How to Participate in a Twitter Party

This is a post written in hopes of answering all of your questions about Twitter Parties. However, if I don’t answer all of your questions here, please do ask them in the comments and I will answer them to the best of my ability! If I don’t have the answers (which is definitely possible), I will seek them out for you.

Note: If you don’t have a grasp about what Twitter is and how it works, then you will need to get that understanding first. If there are people reading this who would like to see a post about this, please ask!

What is a Twitter Party
A group of people who are on Twitter all at the same time who are following the same hashtag (#), chatting about the same topic, hanging out together, answering certain questions, possibly winning prizes and having fun.

That simple.

Some people just start a party for the fun of it. They create a hashtag, set a time and date and everyone “chats” in twitter together. It’s a way of narrowing a group of people together for a purpose, whether it’s for fun, to promote a product(s) or a website.

How do you Join a Twitter Party
Do you have to be invited? No! You just join in the #hashtag of the party and whenever you tweet in the conversation at the party, make sure you add the #hashtag of the party’s name at the end of your tweet. Do note that some Twitter Parties do require you to RSVP on a different page in order to qualify to win prizes!

There are many places you can join a Twitter Party. I really don’t recommend following a Party using actual “Twitter” because it refreshes so fast that it is very difficult to follow.

However, if you are using Twitter to follow a party, you simply search for the #hashtag of the party and you can even save the search if you like. Then, you searched tweets come up in a time line on their own.

One format that I have used is TweetChat. When you use TweetChat, you can simply follow a party by entering the #hashtag of the party and follow the chat that is going on. If you want to join in by adding tweets, you must sign in by creating an account. When you sign in, you must Authorize the App “TweetChat” to gain access to your Twitter Account in order to tweet, therefore you must be signed into Twitter. Once you have signed into Tweetchat, you no longer need to add the #hashtag to your tweet, the program automatically does it for you.

The great thing with TweetChat is that you can pause the chatting if you need to take a quick break and then restart it to get caught up. You can also control the refresh speed by choosing how many seconds in between each download of new tweets (e.g. how fast the chat scrolls down your screen). So, for all of you slow readers out there (like me), you will have an easier time keeping up with fast parties!

I’ve also used Hoot Suite to follow Twitter Parties by creating a new stream for a hashtag. If you’d like more info for how to do this, feel free to email me.

Tweet Grid
This format is my favourite that I have discovered so far. Why? Because it is so versatile! It is a grid that you can manipulate to look how you like (e.g. different number of columns and rows) depending on how many party hosts there are, hashtags etc.

You will have to LOGIN with TweetGrid and allow access from TweetGrid to your Twitter Account (or vice versa). You can always go into your Twitter Account (Profile —> Applications —> find TweetGrid and Revoke Access if you don’t want to constantly allow access to TweetGrid to your Twitter Account.

Here’s how to PARTY using Tweet Grid:

I typically set the grid up with 3 columns.

Column #1: the #hashtag
This is the column where the party happens. In this column you will see all of the tweets that use the hashtag (#) for the party that you are following. At the start, you will have to change the title of this column from “Twitter” to the hashtag (including the # sign) of your party that you will follow.

Column #2: I use this column for the hosts of the party so that I don’t miss any of the questions or announcements (like winners) made during the party. In the column title, you will add the Twitter names of the Hosts (e.g. from:MultiTestingMom OR from:MapleLeafMommy) – in this example you are following two people.

Column #3: YOU
This column you must fill in with your Twitter username. This makes it convenient to weed out all of your “mentions” (tweets that are direction at you) so that you can easily respond back to them quickly and follow the party (in Column #1) at the same time!
You can check your DM’s (direct messages) by going to the Settings at the top of Column 3 and clicking on DM. You will then have to be sure to redirect that to a general stream for your Twitter name after you are dopne checking to ensure that you see your mentions.

Hashtag: You must enter the hashtag for the party where it says Hashtag, including the # symbol so that when you post a tweet to the party, it includes the hashtag at the end and it will show up in the tweets for the party. If you forget this part, your tweets will not show up at the party and no one will see you other than your twitter followers.

Question: Can I join a Twitter Party if I have set my Twitter account to Private settings? The answer is, I don’t believe so. No one would be able to see your answers to the questions unless they were already following you! You might be able to go public for the party and then go private again (but I honestly don’t know what happens to the rest of your tweets during the party – please don’t blame me if there are any issues with the privacy of your tweets).

Question: How do Twitter Parties Work and How Do I Win the Prizes?

Typically whoever started the party or invited you to the party has questions that they ask. Sometimes, but not all of the time, there are prizes attached to the questions. If you want to win the prizes, you must answer the questions within the given time frame. This is the tricky part. You must be following the party really closely to catch when the questions are closing etc.

Question: Do my Twitter Followers See All of My Tweets During a Party?
Yes. Although some people might not be interested in seeing your responses to a Twitter Party, this is one way that others will learn a Twitter Party is going on. Also, let’s face it, people can choose to look over your Tweets during that hour.

Question: How Are Winners Announced?
There are typically three ways that winners are announced.

  1. Immediately after the question closes, a winner is announced.
  2. After the party, paticipants stick around for a little while after and winners are announced.
  3. The next day on the host(s) websites/blogs a page will be posted with the winners.

It should be announced at the beginning of the party how prizes can be won and when the prizes will be announced so that it is clear. If you are unclear, ask!
I think I’ve answered all of the questions about Twitter Parties that people have asked me over the past little while, but as I mentioned earlier, if you have more, PLEASE feel free to ask them in the comments or in on my comment form. I’d be happy to help you out!

@DidUKnowCanada and @MultiTestingMom have decided to co-host a Twitter Party called #CanadianCookies.

When: Wednesday November 9, 2011 8-10pm EST
Who: Open to ANYONE but prizes are only available to CANADIANS
Hashtag: #CanadianCookies
Hosts: @DidUKnowCanada and @MultiTestingMom
Topic: Twitter Party for Canadians who would like to chat about baking and the holidays. We can share tips, recipe ideas and more!

What do you have to do?

  1. RSVP to the Twitter Party so that you can be eligible to win prizes! Canadians Only Prizes!, but all can participate!
  2. Decide what platform you will use for the Party (e.g. Twitter, Tweet Chat, Tweet Grid etc.) – My prefered platform is Tweet Grid, but of course feel free to use whatever you feel most comfortable with.
  3. Make sure you are following @DidUKnowCanada and @MultiTestingMom on Twitter!
  4. At 8pm EST on Wednesday November 9th 2011, follow the hashtag #CanadianCookies, @MultiTestingMom and @DiduKnowCanada and join in the discussion about Holiday Baking! Let’s have some fun together!

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2 Responses to How to Participate in a Twitter Party

  1. So looking forward to this, I’m all signed up!! Thanks for the great info.

  2. I like using TweetChat the best too!

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