When I first started using Twitter to engage in dialogue with other event professionals I was hooked! It was great to be able to talk to others, in real-time, exchange information, ask industry related questions and generally just sounding off ideas about the event world. I do however feel though that the nature of the chats has changed and rather than using the allotted hour to exchange information, the platform is used more for self promotion.
Now don’t get me wrong, all social media endeavours are all about self promotion but I am wondering if there is a way to bring them back to grass-roots, to what I think is most beneficial….exchanging information.
The two Twitter chats I regularly engage in are as follows:
Event Hour is every Wednesday from 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm GMT. I really get a lot out of it (when I can make it). I have even met up with a couple of the event professionals I have met on Twitter and have definitely broadened my network. I think its very useful for any event professionals or event management student. You can even keep the conversation going once it is over. There is a LinkedIn group you can join here which is tied in with the Twitter chat.
Blog Hour is my favorite. It was set up by the UK Blog Awards (you can read about them more here) and is held every Tuesday from 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm GMT. When I can, I am an active participant in #bloghour as I find it ever so useful. Each week, prior to the chat, you can view a list of roughly six questions to which a third-party mediator hosts each chat, taking us all through them. It is very easy to engage and I have learnt so much from it in terms of making my blog better. Just last week I learnt how to get free photos for my blog rather than keep paying through istock! result.
Things to remember
If you want to participate in either blog, as far as I can see there are no stipulations. All you have to do is search for the hashtag and off you go. I use Hootsuite which makes it so much easier. All you do is save the search for #eventhour or #bloghour in one of your streams, you can then view every single tweet using that hashtag.
Another thing to remember is that you are there to build networks, share ideas and use the chat to sound of a few ideas. Try not to use it just to promote yourself, your blog or your brand!
Lastly, and what a lot of people tend to forget is to always use the chat hashtag. If I am participating in #bloghour, I will use that hashtag in every piece of dialogue, even when there is a chain of 16 replies!