Actively Participate

After getting connected with the many social media outlets available, learn how to participate in a Twitter chat, and review the dos and don’ts of social media.

What Is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter chat is a convening of people at a particular date and time, connected by one hashtag. Recently, many leaders in the education community have utilized Twitter as a professional development venue. Hundreds of Twitter chats occur weekly on topics ranging from education technology, to special education, to online learning. Chats often have a focus, and facilitators will pose questions. People who join the chat will share their responses and reply to other participants, thus cultivating a collaborative and interactive dialogue.

How to Join a Twitter Chat

  1. Learn the Logistical Information. Identify the date and time of the Twitter chat, and learn the official hashtag that will convene the participants. Review this list of Twitter chats to see which topics are offered.
  2. Create or Log In to Your Twitter Account. Visit www.Twitter.com to create a free Twitter account or log in if you already have one.
  3. Search for the Twitter Chat Hashtag. Enter the official hashtag in the search bar at the time of the chat. In order to receive timely updates, click latest to see the most recent tweets.
  4. Engage in the Dialogue. Most Twitter chats operate with the question and answer format. Facilitators will identify the question number (such as Q1), ask a question, and include the official hashtag. Participants will respond with the answer number (such as A1), create a response, and include the official hashtag. Participants can reply to other participants in the chat and craft their own responses using the official hashtag.
  5. Stay Connected. Review the conversation and follow relevant Twitter users to continue the dialogue.

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media  

Do think before you post. Items that are shared can be considered a reflection of your interests. Be mindful of this as you identify and post content. Don't overshare. Know your audience, as oversharing can be potentially annoying and unwanted by your followers.
Do integrate pictures and videos. Broaden visibility by using pictures and integrating videos, as appropriate. Don't rely on autogenerated tweets. Share content that is personalized, as autogenerated content can send mixed messages.
Do join Twitter chats. Expand your professional learning network and access resources by participating in live Twitter chats. Don’t forgot to monitor. Even if you don’t plan on posting, besure to monitor your accounts to stay up to date and engaged.
Do engage in collaborative dialogues. Communicate using a give-and-take approach for asking questions, sharing responses, and posting content. Don't forget that everyone starts somewhere. Being discouraged by not gaining many followers is not a sign of boring or irrelevant content, as it will take time to build your social network.
Do complete your profile. Upload a profile picture and write a bio about your interests and areas of specialty. Don't be inflexible with plans. Social media can be planned, but a considerable amount is often reactive to unplanned events. Being relevant and responsive is critical.

Create a Twitter Account

Learn how to set up a Twitter account or become acquainted with the features in order to join a Twitter chat. 

Related Resources

Using Social Media to Advance Advocacy Efforts
Learn how to leverage social media as an effective advocacy tool to promote change and create dialogue.

NASP’s Advocacy Social Media Guide
This resource provides strategies and offers suggestions for both state associations and individuals in how to advocate using Facebook and Twitter.