Here’s the skinny on how a Twitter hashtag party works:
The hashtag (#) is used on Twitter to indicate a group of people talking about the same subject. Let’s use #abcparty as our example. The hashtag is #abcparty.
Now, if this were a real hashtag, on any given day at any given time, you could enter #abcparty 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!
During a specified time period, (usually a one hour time slot), people will congregate on Twitter to discuss a certain topic and tweet with each other regarding that subject. Most stick with a regular theme such as #blogchat. Their theme is always about some aspect of blogging. Usually there is a moderator or host who keeps the chat moving along. In some cases, there is a host doing an interview and people respond to whatever the interviewer is saying.
Yes, this is where it gets a little crazy for some.
People are talking to each other, to the moderator, to the interviewer, 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? Not usually! People are milling around, congregating and talking back and forth. To this one, that one, you know…. a party!
So it is 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, such as TweetChat.com. When you sign in, 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.
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. You may network with people who can support your biz endeavors. Twitter hashtag parties are awesome networking spots and you should try to participate when you can.
Martha Giffen is a popular blogger and social media diva. She helps entrepreneurs build profitable online businesses “one person at a time.” For more free Twitter Tips, you are invited to go to http://BestTweetTips.com
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