The value of Tweetchats – a first timer’s experience
Blog Post by Rachel Grocott
Rachel is currently a student with Digital Mums, having already gathered extensive experience of managing social media platforms in various communications roles for charities, and will soon be launching her own freelance social media management business. She also teaches dance fitness classes for adults and children.
Tweetchats have seemed faintly bewildering since I started to use Twitter in earnest a few months ago. Excited mentions of various #hours and funny GIFs welcoming participants would pop up in my timeline, but I didn’t delve into the experience of an actual Chat until this week – and I wish I’d done it sooner! I joined #MNCHour, a popular Tweetchat hosted by Mumpreneurs Networking Club, with a different theme and guest ‘speaker’ each week – the one I joined was on social media (of course) with Digital Mums graduate, @LouLou_Uberkirk, as special guest. Here’s what I learned…
It’s fast and furious! Tweets fly in at a rate of knots – 700 tweets from 60 attendees in this Tweetchat alone. I used two screens on my laptop to monitor the hashtag (to keep up with the overall chat) and my own notifications (to keep up with my own exchanges). No doubt I’ll experiment to find other ways to keep up in future chats, but it’s fun practicing (and I’m very glad I can type quickly!)
You’ll always pick up something new. Much of what was shared had me nodding in agreement – no doubt because it was sterling advice from the Digital Mums course being shared by current students and graduates. But there are plenty of handy tips to be picked up; I came away with several recommendations to check out for improving my Instagram hashtags, which will help hugely with my current client campaign.
It’s about relationships – some of my Tweets were about Zumba and typing speed, for example. Just like the chat you’d get in an office or at a networking event IRL, this kind of exchange helps make it fun and makes the people behind the @ names, well, people. It also makes it an authentic experience, a key part of what social media is all about.
You’ll get a flood of pleasing notifications. As a current Digital Mums student I’m rather obsessed with social media notifications and analytics, and a Tweetchat will definitely do wonders for these!
It gets you out of your comfort zone and ‘out there’. I confess to being a bit of a ‘lurker’ on Twitter previously, but this experience really encouraged me to get involved in the conversation and get Tweeting. It was a friendly atmosphere, committed to learning but also fun (witness the GIFs!).
You can catch up afterwards too. Whilst there’s nothing like being there, @mumpreneursclub also produced a great wrap-up of the Chat afterwards – also handy if you might have missed something in all the action.
You can wear your pyjamas and multi task on a Tweetchat ? Once I’d got into the swing of following the overall conversations and individual exchanges, I could eat my tasty risotto and keep an eye on the Brits too. Oh and I definitely wore my PJs. I’m sold – see you next week!