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The Hostess with the Mostess: Tips for Hosting Twitter Chats

The Hostess with the Mostess: Tips for Hosting Twitter Chats

EACE Blog contribution by Megan Wolleben, Assistant Director, Bucknell University’s Career Development Center

twitter_chatTwitter chats are a relatively easy way to bring many people together, learn new things, share ideas, and get inspired. And although they are “low” work, a little planning can go a long way. As I hope most of you know the EACE Technology Committee has been hosting monthly Twitter Chats since July. This exercise has given us some insight into hosting chats so today I’m going to share some easy guidelines you can follow for hosting your own Twitter Chat.

The first part of hosting a Twitter Chat is establishing a date, time, and topic –and subsequently promoting all that information to your networks. Once this is done (or started) the second most important step is preparing before the chat. As the host of a chat your primary role is to starting and keeping the conversation going; establishing questions and an outline beforehand can help ensure your success in this.

Here are some tips:

  1. Develop an outline of the chat – a loose timeframe of when you want to start introductions, send out first question, etc.
    • Make time to ask for introductions so participants can “see and be seen.” Twitter chats are as much about discussing topics as they are about making new connections.
  2. Develop 5 to 6 questions that will generate conversation and be ready to answer your own questions.
  3. Draft out your tweets including the welcome, housekeeping, introduction tweets
    • Many chats begin with some “housekeeping” reminders such as what questions will look like and how to answer.  This typically involves tweeting: “Before we get going some housekeeping notes: I will ask ?s using Q1, Q2, pls respond with A1, A2  & use #EACE w/every tweet.”
  4. Have relevant resources, articles or examples to share. These will come in handy if you feel there is a lull in the conversation.
  5. Participate in your on chat! Don’t be afraid to RT (retweet) and quote participants, and remember to answer your own question.
  6. Once that chat is over use Storify to archive thetweets – and don’t wait too long to do this! According to Storify once the chat is over seven days old, Twitter’s search API will not surface the results in the story editor.
  7. Two tools to help the host:
    • HootSuite – www.hootsuite.com. This is a dashboard to organize Twitter and other social networks. You can create a stream with just the chat hashtag.
    • Twubs – http://twubs.com/

Even if you are not ready to host your own chat I encourage all of you to join our next EACE Technology Committee chat at Noon on Tuesday, April 8. The chat will be on working with special populations and diversity recruiting hosted by Gerald Tang (@geraldtang). Use #EACE to join the conversation on April 8th at Noon.

Shameless plug: If you want to learn more about Twitter Chats and the job search I will be hosting a webinar on April 17 through NACE. You can learn more about the webinar and/or register here.

 

Megan Wolleben

Megan Wolleben

Megan Wolleben has worked at the Bucknell University Career Development Center since 2007, where she is currently an Assistant Director. She is responsible for the marketing and communications of the office, as well as manages the department’s social media presence. She is the co-chair for EACE’s Technology Committee and a contributing writer to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) “Tech Talk” column as well as co-author of the “Career Counselor’s Guide to Social Media”. Megan earned her B.A. and Master’s in Communication from Fordham University. Feel free to connect with Megan on LinkedIn and Twitter

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