Last Friday morning, Phil Hollows, CEO of FeedBlitz, and I were have a long chatty conversation about a passion (or obsession) we both have: tea drinking. Now, you have to understand, Phil and I will talk about tea at least once a week. It is sort of like everyone else talking about the weather, we talk about tea, tea kettles, making tea, and drinking tea. We do talk about the weather of course too mainly because it is genetic to us: he’s English and I’m Irish.
Our conversation became long enough, I joked to him about creating the twitter hashtag, #kettlechat. A hashtag is a tag embedded in a message consisting of a word prefixed with a hash sign and is searchable within Twitter. And a Twitter chat is a set rolling conversation of users gathered around a hashtag to talk about a topic.
Well anyway, he liked the idea of #kettlechat and started using the hashtag with me. While it started out with me being cheeky, it grew on me as we chatted away. Why not have a #kettlechat? There is just something about drinking tea. There is a culture around. It is a ritual. You take tea. You sip tea allowing for reflection. Perhaps we could have a Twitter chat based around putting the kettle on and having a cup of tea or three as we problem-solve on challenges posed by participates. Sort of crowdsourcing advice over a cup of tea around the digital kitchen table.
So how do you start a Twitter chat? Some simple steps:
1. You start with an idea. It can be serious or light-hearted.
2. Create a hashtag. You can add “chat” to it or not. Do a quick Twitter search using that hashtag to make sure there isn’t already a chat or hashtag around the topic.
3. Set a day and time. They usually take place once a week at a set time, but folks can use the hashtag anytime to share information with the community.
4. Invite people to participate directly. Encourage them to share or retweet the hashtag and information.
5. Hold the chat.
A chat can be as simple as you want it to be; however, many chats have hundreds of participants and are structured. They have guests and sponsors. They curated the chats into an archive for future reference There are a few Twitter chats I regularly participate in (or at least lurk in) and you may want to check them out to observe how a chat works: #blogchat, #journchat, #smallbizchat, and #wgbiz.
So put the kettle on, brew a pot of tea, and join Phil and I on Fridays at 8am EST for #kettlechat. Let’s see what brews with #kettlechat.
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Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR, is an accredited public relations professional with over a decade experience bridging the gap between traditional public relations and emerging technologies. Need help reaching your business’s customers, call 302.563.992 to schedule an initial consultation, or contact Mind The Gap Public Relations.