Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blogging Tips - How to Participate & Have Fun at a Twitter Party!

Twitter Parties

For those of you with Twitter accounts, Twitter Parties can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet new friends and win some pretty fabulous prizes!  But for those of you that are new to the whole experience, it can be kind of confusing.  So before I hold my first party, I found it fitting to explain what a Twitter Party is and how you can participate and have fun!

What is a Twitter Party?
A Twitter Party is a virtual party that takes place on Twitter.  These parties usually focus on a topic, theme or brand such as summer vacation tips, or even a company's new product(s) or something they recently launched that they want to get out into the public.  These parties are set up in advance by a host and sometimes there will be co-hosts and panelists to help the host answer questions, hand out prizes, and retweet questions during a party.  Most, if not all, parties are outlined ahead of time on a website or blog with details that are important to the party such as RSVP information, hashtag information (we'll discuss that in a minute) as well as what time the party will be and who you will need to follow in order to see the questions asked.  Most parties generally happen at night, though you will find a few that happen during the day too.  At times, you can find some parties going on every day of the week but generally, most Twitter Parties are held on the weekend or at the end of the week on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.  Each party generally lasts between 45 minutes to 2 hours long.  And in the end you have the opportunity to walk away with some pretty awesome prizes! 

What is a party host?
From my Twitter Partying experience, a party host, is usually a blogger.  The party host announces the party, asks the questions, keeps the conversations going and on topic, etc.  This is the person or group of people you want to follow!  In most cases, this is also the person that gives out the prizes too.
Running a Twitter Party is not as easy as it looks so don't get frustrated with your host if he/she can't answer each individual question.  A host can get hundreds of tweets a minute depending on the size of the party, so just be patient and remember, Have Fun!

What is a Hashtag (#)?
This part was a bit confusing for me at first too, so don't worry if you're confused about Hashtags.  The hashtag is the # symbol that follows the topic of the party.  So for instance if the topic was swimmingtrunks you would see #swimmingtrunks as the hashtag for the Twitter Party.  Anytime you tweet during a party you follow up with the topic hashtag.  The purpose of a hashtag is so that anyone following that particular hashtag to see their tweet regardless of if they follow them on Twitter or not.  For a great list of hashtags you can visit websites like HashtagDictionary.com 

So how do I win prizes?
It's really quite simple actually!  It depends on the host of the party.  During the party he/she will be asking questions.  Some choose winners randomly while others choose the winner by awarding the 1st person to tweet the answer or the 3rd person to answer.  In my experience, in the times where the prize is awarded to the 1st person to tweet generally gets frustrating because not everyone is a super fast typer and not everyone has super fast connection speeds. Some parties even require you to DM (Direct Message) the host of the party directly. Each party is different so make sure you pay attention to the rules!  The Grand Prizes are usually awarded at the end of the party and are either awarded randomly from people tweeting at the party using the hashtage (#) or are awarded randomly from the people that RSVP'd to the party.

So how do I follow a Twitter Party?
Well, first things first, you're going to want to follow the host(s) of the party and anyone else that the host tells you to add.  Some people prefer to use programs like Tweetgrid, TweetDeck, TweetChat and others but I've always found them to be more confusing than just using regular Twitter.  Remember, Twitter Parties go by very quickly!  You have about 3 minutes to answer each question so you have to be able to keep up.  You'll get the hang of it in no time, I promise!  For those of you interested in those programs, I recommend TweetGrid when it's not acting up it's the most helpful.  There are a few great tutorials out there for using these programs, from other bloggers, if you're interested let me know and I will post a few links for you.

What is Twitter Jail?
It is possible to be too social, so be careful!  Twitter jail is where you are locked out of your account, unable to tweet for tweeting too much.  From what I've found, you can be put in Twitter jail for tweeting over 100 tweets per hour/1000 tweets per day.  So don't go crazy while you're partying and start tweeting all over the place, space them out and tweet wisely!

If you have any other questions let me know and if you are a company or brand that would be interested in having me hold a Twitter Party for you please email me and I can send you more information.  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. The best part is your reassuring tone "don't worry about this..." and "don't worry if you can't...". You'd make a great teacher - or nurse. :)
    @amyadele_com

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  2. Great explanation, thank you! I tried attending a twitter party once and I was so lost, I gave up after five second. I'll have to jump in and try again now that I'm a little more familiar with twitter.

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