Initial Tweetchat experience

I joined in to my first tweet chat this week and was not too sure what to expect from it.Tweet Chat

I had seen a tweet just 30 minutes before it was to begin which reminded me of one I had seen the day before. The subject was “Social Media and Customer Service – Working Together for a Better Bottom Line”. Amber Cleveland and her blog @Amber Cleveland WordPress explains a bit more.

The invitation was this:

“Join the social media tweetchat at 1pm ET, Wednesday, March 9th.  The hashtag for this conversation is #SMChat”

And the questions which were going to be asked:

  1. What is the best practice to develop customer service policy that includes social media?
  2. How do you train your team to provide customer service using social media?
  3. How do you take your customer service to the next level using social media?
  4. What are the competitive advantages that can be gained by providing customer service via social media?

So, I ignored the kids here at home (was 7pm start for me here) and cranked up my Hootsuite, added a feed filtering on the hashtag and immediately saw the first people “introducing” themselves to the  gathering crowd. People like @SourcePOV, @SMSJoe, @thehealthmaven, @blogbrevity and more sent their “hellos” all followed by the #smchat tagline so everyone could follow. Who are these people and what kind of funny event will this be? I had heard of twitter chats before, or better I had read people reports (like this) of their fun on a twitter chat but I really could not image what would follow.

Just after the hour started @ambercleveland posted the first question to the Twittersphere and the race began. It started a bit slow around the first question and I hesitated from my comfortable, observer role before making my first tweet with the said identifier. But once I did and the first RT (retweet) of my comment appeared a few seconds later I felt more at ease. The second question came and the chatter or better twittering increased in speed and I began wishing I could type faster. Adding ‘@’ and ‘#’ within my lines is not a regular exercise and I felt really slow, but that did not matter. Even when the second question was well underway others were still joining and commenting on the first. This did not seem to bother anyone.

By the time the third question came and went I saw a tweet I had to also RT

I have no idea who @eamcc but I could imagine they were sitting there with a cup of tea untouched for the entire hour. I tweeted about 24 times that hour, more than I have in most DAYS. I learned a few things during this exercise.

  • I don’t type fast enough
  • A good twitter tool is a must
  • Don’t worry that the stream doesn’t read like a book. I am back at it a day later to capture some of the raisins.
  • Be polite to the others but also be challenging. This really gets the conversation going.
  • Use retweeting or direct messaging to add importance or get a sidebar going.
  • Things may be crazy fast, reading, replying, retweeting but the tea can be remade.
  • New contacts will be made and who knows in the heat of it where that will lead to.

Will I do this again? You betcha I will.

Updated: added the transcript now that I know how. And now I know who is behind @eamcc.

Transcript for #smchat_20110309

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4 Responses to Initial Tweetchat experience

  1. Amber Cleveland March 11, 2011 at 04:06 #

    Wow, that was your first tweetchat? You did a great job. I am so glad that you could join us. It was a great conversation. The nicest thing about tweetchats is that usually, even when people disagree, there is great civil discourse:) There is a regular customer service chat on Tuesday nights, but I think it would be super late for you because it’s at 6pm PT. Even if you can’t join, maybe check out the transcript. It’s lead by @MarshaCollier & @JeffreyJKingman. There is a great ambassador for the chat @RoyAtkinson.

    The #SMChat topic changes weekly, but I think that Social Media Customer Service will be a regular topic. I’ll definitely let you know the next time we talk about customer service. Thanks again for joining and for mentioning my post, I was really happy to moderate.

    Btw, I think that your commentary about joining a chat for the first time is awesome, I know I felt that way the first time I joined a tweetchat. You can use tweetchat.com, it will automatically include the hashtag for you!

    • Andrew March 11, 2011 at 11:01 #

      Thanks Amber also for the tweetchat tip. I may even try to get an extension to stay up late for one of those late night sessions!
      Andrew

  2. Elizabeth McCaffrey March 11, 2011 at 15:08 #

    Hi Andrew. Here’s a fresh cup of tea for you – Irish breakfast ok? :)

    Thank you for a great, descriptive post about joining in a chat. You did a great job of describing the experience as well as sharing great professional tips about CRM and social media.

    Indeed, the chats can be mesmerizing and a bit daunting. So, that’s when I go back to the core of social media, be authentic. Over and over, it evokes a “direct response” no “strategy” can beat!

    Do come back to #smchat. Amber, current moderator, does a great job.

    Best, E.

    • Andrew March 11, 2011 at 15:11 #

      Full Irish Breakfast best not for me. But a cup of tea anytime!#
      And now I have a name to “eamcc”. Fantastic too.

      And I am learning as I walk.

      Using hashtags for a while now but never thought much of their historical use. Grabbing a transcript is really easy so no need to take notes during the “chat”. thanks to my new #smchat friends for the newbie help.

      ex. http://www.tweetchat.com or http://www.wthashtag.com

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