11 ways to shine as a Twitter chat guest

11 ways to shine as a Twitter chat guest

During the past year, I’ve invited dozens of communications pros to share their expertise with the #ContentChat community. Although some guests are social media pros plucked from the community itself, I often invite authors of blog posts I’ve enjoyed, or speakers I’ve heard present at an event, to spend an hour in our fast-paced Twitter chat. Attend a prior Twitter chat as a participant When the questions are all being directed at you, it can be hard to stop and soak in how the chat flows overall. Prepare your answers Your Twitter Chat host should send you the questions in advance. Also, don’t forget to use the Twitter hashtag on all replies, including those you make directly to a specific chat participant to ensure that the host and other participants and can see them. It’s OK to elaborate You may only have 140 characters per tweet, but you are not limited to one tweet in answer to a particular question. Don’t be blatantly self-promotional Yes, the participants know you have a vested interest in being a guest for the chat. Be conversational Although you prepared comments to share, keep an eye on the chat stream. Comment on participants’ answers, and answer questions that arise. If it’s something you aren’t prepared to answer at that moment, tell the participant you’ll get back to them, and follow up with your answer after the chat.

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During the past year, I’ve invited dozens of communications pros to share their expertise with the #ContentChat community.

Although some guests are social media pros plucked from the community itself, I often invite authors of blog posts I’ve enjoyed, or speakers I’ve heard present at an event, to spend an hour in our fast-paced Twitter chat.

With dozens of participants and hundreds of tweets during the course of the hour, it’s a lot to take in. That’s why I’ve compiled my recommendations for how to get the most out of your Twitter chat guest slot:

1. Attend a prior Twitter chat as a participant

When the questions are all being directed at you, it can be hard to stop and soak in how the chat flows overall.

Attend the chat a week or two before yours is scheduled. It will help you get a feel for the pace, and how the conversation flows. Is it a chatty group? Are folks sharing GIFs and memes? Or does it have a more serious, educational, classroom-setting tone?

2. Review chat recaps

Look for recent storify Twitter archives of recent chats or for Twitter chat recap blog posts posted by the chat host or recent guests.

This is especially helpful for seeing whether there is any potential overlap between your topic and recent guests’ topics. That way you can explore a different aspect of your area of expertise.

3. Prepare your answers

Your Twitter Chat host should send you the questions in advance. Use this to your advantage by preparing some possible answers and keeping them close by during the chat.

This ensures you won’t forget key points and helps you get comfortable with your 140-character limit. It also gives you more time to respond to the conversation. Due to the organic nature of conversation, you might opt to revise some answers along the way.

4. Don’t forget your answer format

Always start off your answers with A1, A2, A3—corresponding to the question number.

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