How To Participate in a Twitter Chat

How To Participate in a Twitter Chat

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Zappos builds strong employer brand using a twitter chat, #insidezappos. I believe that digital fluency is the literacy of the 21st century, and twitter chats are a great way to use digital fluency to communicate and connect with people.

The first time I participated in one, I was overwhelmed and amazed by the speed at which people were conversing, the number of people involved, and the quality of the conversation.

I’d love to help you learn how to participate in a twitter chat, so I made this video. Every Sunday, #peopleskills chat happens on twitter at 10am ET. I encourage you to take part. This video walks you through how to participate, and I’ve added some pointers below.

How To Tips:

  1. It’s all about the #hashtag. Make sure the hashtag is always in every tweet you send as part of a chat.
  2. Introduce yourself and say hi when you join in. Twitter chat communities are very welcoming, and don’t be surprised if several people tweet you personal greetings.
  3. Use an app like or to participate in the most simple way. These two apps add the hashtag to your tweets automatically.
  4. Watch for Questions in the form of Q1, Q2, and so on. Answer in the form of A1, A2, and so on.
  5. Interact with others. Retweet their comments and answers to show your agreement, add to the RT to add your thought, or reply to them. Side conversations happen within twitter chats all the time.
  6. Be yourself. You don’t have to agree with everyone else. Share your thoughts and opinions, and it is generally okay to challenge others respectfully, asking for clarification or sharing a different view.
  7. Follow others. You’ll find some great people that you may want to get to know further on and off twitter. Make sure you follow them so you can continue the conversation outside of the hashtag.
  8. Show your gratitude. Thank people for the conversation. I like to tag those who I interacted with, whether they RT’d or replied to me or I to them. I send a “Thank you for the great convo” tweet at the end of the chat.
  9. If the pace is fast, use the app to pause the stream or just listen for a while. I “listened” (watched and read the tweets fly by) several times before participating in a chat.
  10. Looking for other chats? Here’s a list.