Twitter Chats 101


What are Twitter chats?

By Ann Chen

In the past few months, ICBA has been hosting several Twitter chats to promote, engage and influence the online world with different topics. They’ve drawn a huge amount of attention on social media, and they’re events that community bankers can easily join or even conduct within their own communities.

A Twitter chat is basically a public forum where participants can use the same hashtag on the same day at the same place (such as Twitter) to discuss a designated topic. Similar to an online forum, it’s a real-time conversation happening on the Twittersphere, except at a much faster pace and with greater exposure depending on the number and influence level of the attendees.
Twitter chats can be useful in several ways:

Build influence and credibility: As a community banker, you have a wealth of knowledge on a variety of financial topics, and Twitter chats are a great way to showcase that knowledge. Building credibility and influence on social media is a gradual a day-to-day process for everyone, but participating in relevant Twitter chats is a great way to jump-start your influencer status.

Gain new followers: Depending on the popularity of a Twitter chat, you may gain several new followers who like what you’re saying in a chat. If it’s a chat filled with other influencers, it’s very likely there will be several like-minded tweeters to follow and who will follow you in return. Actively engaging in the chat, such as retweeting, mentioning or commenting on tweets, is a good way to go.

Learn something new: Since a Twitter chat is often very fluid and grows in many different directions, you are likely to find out something new or gain a new perspective on a subject. Topics can range from the latest hot issues (such as cloud computing, perhaps) to ideas that stand the test of time (like financial literacy).

So seek out, join in and have fun with these group conversations. Then remember to keep the chat hashtag to reference in your future tweets.

Ann Chen ( is ICBA’s senior social media specialist.

Stay Tuned to the Latest @ICBA Twitter Chats: