Demystifying Social Media: What is a Twitter Party?

Remember when everyone had a MySpace account? Then Facebook came along and I thought “that will never take off.” Fast forward to now. Like the rest of the world, I’m on my Facebook page every day. So much for never.

I remember first hearing about Twitter through celebrity news. This just in: Justin Beiber tweeted something ridiculous. Or so-and-so politician tweeted a racist remark and then later tweeted an apology. To me, it all sounded like a bad joke. I had no intention of trying it out myself.

But then my life took an unexpected turn (as it seems to do) and I entered into the Media industry. Online social platforms became my bread and butter and I had to step out of the comfort of Facebook and begin exploring new territory. One by one I took on new social media sites and finally made my way to Twitter.

Hello Twitter, it’s nice to meet you.

In order to prepare myself for my new role in media I read – a lot. Blog post after blog post on social media platforms, pros and cons, how-to’s, etc. I kept reading that Twitter was the #1 place to promote your business if you want to succeed. Of course I was doubtful. How does that happen in only 140 characters? How does anything happen in 140 characters? But my preconceived notions were slowly diminishing.  A different side of Twitter emerged.  I discovered that it could be a place to find opportunities, make connections, and form relationships.

So with deep sigh of defeat, I decided to give it a try. Initially, Twitter and I did not mesh well. I like things to be simple and organized. Until you get the hang of it, the world of Twitter can feel a bit chaotic. I watched tutorials, attended webinars, read countless blog posts and began to get familiar with the different aspects of Twitter.

If what I’ve said so far feels relatable – don’t worry. There’s an abundance of knowledge out there waiting for you. Whether you’re just starting out with Twitter or experienced but looking to have a better understanding of the platform, here are some resources that you should take a look at:

  • The Twitter Help Center – Twitter provides a very thorough and user-friendly Help Center for customer support. They do an excellent job of explaining Twitter from the ground up and covering all of the basics.
  • Lynda.com – a paid service that costs about $25/month. But if you are ready to dive in and learn (about anything really), Lynda can be a great resource. They have easy to follow videos with a friendly face to walk you through a topic. Their Twitter video selection includes Twitter for Business, Social Media Marketing on Twitter, and Social Selling. The videos range from introductory level to expert, providing knowledge advancement opportunities for any situation.

I also read quite a few blog posts from The Mogul Mom archive. We have been fortunate enough to have guest bloggers with expertise from a wide range of industries and I try to take advantage of their advice whenever I can! Here were a few that I found particularly helpful:

  • How to Use Social Media To Get Press (For Your Business) by Jenny Finke – Jenny takes the Twitter strategy tips a step further and talks about how to develop connections with the right people on Twitter. Finding these kinds of opportunities is what really makes Twitter invaluable for your business.

With tips and advice from these resources, I formed a strategy for promoting The Mogul Mom on Twitter, including the new and mystifying idea of a Twitter Party.

Twitter Parties

I am finding that a lot of people have never heard of a Twitter Party and find the concept rather intimidating. I can most definitely relate. But really, it sounds much more complicated than it is. The phrase “Twitter Party” is a glorified way of saying “group chat.” It’s quite easy once you’ve nailed down the basics, so that is where we will start.

What Is A Twitter Party?

A Twitter Party is a virtual event where people chat with one another using a designated hashtag on the Twitter platform. Each party has a set event time, a unique hashtag and a host. Parties typically last 1-2 hours and take place on various days of the week.

How To Find Twitter Parties

Twitter parties are put on for various different reasons. For example, to celebrate a launch or the release of a new product. Twitter parties are a great way to build hype around your business and encourage people to become involved.

When a business is planning a Twitter Party, they will advertise it through their Twitter posts. Keep an eye out! There are also various websites such as Tweeparties that host and promote Twitter Parties and have calendars of scheduled Twitter Parties from select companies. Depending on the preference of the host, some Twitter Parties may require that you RSVP ahead of time, while others don’t.

How To Attend A Twitter Party

There are a couple different ways to attend a Twitter Party.

1. Twitter Aggregator Tools

I would highly recommend using an aggregator tool to attend a Twitter Party. Aggregator tools filter out specific information from the clutter of Twitter. They are free with no registration or download requirements. All you have to do is go to the website and sign in with your Twitter account for an easy Twitter Party experience!

My favorite aggregator tool is Tchat.io because it is extremely simple to use. Once you search the hashtag you want to follow, you are presented with one clear column of tweets. Tchat.io also has a pause button in case the party moves too fast and you would like to catch up. And the best feature yet–when you post to the conversation, it adds the designated party hashtag for you so that you won’t forget! Twubs is another aggregator option that is very similar. It also has a feature where you can select the speed of your Twitter feed and you can view a list of all the contributors on a column to the right.

There are other tools like Tweetdeck and Tweetgrid that can be used as aggregators, but have a lot more activity on the page. For someone who is new to the Twitter Party experience, I would recommend starting with Tchat.io or Twubs. Whichever tool you use, it’s a good idea to get familiar with it before you attend a Twitter Party.

2. On Twitter

You can attend Twitter Parties on Twitter by simply searching the hashtag. There are a couple downfalls to this. First, you will have to manually refresh your webpage every time you want to see new posts. They will not automatically appear. This can be a huge hassle, especially if there is any time sensitive information that you don’t want to miss. Second, remember that if you want to contribute to the conversation you have to add the designated party hashtag. If you forget to add the hashtag in any post, it will not be seen by the other people attending the party. If you are not too invested in a party and just want to check it out, this can be an okay method. But aggregators can make the process much more efficient.

Why Should You Go To A Twitter Party?

I have four great reasons why you should attend a Twitter Party.

1. Good Conversation

I find that I often get inspiration for my best ideas from talking with other people. Good conversation can offer a different perspective and valuable tips. Everyone has their story and their own area of expertise. Why not learn everything we can?

2. Marketing Your Business

A chance to introduce my business to a bunch of new people? Yes please. Who wouldn’t take advantage of an opportunity like that? Anywhere you put out your business name, you make an impression. Plant as many seeds as possible.

3. Making Connections

There is no telling who else will show up at the Twitter Party. It is a great opportunity for networking. Maybe you will find a new client, or even a partnership that will take your business to the next level.

4. Prizes

One of the perks of attending Twitter Parties is that they usually offer prizes. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

I would love to hear from you. What has your experience with Twitter been? What elements of Twitter do you find challenging? Tell me in the comments below!

Now that Twitter Parties have lost their intimidation, want to try it out?  You’re in luck. We are having another one soon 🙂

 

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Jess Hershey

Jess Hershey is the founder of Jess Hershey, LLC, Virtual Assistant services to make life a little easier! When she isn't spending her time helping other entrepreneur's succeed, she can be found working on various creative endeavors or, most often, playing Frisbee with her energetic border collie on the beach.
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