Being on Twitter sometimes feels like being on an episode of Hoarders.
Hoarders is the show that profiles pack rats whose obsession with keeping things has them on the verge of losing their loved ones, their health and their sanity. Cameras capture houses made into maze after maze of boxes and keepsakes and the people who live surrounded by this every day.
Twitter can often feel just as cluttered and bogged down. Endless tweets quickly stuff your brain full of personal opinion, content and links. Sometimes it all comes so fast that it is hard to process the information, find the conversations that are relevant to your interests and respond in an engaging manner.
If this sounds a little too familiar for your liking, you may want to start joining in on Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are essentially planned roundtable discussions on Twitter that bring together those that have the same interests, profession, etc. The chats are usually moderated by one or two people who come up with questions on a predetermined subject and respond to comments. Twitter chats are usually formed through hashtags. Clicking a Twitter chat hashtag and tacking it onto your tweets allows you to follow and join in on a chat.
Twitter chats have a clear direction and can provide concise and useful resources on matters that are most relevant to you. They are also a great way to network, make new connections and discover different perspectives, while sharing your own.
There are plenty association and non-profit Twitter chats that happen regularly. Here’s a quick rundown of three of the best.
Association chat (found by searching the hashtag #assnchat) is a forum for association professionals to talk about issues, news, tips and strategies related to the industry. The chat is usually well attended by association professionals from all sectors. The chat generates great discussion about a wide range of topics like engaging retired members and using social media to improve association services. Association chat happens every Tuesday afternoon, usually around 2 pm EST.
If you’re passionate about the non-profit world, fund chat (under the hashtag #fundchat) is a great corner of Twitter to go to. Fund chat doesn’t just cover the finer details of fundraising, but also other important and interesting topics and issues you will probably run into during a career as a non-profit professional. There are usually relevant questions, plenty of time to talk and lots of engaging viewpoints. Fund chat usually happens every Wednesday afternoon at noon EST.
Expo Chat (with the hashtag moniker #expochat) is all about event, conference and trade show talk. Many non-profits and associations have events throughout the year. This Twitter chat gives professionals a chance to discuss challenges, innovations and insights that could help them produce a great affair for members, donors, causes, etc. There are plenty of conversation starters and great answers to questions. Expo chat is usually held every Wednesday afternoon at 3 pm EST.
These are just some of the most popular, regular and well-attended Twitter chats for the non-profit community. Hosting an occasional Twitter chat for your own association and its members is a great idea as well. This gathers the same collection of ideas and structured conversations that more general Twitter chats do.
Twitter chats are a good place to go when you’re feeling like your timeline is overcrowded, but the content underwhelming. Twitter chats for non-profit and association professionals provide a chance for weekly learning, regular networking and some engaging conversation. So don’t hesitate when the time for a Twitter chat rolls around; jump right in and have some fun!