TwitterChat 101

This week I am hosting a twitter chat on the twittersphere on Thursday, May 20 at 5pm EST, 2pm PST.  I’ve actually been following #mrktchat for the last nine months since Milena Regos @milenaregos (Diamond Peak Resort, NV)  and Eric Hoffman @eric_hoffman (Park City Mountain, UT) got the ball rolling.  It has been very successful in bringing together people with similar Snowsports industry interests from across the US, overseas and Australia in a virtual roundtable atmosphere.  Just read below and then join us!

So what is a “TwitterChat”?
Picture an informal meeting with a facilitator and a topic.  Only difference is that this meeting only involves typing.  No phone calls, no videos, nothing complicated.  Just a good ‘ole use of words.  Like instant messenger or texting for a group.

The way the group finds each other is by the use of a hashtag (the number sign plus a keyword).  There are tens of thousands of groups out there.  You can find them here http://wthashtag.com.  The #mrktchat group I’ll host today focuses topics around travel and tourism marketing.  It is always available and open to anyone.  But, every Thursday people come together to discuss for an hour a specific topic or snowsports industry related issue.  Its a great way to connect and learn.  Its informal, but every week there’s been great topics and different facilitators.

What’s Needed?
Basically, two things.  First you need to join Twitter and have a username.  Second, you will need a computer and/or a cell phone to be able to connect, follow, and post.

There’s a few different ways to track and post to the chat.
1. You can either use a web page such as http://wthashtag.com/Mrktchat or http://tweetchat.com/room/mrktchat
2. Use twitter related software you can download to your computer or iphone.  I use Tweetdeck and set up a column using the search function for #mrktchat.  Actually if you use Tweetdeck, all you have to do is click on a tweet with the hashtag #mrktchat and it will automatically create a column for you.

How It Works
Ok, so what will happen at 5pm EST today?
a) First, I will welcome everyone to the “tweetchat”.  Anyone that’s online and following the #mrktchat will usually introduce themselves to say they are there.  I will then ask some questions and look for responses.
b) Once the topic is introduced, people to start asking questions and making comments using the regular twitter rules (limited to 140 characters).  Normally we try to stick with a topic for 5-10 minutes then I will bring up another question/topic.  This goes on for the hour.  Other people are also welcome to bring up topics or other related items.

So, if it is a topic you want to say something about, do it.  Or, if you want to clarify anything or respond to a particular person, go for it.  Just a few things to remember:
1. Keep the #mrktchat tag in all conversations you want to be seen in that area.
2. If you are responding to a person in particular, then, make sure to include their twitter name (ie @srufo) AND the #mrktchat tag.  That way that person knows something’s been mentioned on twitter and can respond if needed.
3. To respond to a person without the entire group seeing it but you want to let the rest of the twittersphere see then just reply using their twitter handle (ie. @srufo).
4. To respond privately, direct message them.  But, don’t forget, you can only direct message people that follow you on Twitter.
5. Keep in mind your responses are public.  And, there is no “delete” button on the Internet.
6. Want to sell something?  Don’t do it here.  That’s better done somewhere else.
7. Have fun!

Have more questions?  Just let me know.

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3 thoughts on “TwitterChat 101”

  1. Thanks Eric! Great write-up on your blog.

    Whether people like the #mrktchat topic or not, it started discussion and will hopefully encourage all industry marketers to do better. Especially when skiers and riders expect it.

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