12 helpful tips for engaging in a Twitter chat

Don’t let the waves of tweets and retweets scare you from diving in. Just be sure to know some of these tactics before you do.

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This is a statement I heard recently from a colleague during a conversation about the growing popularity of organized chats on Twitter.

I find that chats remove much of the chaos by creating pockets of organized discussion amid the avalanche of information that is Twitter.

Chats are the Twitter version of discussion boards, although not quite as elegant. They are organized group conversations in which people interested in a specific theme come together at a certain time every week to discuss topics by including the chat title with a hashtag (#) so that followers can filter those tweets from others.

For the uninitiated, participating in the more popular chats like #BlogChat, #LeadershipChat, or #BizForum is said to be like “drinking from a fire hose.” With upward of 2,000 tweets and RTs in an hour, it can be difficult to follow the conversation.

For those people, here is my list of the 12 most helpful tricks for conversing in a Twitter chat.

1. Pre-chat prep

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