I was just coming out of the cloud that is postpartum depression. It was nine o’clock at night, in between nursing sessions with baby Ames. I set up my laptop at the bar in the kitchen and gave myself a frantic tutorial on TweetDeck. Chris settled into work in his studio, after throwing me a few friendly jabs about the wild night I had ahead of me. By the end of the hour, though, I’d made a few new friends and won a few cloth diapers. It was a good night. I’d just attended my first Twitter party.
Years and parties have come and gone since, so I figured I’d share a few tips I’ve learned along the way. It can be a bit overwhelming, but Twitter parties are a great way to meet people and learn information about a particular topic. Brands love throwing Twitter parties in order to build enthusiasm and momentum towards their product. It only costs them an hour and a bit of swag (everyone loves a giveaway, right?). Their target audience (you) can attend in pajamas. It’s a win for everyone involved! So let’s get started.
Get the details of the party. Find out what time it starts, and which hashtag everyone will be using. Be sure to check and see if the party requires registration for giveaways. This isn’t as common anymore, but when I first started it was the only way you could win swag. It usually involved going to the brand’s site and leaving your name and Twitter handle on their party announcement post. Scroll through the hashtag beforehand to ensure it matches your expectations.
Pick your program. I highly recommend using a computer for Twitter parties. The conversation is fast and furious, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up using your iPhone. That being said, you can always type the hashtag in to your search bar later on and scroll through all of the party tweets. TweetDeck is very popular, but I prefer HootSuite. These websites allow you to modify several columns in order keep an eye on several things at once – tweets you’re sending, tweets in which you’re mentioned, tweets with certain hashtags, etc.
Participate, but don’t get crazy. Sending too many tweets within a certain period of time can get you thrown in Twitter jail, because the system thinks you’re sending spam. In addition, you might notice your followers dropping like flies because they don’t care about the subject matter you’re discussing and you’re clogging up their feed. Pick a few items to which you’d like to respond, such as answering a few questions the brand throws out during the party. Remember, you’re still creating content! Make your 140 characters count.
Make a few new friends. Use the party hashtage to find a few people you’ve never seen before. Check out their profiles and reach out on personal level. You can do this by responding to a few of their tweets, or finding them on a different platform on Instagram. This is a great way to find people with common interests, without reaching blindly into the Twitterverse and hoping to make meaningful connections.
Take advantage of the hype. Brands often offer some sort of incentive, like a discount on their product, for a few days after the Twitter party. Check your email and the party’s hashtag to see if there are any announcements regarding.
Wrap it up in a bow. Respond to emails and tweets you get as a result of last night’s party. Find the party’s transcript if the host makes it available, so you can read through the tweets you missed. Follow up with your new friends; keep it genuine!
And there you have it. Hope this helped! They may not be for everyone, but Twitter parties can be quite enjoyable once you learn the ropes. And who knows? Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of your party’s hashtag trending on a national (or worldwide) level. Go ahead… grab that exhilarating hour of Internet fame!