The boom of social media sites, such as Twitter, has left many authors questioning how it is possible to be seen and connect in such a saturated environment. Unlike the beginning days of Twitter where any effort would yield a result, users now have to diligently work to build engagement and results. There are enough tips on how to effectively utilize Twitter to fill a book, but today let’s focus on one: Twitter chats.
What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is an online conversation that uses Twitter’s hashtag feature to gather people together. Twitter chats happen at a predetermined time and use a unique hashtag. A Twitter chat differs from regular hashtags because users agree to use the hashtag at a given time and for a specific topic instead of using it anytime for anything.
Why should authors join Twitter chats?
Joining a Twitter chat allows users to connect with others. Twitter chats are already established conversations, meaning you don’t have to start a conversation to engage with others. By joining Twitter chats that relate to your interests, you can:
- Find other users to follow
- Create new friendships
- Be part of a community
- Build your own Twitter community with meaningful connections
How can authors join a Twitter chat?
Here are the steps you need to take to join a Twitter chat.
- Find out when the chat is happening. For this example, I will use my chat, #K8Chat. #K8chat is every Thursday at 9pm Eastern.
- Sign onto Twitter at the time of the chat and insert into the search the hashtag, in this case, “#K8Chat.”
- Select the “Live” option located on the upper left out of the “Top/Live/Accounts/Photos/Videos” options given.
- Include the hashtag (#K8Chat) in every tweet so other users can see your tweets inside the conversation.
- Alternatively, you can use a site such as Twubs.com, which will remember the hashtag for you. For #K8Chat go to twubs.com/k8chat.
- Each chat will have a host. The host will announce the topic and whether or not there is a guest. Be courteous and stay on topic.
Do not engage in the following during a Twitter chat.
- Forgetting to use the hashtag. Without the hashtag, other members will not be able to see you tweet, which defeats the purpose of joining the chat.
- Do not promote your latest book or blog post unless it is asked for. Twitter chats are a time to engage in conversation and build relationships, not sell things.
- Rudeness, something that most people do not need a reminder about but is important to mention for those who do. Keep things pleasant and focus on connecting with others.
What Twitter chats are out there for authors?
There are many awesome chats out there for authors! This post on BadRedhead Media should give you a good rundown on finding chats, but here are a few you might want to check out now.
- #litchat – LitChat is for book lovers. All books. All the time. Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5pm Eastern. Host: @LitChat
- #indiechat – Indiechat is a Twitter chat designed for indie and self-published authors. Every Tuesday from 4-5pm Eastern. Host: @BiblioCrunch
- #StoryDam – Come talk about writing stories! Held every Thursday from 8-9pm Eastern. Host: @StoryDam
- #K8chat – K8chat is a publishing related chat where we discuss topics relevant to readers and authors. Kate Tilton created this chat to connect readers and authors, picking topics where both groups can contribute to the conversation. Some topics include book boyfriends, marketing, and author assistants. Every Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern. Host: @K8Tilton
- #MGlitchat – As the hashtag hints, this is a chat on middle-grade literature. Join in the chat every Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern.
- #NextLitChat – If you are a new adult author, reader, or curious as to what new adult is, this is the chat for you! Held every Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern. Host: @NextLitChat