So You Think You Can Tweet
You have decided you want to attend a Twitter party. You’ve heard there are fun online chats happening with knowledgable people at the helm. You have seen the stories of so-called influencers sharing fun information about certain brands or products and you’re curious. Then all of a sudden you catch wind of an upcoming Twitter Chat that speaks to you and your life and you are 100% certain you must be at that party.
How To Attend (and Enjoy) a Twitter Party!
The very first thing you must do is create a free (yay!) Twitter account by going to www.twitter.com and signing up. Provide some basic information, such as your e-mail address and choose a Twitter handle (name). This is the @ symbol followed by a name of your choosing. Be creative if you like, but keep in mind that leaving a positive electronic footprint is important, so maybe stick to something innocuous such as your name or a nickname and steer clear of anything overtly offensive. You want people to want to engage with you. That’s what Twitter is all about.
Lose the Egg
Next step; immediately replace the “egghead” that is Twitter’s default profile picture with something that represents you, such as a photo of your actual face or a photo you really like that people will remember and begin to associate with you. You may also choose to customize your Twitter account with a background and header photo. The egg, though, should definitely not be your avatar for longer than absolutely necessary. Many Twitter users have come to associate the egghead with SPAM. You do not want to be associated with that!
Répondez S’il Vous Plaît or in plain, English Accept the Invitation
RSVP if it is required. Most Twitter Parties do require an RSVP of some sort to keep track of people who are eligible for prizes at the time of the party. Last-minute RSVP can be very helpful to new followers or people who have just found out about a specific chat or party. Often, at the very beginning of a Twitter party an RSVP reminder tweet is sent out to give people a chance to join in. Just like a regular party, every Twitter party host wants people to be happy, feel welcomed, and have a great time.
Who’s the Host with the Most?
Follow the hosts. This step is very important as the hosts will be the ones asking questions and seeking engagement from attendees. Sometimes a Twitter party will also have a few moderators who help the host keep the chat flowing, assist in engaging party goers, and generally help move the event along. If there are moderators, you should follow them, too. Typically there will be a series of questions for people to answer and generally that’s how attendees win prizes, so you want to be sure you have all the right tweeps in your “following” list.
This is *not* Jeopardy!
There will be questions and there will be answers and they will be presented in that order. The host will typically ask the questions and then over the next few minutes lots of people will answer the question. Questions will likely have a “Q” followed by a corresponding number, 1, 2, 3 and so on. Look for questions to be presented in a format such as, “Q1: How are all you fabulous Twitter partiers feeling tonight? #besttwitterpartyever”.
Answer the question following the same format, like this, “A1: We are feeling fantastic! We knew we could do this because of that helpful how-to. #besttwitterpartyever”. The number of questions depends on the length of the party. Sometimes 5 or 6 questions is all it takes to fill an hour in the Twitterverse.
Hashtags Are Your New BFFs
Use the hashtags (#GoRVing or #besttwitterpartyever, for example) on every tweet during the party so that your tweets will be seen by other tweeps (people who tweet) – no matter where in the world they are – attending the same party. Isn’t that neat? A hashtag (#) is a way of marking tweets with a phrase or word that helps to find information quickly. It will appear as highlighted text in a tweet, much the same as a Twitter handle shows up. It’s also a clickable search term and is now used on many social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
The hashtag will stand out and allow you to follow along, as well as serve as a way for you to virtually meet other party goers, and it’s especially important to remember if there are prizes at stake. The hosts will use the hashtag to see answers to questions, to engage in conversation, and possibly to help determine winners of prizes. Sometimes, if an RSVP is not required to be eligible for giveaways, the hashtag is your ticket!
Tweet and Retweet
If a tweet you read during a Twitter party speaks to you, go ahead and retweet it. You can also respond to a tweet by replying to the person who originally tweeted. This is a great way to engage with other Twitter party attendees and of course this also makes the hosts and sponsors of Twitter parties feel great because their hashtag will be getting lots of attention every time it is tweeted or retweeted. Sometimes a host might even request that Twitter partiers retweet a specific tweet as a way of thanking the party sponsors. If you had fun and want to express thanks with one teeny click, by all means, retweet. Everyone enjoys a little thank you now and then.
Go For It (Patiently)
Now you are all set to join in on a Twitter party. There might be a LOT of attendees though, so try not to get frustrated if it seems like your tweets are getting lost in the shuffle. Just keep following the hashtag and keep close watch on the host and you will find your way. The nice thing about Twitter parties, and Twitter in general, is that your tweets tend to find their audience. You will possibly get to meet some new people – who you now call tweeps because you are such a quick study – who share your interests, taste in parties, and from personal experience, sometimes you can even make a lifelong friend.