An Introduction to Twitter Chats

Today I’m sharing an introduction to Twitter chats—what they are and how they work. Twitter chats are like a large group text discussion. They happen on Twitter using tweets and people can have a conversation or a discussion by sharing their opinions and answering questions that the host puts out.

The basic structure of a Twitter Chat

  1. Twitter chats are scheduled reoccurring conversations that happen on a regular basis. Usually, they are scheduled at the same time every week or every month.
  2. There is usually a designated hashtag which makes the conversation easy to find. Hosts will have a specific Twitter chat hashtag to let people know about the discussion they’re hosting. Then often there will be a broader hashtag like #TwitterChat so that people can find the chat and use the search feature to do that. (When you go to the search feature on Twitter and you want to find Twitter chats, you can enter #TwitterChat and it will bring up all the latest comments and chats that are happening. And then you can decide whether you want to participate or not
  3. A host will pick a topic they want to discuss. Maybe it’s writing romance, or publishing, or maybe it’s starting a business. Maybe it is even as broad as entrepreneurship. Whatever the broad topic is, each time there’s a Twitter chat, the host will pick a smaller subtopic to discuss. So, if they’re talking about publishing, maybe they’ll talk about front matter one week, or maybe they’ll discuss how to upload a book to Amazon or how to get a traditional publishing contract. If they’re talking about entrepreneurship, maybe they will chat about setting up systems for your business or considerations around income tax.
  4. Twitter chats last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. There can be some great conversation, especially when somebody hosts these chats regularly and people know that they’re happening, and they plan to be there and to participate during that half hour or hour. I find that even after a chat is over, people will come in and still leave comments to the questions.

Questions for the Chat

Usually there’s anywhere from five to 15 questions that the host prepares ahead of time for the Twitter chat. So, like I said, there’s an overarching topic. Each week there’s a subtopic. Then each question breaks it down even further so that people can discuss the topic and give their input, their reaction, their comments, whatever they want to give for each question that is asked.

Invitations to the Chat

Hosts will often have a banner on their Twitter profile, or they will create a graphic or a meme to share in their tweets. They might mention people and invite them to the chat.

Posting the questions

Once the chat starts, the host will post the questions one at a time. If they are posting question number one, they’ll start the tweet with Q1 and then the question and the relevant hashtags.

Answering the questions

Those who participate in the Twitter chat will start their answer with A1 (when answering question 1) and then their answer. This makes it easy to find all the responses to the questions.

Benefits of Twitter chats

Twitter chats are a great way for people to hold a conversation where they can be doing something else, but also follow along the chat. It’s also a great way for hosts to ask questions, to get feedback from their community, and to help people learn about topics. There’s various chats about a broad range of topics. So if you’re interested in learning more about Twitter chats, I would encourage you to use the search feature, type #TwitterChat, and then go and participate in a few Twitter chats and see if it’s something that you want to try with your audience.

A word of encouragement

Don’t get discouraged if you try a Twitter chat and you don’t get a lot of buy-in to start with. Remember, there are millions of people on Twitter and Twitter is a very noisy place. There are millions of tweets going out every day, and it might take a while for people to find you and to understand that you are doing a chat on a regular basis. So don’t give up—keep advertising, keep trying, make sure that you’re consistent and try it for a few months. You can also ask your audience whether chats are something that work for them, or if they want you to try a different feature like Twitter spaces, where it’s audio and in real time.

Sometimes you don’t know if something will work for you and your audience until you try. Have you tried Twitter Chats? Tell us in the comments about your experiences.

If you want more tips about using Twitter effectively, purchase my book Twitter Decoded


  1. Tracy Krauss on July 15, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    This was very informative. I was wondering about Twitter chats but hadn’t found the time for it yet. This helps!

    • Ruth L. Snyder on July 15, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Tracy
      I’m glad you found the information helpful. Let me know if/when you decide to host a chat 😊

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