Lessons learned from hosting a Twitter chat

Last Thursday, I lead a twitter chat on the social media platform WeNurses on Twitter together with Sue Woodward.

Although I have participated in tweet chats before, this was the first time I was going to lead one. After calling Teresa Chinn a few days before to go through logistics and asking her for advice, I had a plan and I thought I was going to be just fine. Well, like everything else in life: even with all the good advice you ask and get, there are always things you have to be able to learn on your own!

So, if you have decided to hold a tweet chat and it’s scheduled, here are the lessons I learned that I hope turn out to be a good advice for you:

    1. Leading a tweet chat it’s almost like teaching a class with one difference: everyone will be talking at the same time
    1. The more you do, the better you will be at it (…at least I like to think this way)!
    1. Plan where are you going to be leading the chat from? Home? Work?
    1. If you are going to be at home, make sure you arrive 1 hour before the tweet chat starts (in case the train is late, the traffic is jammed, etc)
    1. Make sure you keep 1hour after the tweet chat free
    1. Plan how much time you are going to give for people to answer your question. Use the real time (e.g. 20h10 to 20H18 rather than 8 minutes) – it saves you having to work out the times during the chat
    1. Your phone will ring as your friends, family and partner will be trying to speak with you and forgot or don’t know the tweet chat is taking place now. Ignore them.
    1. Don’t forget the introduction and leave at least 5 minutes in the beginning so everyone can introduce themselves
    1. Create a hashtag so the chat contributors can feedback at the end of your tweet chat and use that for your CPD
    1. Have your questions already written up in another document so you can just copy and past to your Twitter. It saves you having to type them again
    1. Be prepared to improvise or change your plan during the tweet chat
    1. If you usually multi-task very well in everything you do in life, forget about trying to do it while leading a tweet chat. Most definitely, it won’t work.
    1. In the hour after the tweet chat has finished go back to your notifications but do try and answer the ones you can see straight away during the chat
    1. The chat will not finish when it finishes. One hour after the tweet chat or even the following day, you will still be answering questions regarding the chat (or replying to your notifications)
    1. Write up the chat summary while everything is fresh in your mind, making notes/bullet points of what was discussed. It will save you having to go through the chat transcript.
    1. Promote the chat transcript and summary to your followers and Social Media accounts
    1. Be proud of what you have done and your contributions to nursing practice
  1. My learning was unique and so will yours

© Ismalia de Sousa, 2016