witter Tip TuesdayTwitter Tip Tuesday is a new weekly blog series from Sprout Social: Insights.

Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip: Join a Twitter Chat

One of the most common things that happens after a someone signs up for a Twitter account is the feeling of “What Now?” Often, users new to Twitter are unsure who to follow and may find it difficult to start a conversation with complete strangers.

Enter the Twitter Chat.

What Is a Twitter Chat?

Twitter Chats are basically Twitter conversations already in progress that center around just about any topic you can think of. In fact, some of the Twitter Chats have no specific topic at all – they are more focused on conversation between participants than any one topic in particular.

You can join in on these conversations anytime – you don’t need to be a ‘member’, you don’t need an invitation. And you don’t need to be following any of the participants in order to see and interact with their tweets.

How do you Join a Twitter Chat?

The next best thing to finding out about Twitter Chats is discovering how easy they are are to join.

All Twitter Chats use a “hashtag” – that’s the ‘#’ symbol – in front of a keyword.

#Usguys Twitter Chat For example, a popular Twitter Chat where all topics are open to discussion, goes simply by the name of #Usguys.

Now before you jump to conclusions about some male dominated secret society on Twitter, the #Usguys Twitter Chat is a funny, friendly, smart and lively conversation open to everybody – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (and most probably 365 days a year!).

Anyone interested in chatting with a group of engaging, interesting folks in a real time, multi-threaded conversation can simply include the hashtag ‘#Usguys’ anywhere in their Tweet.

People who are already familiar with the #Usguys hashtag can then use Twitter Search, Twitter Lists, or a Social Media CRM Tool to search for tweets containing the hashtag #Usguys and Voila! you are now an official Twitter Chatter!

What do I chat about?

Anything you like.

But be warned. #Usguys is a vibrant, incredibly fast moving Twitter community that polices itself. Drop spammy links in the chat and you’ll be publicly chastised in a hurry. Conversely, if your conversation is worth its salt, you’ll find an audience ready to click your links, retweet your best stuff and welcome you into what may very well be the newest frontier in the Twitter community!

What are the Benefits of Joining a Twitter Chat?

Here are just a few of the benefits of joining a Twitter Chat:

  • Meet new people
  • Interesting, fast moving conversations
  • Find a new and receptive audience for your content
  • All of the above – without ever having to worry about follower or followee counts.

Just engage and you’ll see for yourself!

Other Twitter Chats you Might Be Interested In

If you’re interested in joining a Twitter Chat but you’re still not sure where you’d like to start, why not check out over 270 Twitter Chats in this Twitter Chat Directory.

Here you’ll find the hashtags, as well as days and times that various Twitter Chats take place. So the next time you see a funny sounding hashtag in someone’s tweet you’ll be ready to jump right in the conversation!

What do you say?

Know of any other Twitter Chats where everybody knows your name? Drop an invite or a link in the comments below and you could be featured on the next Fan Friday post.