What is #SmallBizChat? It is a weekly interactive talk show on Twitter for small business owners. It takes place every Wednesday from 8-9 pm eastern time. Participants and guests type answers to questions from the host, using the social media site Twitter. The focus of #SmallBizChat is to help business owners succeed as their own boss as they start and grow their small businesses.
For info on the upcoming Week’s chat and a link to the current Tweetgrid (see below for explanation), follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
Getting Started on Twitter
First, you need a Twitter account. For details on Getting started on Twitter click this link http://succeedasyourownboss.com/06/2009/getting-started-on-twitter/
It’s a good idea to follow our Twitter account @SmallBizChat. Each week, we post a series of tweets about our guest and the topic for the week.
Terms you need know before we get started
- Hashtag- The # symbol in front of any word creates a hashtag. #SmallBizChat is a hashtag. Hashtags are used on Twitter to track information on a specific topic. Click it, and it will take you to the most recent conversation on that topic. In Twitter, you can put a #hashtag in the search box, and see what folks are saying about that tag at that moment too.
- Tweetchat- is a Twitter talk show, using text messages on Twitter to interact with a weekly guest on a specific topic – using a #hashtag to help my people follow the same conversation.
- Tweetgrid.com -a third party website tweetgrid.com which allows you to participate in a live tweetchat using three columns
- Tweetchat.com- a third party website tweetchat.com which allows you to participate in a live tweetchat using one column
There are many options to participate in our live chat:
Using Tweetgrid for our Chat:
On Wednesdays, we put out a custom link to Tweetgrid.com making the chat easier to follow. Consider following our Twitter account @SmallBizChat for details on upcoming chats and links to each week’s TweetGrid.
By using the link, This mode automatically puts the #SmallBizChat hashtag on each tweet sent out in the chat. It allows other participants in the chat to see your comment as well.
Click this link for example of tweetgrid http://is.gd/1yu6j the far right column is where you can see anyone’s comments in the chat. The center column shows this week’s guest and the host comments. You can use the far column for you own twitter account just put @ your twitter name and hit search.
You’ll notice above you username is a #hashtag box, which should say #SmallBizChat – if it doesn’t, please add it there, so that it adds that tag to each tweet you send.
In the center at the top of the page, you will see a box labeled Tweet, and below it one that says user: and pass: Fill out the lower two boxes with your username (without the @ symbol) and password. Putting your password into any program can be a risk, but this program has a good reputation.
To reply to a tweet, hover over it, and hit the left-facing blue arrow, type your information and then hit reply. To RT or retweet something, also hover over the tweet and click the right-facing blue arrow. Tweetgrid will RT something even if it is too long, but if you want to add anything to the comment, you may need to edit the tweet for space.
Things may move pretty fast, so to control the flow of tweets, hit the stop so that you can scroll down, just remember to hit the search to rejoin the active chat. If you forget you’ll wonder why you are not seeing any new tweets.
Near the end of the chat: In the last five minutes of the chat, the host sends out a tweet allowing people to introduce them selves, or to give a 140 character commercial, so be ready to plug your business.
The host also tweets out info on next week’s guest and topic.
After the chat: Follow the people who you found interesting, continue the conversation if warranted.
Follow @SmallBizChat. Our Virtual Assistant @YourJobMyOffice creates a transcript each week, which is usually sent out via @SmallBizChat later that evening, and the next day.
Just a Note about Chats and Twitter Troubles: Sometime Twitter’s search function is running slow, either due to the volume of people using the service, or maintenance issues. Sometimes it can take a full minute or two for a tweet you sent to show, if this is the case, we persevere. If the slowdown is long, we may try switching to a different service, such as savorchat.com or we may cancel or postpone the chat. If this is the case, be sure to watch the tweets of our host @SmallBizLady, co-host @CathyWebSavvyPR, @SmallBizChat and our virtual assistant @YourJobMyOffice for tips on what we are doing.
For more information about various chats on twitter, and how people use them, check out these links:
Info on hashtags and how they work: http://twitter.pbworks.com/Hashtags
Look up a #hastag to find info on “what the hashtag:” http://wthashtag.com/Main_Page
We hope this explainer page will help you join #smallbizchat each Wednesday on Twitter. Our goal is to help you succeed as your own boss as you start and grow your small business.