Apart from posting twitter updates, twitter has been used to host 1 hour “tweet chats” around different topics of conversations. Twitter chats allow twitter users to meet at a designated time and have live conversations using hashtags.
What are examples of Twitter Chats?
This article from Tweet Reports outlines many tweet chats, when they take place, and who moderates those chats, and includes everything from entrepreneur chats, DIY crafts, college life and shopping tips. Likewise, there are many available for healthcare! For a list of Healthcare Tweetchats, see @symplur’s list of Healthcare Tweet Chats.
Some Health Care Twitter chat conversations include:
- #meded chat – Thursdays at 9 pm EST – A weekly conversation about topics in medical education. Visit #meded’ssymplur page.
- #hcldr chat – Tuesdays at 8:30 PM EST – A weekly conversation spanning different topics about how we can improve health care. Participants include physicians, patients, PAs, RNs, CEOs, ITs, caregivers and more. Visit #hcldr’s symplur page.
- #AnatQ chat – Tuesdays at 9:00 PM EST – Ask your anatomy questions and participants will crowdsource the answer. Visit #AnatQ’s symplur page.
- #LupusChat – Sundays at 3:00 PM EST – Primarily a patient-driven twitter conversation as relating to Lupus and Rheumatology. Health Care providers also participate as well. Visit #LupusChat’s symplur page.
Create a Tweet Chat: If you are interested in taking initiative to host your own tweet chat, you can read Hustop’s 8 Steps to Hosting a Successful Twitter Chat.
Step 1: Choose a Twitter Chat to Join
There are an endless number of twitter chats you can join. Most take place on a weekly basis for one hour at a time (or biweekly, monthly, annually, etc.). I’ve participated in tweet chats about health care in social media, graphic design, and others that have piqued my interest. I don’t attend religiously, there are sometimes many months that go by before I participate in my next tweet chat.
I stumbled across #hcldr twitter chat several years ago. It focuses on health care leadership and improving of health care. Participants of the chat include patients, MDs, PAs, Nurses, IT folks, caregivers, and students from countries across the globe (Canada, US, Ireland, Australia, UK, South Africa, and more). Visit @symplur’s list of other health care tweet chats to find topics you may be interested.
Step 2: Find out the day and time of the twitter chat
Each twitter chat has:
- A day and time they meet each week: #hcldr meets Tuesdays from 8:30 PM EST – 9:30 PM EST
- A moderator who posts discussion questions: #hcldr’s moderator is the twitter account @hcldr
- Participants: Anyone who uses the #hcldr hashtag from on Tuesdays from 8:30 PM EST – 9:30 PM EST is generally participating in the tweet chat.
Some twitter chats meet less frequently (e.g. monthly, or on an annual basis). I like to follow the moderator of the tweet chat as I will get reminder tweets in my feed of when to join the conversation.
Step 3: Track the tweet chat hashtag
When the start of the tweet chat begins (e.g. Tuesdays at 8:30 PM EST for the tweet chat #hcldr), you need to track the tweet chat hashtag. You can either use a hashtag search on twitter OR use a tweet chat client to help you see the live feed as the conversation pops up.
Twitter Chat Clients
This is by the easiest. Once logged into your twitter account, type the hashtag into search and select the “latest” tweets. Just refresh the page every few minutes or so to see more recent updates and new discussions questions that you may reply to.[isnert picture]
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Step 4: Find the first discussion question
The discussion question is usually labelled as “T1” (topic 1) “T2” (topic 2) or “T3”, etc. The question is tweeted by the moderator. In our example with the #hcldr, the moderator is the twitter account @hcldr:
Step 5: Reply to the discussion question & use the tweet chat hashtag
The easiest way to find the twitter questions in the twitter feed is to look for the moderator’s twitter account – since they are responsible for posting the tweet chat question.
Now that you have located the question, hit “reply” and start your tweet with “T1” (to represent answer to topic 1) or “T2” (answer to topic 2). Be sure to include the twitter chat hashtag (in our example, it is #hcldr) so that your reply gets included with the feed and other chat participants can see your tweet. In some twitter chats, there will be over 50+ replies to the topic question.
Keep in mind when crafting your twitter reply, you can include photos, tag other users, and use other hashtags. However try to keep your tweet relevant to the question being answered.
Step 6: Retweet & reply to other chat participants
If you see a tweet that resonates with you, retweet it! Or reply to that person’s answer to the topic question. Don’t forget to include the topic number (e.g. T1, T2, T3 etc.) and hashtag (e.g. #hcldr) to track it.