On any given day, at any given time, dozens of live Twitter chats are taking place. (You can find a list of some of them here.) As a public conversation centered around a unique hashtag, a Twitter chat's a great way to grow your brand, interact with your followers, and invoke new ideas while focusing on one specific topic.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started with your first Twitter chat:

1. It’s imperative that you use the designated live chat hashtag.

Include the designated conversation hashtag at the end of your responses. This ensures that your tweets are being linked back to the chat.

2. Proper live chat etiquette is to use the “Q1/A1, Q2/A2, Q3/A3," etc. format.

For example, the host of the Twitter chat will begin the first question with "Q1". When you respond, make sure to begin your tweet with "A1."  This helps participants follow along and understand which question you're providing an answer to.

3. Refresh often.

The conversation moves quickly in a live Twitter chat so be sure to frequently refresh to see the newest questions and responses.

4. Be sure to like, retweet, and reply to the tweets that appeal to you.

Think of this as an actual conversation -- don't you typically react to and interact with everyone involved?

5. Be ready to grow your network.

You'll likely walk away from your first Twitter chat with new followers -- especially if you make sure to engage with other participants.

Whether you're an expert on a particular subject or are looking to learn more, Twitter chats are a great way to quickly interact with people all over the world who happen to share an interest in discussing a particular topic.


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