#TwitterChat Guide for the Young Professional

For the average young professional, a Twitter chat, or a Twitter party, is slightly intimidating.  In part because a personal brand conscious person may not want to loose any followers due to their upped tweet count.  More simply, they may not know how to properly participate in a Twitter chat.  Little do they know, Twitter chats can help facilitate conversation to develop relationships and ultimately grow their professional network.

What are Twitter chats?

According to Forbers, Twitter chats are Twitter-based dialogues that anyone can join just by following and mentioning whatever hashtag is assigned to that chat.

What will a Twitter chat do for me?

Network. Network. Network.  If you are trying to get a job in the industry, you better be doing everything you can to make yourself known and to form connections with industry professionals.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, take the word of Carolyn Lasky (@carolaskyn).  Carolyn is a bright, young professional and a social media queen.  She has been using Twitter as a way to network and meet people with similar interests since April 2009.  Through these Twitter chats,  Carolyn has seen numerous advantages.  Check out what those advantages are:

1. You are able to talk with people who have experience and who you can really absorb practical knowledge from. Everything they say is 140 characters or less, so it’s not complicated and if you have any questions, you can just ask them right then and there.

2. Networking IRL (In Real Life) and online. The #cmgrhangout specifically has been great for networking. I’ve built a solid network of people who I only know because of it and we chat outside of the 1 hr weekly chats. the chat is moderated by @MyCMGR and I actually currently have plans to meet up with the moderator to discuss career plans.

3. You can win things. Twitter chats hosted by big companies almost always have giveaways. For example, Expedia frequently gives away travel vouchers up to $500. I’ve even won two books from #cmgrhangout

Are you convinced yet?  Young professionals, like Carolyn, are getting ahead by participating in Twitter chats so it’s time to get you started!

What Twitter Chats are right for me?

To see a comprehensive list of Twitter chats, check out tweetreport.com where Twitter chats are broken down by  hashtag used, day of the week, topic discussed, and moderator username.

Here are two of my personal favorites:

1. #BareItAll: A Twitter chat specifically focusing on PR and pop culture with Jeff Barrett (@BarrettAll), CEO of @StatusCreative.  Mr. Barrett came in at #36 on Forbes’ list of Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers of 2013.

He is quoted on business2community.com saying, “I use social media to network and provide value. I run a weekly tweet chat, #BareItAll, that trends in the top ten nationally. Topics center around PR, technology and daily current events. But the key is access: If you tweet me, I will respond. Social media is not a billboard. It’s a conversation.”

Join the conversation: Wednesdays at 2PM-3PM EST

2. #cmgrhangout:  A Twitter chat hosted by Jenn Pedde (@JPedde) and Kelly Lux (@KellyLux) which creates a “community to discuss ideas, foster collaboration, and act as a resource for all of those working in this ever changing industry,” according to the #cmgrchat Blog. New topics are discussed every week but you can check out a sneak peek of the topic on Wednesday mornings!

Join the conversation: Wednesdays at 2PM-3PM EST

Same time, different chats.  Participate in both or stick to one per week.
Before you start participating in Twitter chats, make sure your personal brand is polished and professional.  Don’t let a weekly hashtag intimidate you.  Take the next step to grow your professional network and to learn tips and tricks from industry experts.
What Twitter chats do you regularly participate in? Comment below or tweet @errbrooks to let me know!

9 thoughts on “#TwitterChat Guide for the Young Professional

  1. Camille Mola says:

    Erin, I love your blog!! I am also a college student who is aiming to enter the public relations industry. I found this blog post to be extremely helpful; it inspired and encouraged me to partake in a Twitter chat! I follow many other pr professionals on Twitter, and I often see them partaking in Twitter chats, and I was always interested in joining, but not sure how to do so. I am particularly interested in joining in on a #BareItAll chat, that seems to be right up my alley! This blog post was also really helpful for our social media event we are putting on later this semester, because we are having a live Twitter chat.

  2. Samara S. says:

    I absolutely love this blog! To be honest, I have never heard of a twitter chat before and now I am eager to try and participate in one. I have always known that twitter is great for networking but have not really tried to engage with CEOs or top professionals in the PR and Advertising industries. I really love the quote you used by Jeff Barrett. He is right, social media, especially Twitter should not be a one way street. I really want to try to jump into the #BareItAll conversation next week!

  3. alyssabkaplan says:

    I’ve always been aware that twitter chats were out there and they have always seemed like a great way to chat with people in the industry, but to be honest, I’ve never participated. This post really encouraged me to get involved next time I see a twitter chat. Networking extends beyond meeting people in person and linkedin, and it seems like Twitter chats are a great way to learn about public relations and the communications industry as a whole.

  4. Alexandra Barca says:

    Erin, I found this post very insightful! I have heard of Twitter chats and Twitter parties, but always assumed they were only for established professionals or large companies. I like how you laid out this post and told us exactly how we can benefit from these Twitter chats. In the increasingly-competitive field that is public relations and social media, it is great to read about how to distinguish yourself. I also think it is very interesting that you can win something in a Twitter chat — this could be an entirely different ethical topic to be discussed.

  5. rdvorin18 says:

    This is an extremely informative blog post, Erin! I really like that you address this important social media concept. Twitter chats are definitely up and coming in many industries. For example, when I went to the Penn State Career Fair a few weeks ago, many employers told me to connect with their Social Media Managers through Twitter. Many companies, such as Ragan Communications, recommend that potential social media interns to contact them through Twitter. I think that getting involved in a Twitter chat or conversation with a company shows the company that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and show who you are through social media. For people who are aspiring to work in this industry, joining a Twitter chat seems to be very useful!

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