I just engaged in my first Twitter Chat. I’m usually a little behind the times. I don’t like to jump into anything. Instead, I prefer to stand back and watch for a while. So when it came to joining in on a tweet chat, I creeped a few first. There were times when I considered jumping in, but I held back.
To be honest, I found it a little daunting–all these people I didn’t know, multiple conversations flying through my feed at light speed. It felt a little like junior high and I’m the new kid. There’s this group of kids gathered around a bank of locker, laughing and talking. Do I just go poke my head in and say, “Hey guys, I can laugh and talk too. Here’s what I think!”
The other feeling I had can be compared to jump rope. I never could do double dutch. I never could get the timing down. So here I am, watching a tweet chat and topics are flying and I want to jump in, but then someone adds another topic just as I’m thinking through my response to the previous one. The pressure to come up with something on the fly also held me back. I’m the kind of person who likes to really think things through before I talk or type.
But, I decided it was time. No more creeping! Pull up your big girl pants and jump in there, even if that means getting all tangled in the ropes. I happened upon #k8chat last Thursday, hosted by Kate Tilton (@k8tilton). A group of writers, readers and bloggers were discussing book reviews. This was right up my alley as I’m just receiving my first reviews of Enslavement and I’m set to begin my blog tour on February 2. As I watched the conversation, the tweeters all seemed like a nice and open bunch, so I dove in.
Here’s how it works: a moderator posts questions or topics with the chat hashtag and everyone responds. Simple as that.
Now for the tips.
- Search out a topic you’re interested or knowledgeable in. How? Here’s an article from Buffer.
- Always use the chat hashtag, otherwise your tweet won’t show up in the chat feed.
- Stay on topic. Think of it as a conversation with friends. If everyone’s talking about a movie they just saw, you don’t jump in and shout, “My book’s on for .99 this week. Buy it while it’s hot.” No. No. No. This is a place to make connections, not sell your stuff.
- Be kind. This is my rule for everything. You can disagree with others, but do it kindly. Remember, you’re making connections, not enemies.
- Know the etiquette. Check out: 10 Twitter Chat Etiquette Lessons.
Yes, it was a little overwhelming tracking all the conversations, but it was also fun. I connected with some new people and heard some new perspectives. I learned that some are super quick with responses, while some, like me, are not and that’s okay.
I plan to stop by #k8chat again. It conflicts every other week with my writers’ group, but I plan on being there on Thursday, February 5. For more about this chat, check out katetilton.com. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Have you participated in a Tweet Chat? Do you have any advice for or readers? Or how about a great chat to join?
Melinda Friesen writes novels for MG, YA and NA readers. Her first YA dystopian/sci-fi novel, Enslavement, has been met with fantastic reviews. Find it on Amazon. She is currently editing the sequel to Enslavement and querying her MG adventure fantasy, Snodgaard and the Mustache of Power. She lives in Winnipeg, MB Canada with her husband and four children.