So…you’ve gone and gotten yourself invited to a Twitter party…and you’re thinking…what the heck’s a twitter party?
Picture this…a roomful of folks all chatting about interesting topics, having a few drinks or a cup of tea in comfortable surroundings, meeting new people in the EASIEST WAY POSSIBLE without feeling awkward or out of place…funny people, serious people, people willing to share heartwarming stories, offer advice or show you a picture of their children…tell you a little about their life.
You know, just like a regular party…only, on Twitter!
Yup, a “virtual” party of sorts where you’ll find yourself trying to keep up, joining in on conversation and bursting out laughing. An hour online that whizzes by and leaves you with a few new friends and a smile on your face.
THAT’S a Twitter Party…and here’s how it all works!
Chances are you’ve seen a graphic promoting a Twitter Party and it’s peaked your interest…maybe it’s a brand you like and use regularly, one that you’re interested in finding out more about…one that’s offering an AWESOME giveaway at the end of the party! You’re wondering if you could just show up…if you’re invited…if anyone would mind if you were there. Here’s the thing about Twitter parties…EVERYONE’S INVITED! The more the merrier!
Starting with TWITTER:
To start with, you need TWITTER! If you’ve never signed up for an account before…what better way than to start with a party! Click on the Sign Up button on the twitter website and follow the instructions for entering your information. Then Voila (that’s French for YOU HAVE TWITTER NOW!)
Just one note, you can’t have a PRIVATE or LOCKED account to be at the party…’cause we’ll all be chit chatting and it will be like you’re hiding behind the curtains in the living room trying to get in on the conversation but no one can see you…or hear you…or know you’re there! So, make sure your account is set to Public.
Also…if you are super brand new to twitter, you might want to explore a little. To help you figure it all out before actually showing up to the party! I wrote a post a while back called How To Tweet. It explains in detail all about hashtags and the crazy twitter language you’ll be familiar with in no time!
If you already have a Twitter account…or you just signed up for a new one…you’re ready to party!
Follow your Hosts:
Next thing, follow the people throwing the party! All of them. The company throwing the party, the hosts that will be taking care of you during the party…if there’s a person involved in the party planning that has an @ symbol…make friends with them! (Also, so you’re aware, often there’s prizing at twitter parties and the rules state that in order to win a prize you MUST be following your party hosts…so seriously, follow them!)
You may or may not have to RSVP…each party is a little different. If you DON’T, the party hosts will ask that you follow a hashtag and that’s all there is to it. (More on hashtags in a moment.)
If you DO, the party hosts will provide a link in the Tweet that mentions the party. Likely it’s a blog post and at the bottom, there’ll be a LINKY to click to say you’re coming to the party.
Linkys are WEIRD!
It will ask you three things:
- Your Name: But by this, it means your TWITTER name. So for example for me, it’s @curtainsareopen.
- Your URL: And you’re either thinking “What’s a URL” or “I don’t have a website” or “What website do they want” or “AAAAHHHHGGG!” It wants to know the URL (or address) of your Twitter’s Homepage screen! If you’re not sure how to find it, go to twitter, click on your picture (which will bring you to your home page) and in the address bar at the top of the screen, you’ll see YOUR URL! To make it easy, copy that link and paste it into the Linky. For example for me, my URL is https://twitter.com/CurtainsAreOpen
- Your Email Address: This one is ACTUALLY your email address! (Oh…and it’s not openly shared.)
Click on the Done, or Finish or OK button and there you have it, you’ve RSVP’d for the party! Now all you have to do is show up…oh…and it might give you the option to tell all of your friends by sending out a tweet or a facebook message saying that you’re going to the party. And you know what happens then…as soon as your friends hear you’re going…they’re going to want to come too! (Pssst…you can totally skip that step of the LINKY if you don’t want your friends to know what you’re up to!)
What to Wear:
Well…unless you’re planning on taking and uploading selfies during the party, you can wear whatever you’d like! Chances are the party is later in the evening (check what time zone that party is in) so most likely, you’ll be in your jammies…your comfy yoga pants…a mu-mu or that ratty house coat with the pancake mix still on it from last month. Not to worry…we won’t judge!
What to Bring:
This is the best part…you don’t have to spend the day making an appie hoping that folks at the party will like it! You’re at home…with your computer. Eat and drink whatever YOU’D like…grab a cup of tea, pour a glass of wine, grab a snack from the cupboard or pick up a little something ahead of time in anticipation for a night with friends…a fun chit chat and your favourite snack! Best part…you don’t have to share!
Follow the Party Hashtag:
Twitter parties wouldn’t happen without the Hashtag or it would be like being at a party blindfolded and with earplugs…you’re just randomly saying things that no one is paying any attention to! (Unfortunately, that feels a little like a few Junior High parties I’ve been to!)
At the beginning of the party, you’ll need to search for the Hashtag by clicking on the search tool (looks like a magnifying glass) on the top right side of your twitter screen, and typing in the party’s hashtag. Then, all of the tweets that people send using that hashtag, will all be grouped together.
Hashtags aren’t case-sensitive and start with the # symbol. When you’re at the party, make sure that every tweet you send has the party hashtag written at the end of it or it won’t show up in people’s search results!
You’ll need to refresh your screen from time to time so more tweets using that hashtag will appear on your screen…and if the party is REALLY active, you’ll have to refresh your screen A WHOLE LOT!
Side Note…I don’t use Twitter at Twitter Parties! Well…I did for my very first one but realized 1.) I hated hitting refresh and 2.) I had a hard time keeping up. So…I use TweetDeck when I attend Twitter Parties. Tweet Deck allows you to have multiple columns of information on your screen all at the same time and, while it can be used from a mobile device, it’s much better when you have a full screen. I’ll write a post on how to use TweetDeck in the next day or so!
What to Say, How to Act!
It’s a PARTY! Let your personality shine!!! When you show up to the party, don’t be shy…make sure to join in on the conversation and add your two cents. If you’re not sure how to do something…ASK! There are many folks willing to lend a helping hand.
Most times, party hosts will ask questions and party goers answer them. There’s a wee little protocol to doing that and here’s how it works:
Party Host tweet:
Q1: Do you prefer salsa or sour cream on your nachos? #PartyHashtag
It starts with Q1…or Q2 or Q3 etc…depending on what question they’re asking. Then…there’s the question. Finally, it finishes with the hashtag being used at that particular party.
To reply, you can press the reply button on the bottom of the Party Host’s Tweet…or, you can just type out a response as a regular tweet without hitting reply. In both cases, make sure you include the hashtag in your response.)
A1: I prefer sour cream with my nachos? #PartyHashtag
Unless you like salsa…and then that’s your answer. Or, if you don’t like either, then tell them you like Guacomole…AND, if you have an AWESOME Guac recipe, SHARE IT! OR…if you happen to have a 147 day old Sour Cream Science Experiment in your fridge at that very moment…take a picture and show it to everyone!
It’s a party, listen to your host…answer their questions and listen to anything else they’d like to share with you. Also, if someone is saying something that you find interesting or funny, jump in and respond to them just like you would at a regular party! You’ll ALWAYS find friends to chat with and quite often, there are some fantastic side conversations at the party.
At the end of the party, make sure to thank your party hosts! Chances are you’ll have met a few new friends so keep following them and seeing what they’re up to. You never know…maybe someday you’ll meet up with them at a party IRL (twitter talk…for In Real Life!)
Now head out there…join in on the party…and have a little fun!