats are cost-effective marketing tools and they're fun!

Twitter on a phone

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A Tweet Chat—also called a Twitter Chat, Tweet Party or Twitter Party—occurs when a group of Twitter users meets at a pre-arranged chat to discuss a specific topic that uses a designated hashtag (#). The host of the Tweet Chat posts questions that are usually identified as Q1, Q2 and so on, to promote answers, which are usually identified as A1, A2 and so on, from the participants of the Tweet Chat. Tweet Chats usually last about an hour. The hashtag links the questions and answers in a virtual conversation.

How to Find a Tweet Chat

If you don't already know the time and hashtag of a Tweet Chat, you can check out several websites that keep running schedules of Tweet Chats and their topics. Here are some places to look for scheduled Tweet Chats:

  • TweetReports posts an enormous list of recurring Tweet Chats. Each listing includes the topic, description, day and time, and hashtag. The topics range widely and include writing, social media, education, business, non-profit, healthcare, technology, advertising, sports and many more—truly something for everyone.
  • TWUBS is a site where you can attend Twitter Chats. It posts a lengthy list of each day's events and updates them daily. Each entry includes all the information you need to join the Twitter Chat when the time arrives.
  • Mommy Blog Expert. Individual websites often post their own Twitter Party calendars, such as this one at Mommy Blog Expert. Each week, the website posts the calendar for the following week. The list includes all the parties scheduled for each day of the coming week along with the topic to be covered, the time and the hashtag.

Why Host a Tweet Chat?

Tweet Chats are cost-effective marketing tools. If you are in business, the people you meet at a Tweet Chat might become customers or fans of your brand. If you're promoting a website, its traffic may increase. Your brand might go viral; your Facebook Likes, email subscribers, and Twitter followers grow, and it's fun for everyone.

How to Host a Tweet Chat

Before you throw your own Tweet Chat, attend a few of them to see how they are run. Then select a clear relevant (and interesting!) topic for your Tweet Chat and a hashtag. When selecting the hashtag:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it short
  • Make it memorable
  • Check that no one else already has it by searching Twitter

Your party won't be much fun if no one shows, so the next step is to promote your Tweet Chat. Tweet parties are open events, so you want to spread the news as widely as possible.

  • Tweet about it on Twitter
  • Mention it on your other social media sites
  • Put an announcement on your website
  • Email all your contacts, family and friends and ask them to tell their friends

Although it is possible to manage the chat by following the chat hashtag on Twitter, unless you are an expert Twitter user, you'll have an easier time managing your Tweet Party with a tool like HootSuite, Tweetdeck or TweetChat. Check in with these services and see what they offer to simplify the process.

Script several questions to get the party started and to plug in whenever responses lag. You may not need them, but it is better to have them than not. Then show up for your party ahead of time and be ready to throw open the doors to your guests and post the first question. Have fun!

The term Tweet Chat is sometimes used to refer to conversations that happen on Twitter that have not been pre-arranged as a formal chat session. The term can also be confused with the third-party Twitter application, TweetChat.com, which helps users separate tweets related to specific chats to make them easier to follow.