It can be so confusing. Not just Twitter itself but the idea of hashtags, much less hashtag parties! It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!
Last night, I was the featured guest on a Twitter hashtag party hosted weekly by my friend Dabney Porte. I invited (via this blog and other formats) anyone and everyone who might want to hear about my new book, Be Social Be Rich.
What I didn’t do was explain clearly enough how a Twitter hashtag party works.
Let’s clear it up. . . .
The hashtag (#) is used on Twitter to indicate a group of people talking about the same subject. Let’s use last night’s Social Media Manners as our example. The hashtag is #smManners.
Now, on any given day at any given time, you can enter #smManners into the search section of Twitter and see all of the comments that have been made using that hashtag.
Simple enough. Right?
OK, now for the “party” part!
Party on. . . .
During a specified time period, (in this case it was one hour during the evening), people will congregate on Twitter to discuss a certain topic and tweet with each other regarding that subject. On #smManners, the subject always has to do with some aspect of social media. Usually there is a moderator or host who keeps the chat moving along. In our case, there was a host doing an interview and people were responding.
I know. This is where it gets a little crazy for some.
People are talking to each other, to the moderator, to the interviewee, etc. It can seem like there is no rhyme or reason to the whole thing.
That’s the key. If you were at an offline party, would there be only one person talking at a time? I’ve never seen that. People are milling around, congregating and talking back and forth. To this one, that one, you know. . . . a party!
Same thing with the Twitter hashtag parties.
There is no way you can talk to everyone at once so don’t even try. Just join in when someone says something interesting and start to engage.
Here’s a trick. . .
Use a Twitter tool. TweetChat is my favorite. When you sign into TweetChat, you enter the hashtag that you are following and then you will see a Twitter stream that contains only tweets from that hashtag.
Since you isolate only those in the party on your Twitter stream, it becomes less confusing.
Simplier still. . . .
Just like any other party, you can’t possibly talk to everyone at once. Don’t even try. (I could go off here and talk about trying to dominate the Twitter stream but will refrain for now because you know that’s bad manners!)
Follow the stream, find someone interesting and join in. It’s that simple.
Hashtag parties serve a purpose. They can connect you to other like-minded people. People that can become promoters of your products. JV partners. Blog supporters. You name it. They are awesome networking spots and you should try to participate when you can.
If you have any other hashtag party questions, don’t hestitate to ask me in the comments. I want everyone to feel welcome at the party!
p.s. And, don’t forget to connect with me on Twitter! @MarthaGiffen