Around ten months ago I was sat on Twitter, scrolling through various life updates from people across the pond and favouriting just about any photo that contained some form of baked good and/or baby animal. I had been tweeting for what seemed to have been years, but the only people I had ever actually spoken to were either real life friends or famous people who, for some reason, never seemed to reply back to me. I like to think it was simply because they were having issues with their Twitter. Either that or they didn't fancy talking to someone whose profile picture was of a cat wearing a Victorian gown - I can't quite work it out.
Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that I'm generally really crap at Twitter. 140 characters to say what's on my mind? Have you lot even noticed how much I talk on here!? You're lucky to get a blog post made up of 140 words, let alone 140 letters. But I guess the main point of this susprise tip Tuesday (on a Saturday) is that - despite what you might initially think - you don't have to be great at Twitter, to seriously reap the benefits of a Twitter chat.
So what exactly is a Twitter Chat? Well, it's pretty much exactly how it sounds. You talk to one another about various topics, and you all use the same hashtag to follow what everyone is saying. More often than not these chats will have a host who asks a bunch of questions over the course of an hour, and - as a community - you simply pitch you ideas and voice your opinions. It's seriously fun, but also really beneficial to you and your blog, as you can bounce ideas off one another, inspire each other, and even make some friends a long the way. And on top of all that, you might even gain a few new followers at the end of it, huzzah!
In all seriousness though, Twitter chats can actually be an incredibly underestimated traffic booster if you use them in the right way - even more so if you actually manage to host your own successful chat. Wondering how to get involved? Just ask the people that run your favourite chat! Hosts are always looking for people to take over every once in a while - and you'll be able to reap the benefits of new followers and top notch ideas. Wanna know more? Here are a few extra tips and tricks to get you well on your way..
Create a routine
Twitter chats run at lightning speed, and it can be seriously overwhelming if you show up unprepared. So, come prepared! Arrive on time, minimise those tabs and focus your attention on all the tweets that are about to fly your way. You can also use TweetChat or TweetDeck to help track those tags!
Get involved in conversations
I swear Twitter chats are one of the only times it's fully acceptable to interrupt other people's conversations (but of course, in a polite way). I've met so many people from dropping in on their chats, and no one has ever been rude about it - in fact, quite the opposite! If you want to talk to someone, now's the time to do it.
Share your thoughts
Whether you know nothing, or know it all, Twitter chats are the best place to voice whatever is on your mind. If you have a question, ask it! If you have an answer, tell it! It might seem daunting at first, but trust me, Twitter chats are one of the most supportive places you can be as a blogger! You'll leave feeling inspired, that's for sure.
Anyway, that's enough from me for now, but if you want to listen to me ramble on for a bit longer (ahem, why wouldn't you?) then be sure to tune in to the #fblchat Twitter chat today at 3pm GMT. The topic is all about how to make money from blogging. If you're not a millionaire by the time the hours up, then I have failed you. You can find me at @cocochicblog - hashtag shameless plug.
[Note: Timings are all GMT]