The Importance of Twitter Chats

I recently started getting involved in Twitter chats about a month ago, and I pretty much dived in head first not really knowing what to expect. The first few I remember just sitting back and watching my Twitter feed (under specific chats) just flood in with multiple tweets per second. Didn’t say much but rather watched the process of it all, who was heading it, what kind of responses were coming in and the unique interactions that were taking place. It didn’t take long for me to learn a few of the specifics and eventually start getting invited to other chats taking place throughout the week. I’d still consider myself a newbie as I’m learning something new every chat I “attend” – but for all those others out there who have yet to get involved I’ll start you off with a few beginner tips. If you’re a twitter chat pro please feel free to comment and pass some tips on my way!

1.¬†Use www.TweetChat.com – type in the chat you’re attending at the top, this is a constant feed of tweets from that specific chat only. You don’t even need to add the hashtag at the end of your tweet, it already does it for you!

2. Download the Classic Retweet if you haven’t done so already, makes retweeting a breeze (note: there are different ones for Chrome & Firefox, etc).

3. Follow the people you’re interacting with, a majority of them have great future insight to PR, Social Media and Marketing – things your interested in. And they usually always respond with a mention or a follow back. I gain about 10+ new followers from every chat – you’ll eventually start recognizing their faces from other chats too.

4. After engaging in conversation with these people, send them a personal mention or message outside of the chat asking if they want to connect on LinkedIn. I’ve had multiple people even offer me recommendations or suggestions for places looking to hire. Twitter chats are a GREAT place to connect with people in your area of business.

5. After the chat is complete, send out a Tweet expressing a note of thanks to the person(s) who headed the chat, asked all the questions and provided some great answers. Even a tweet of thanks mentioning 5 or 10 new connections you made always helps to put a smile on their face. People like to be recognized, there’s no doubting that.

6. Each chat is usually only an hour long, with an average of 6 questions – trust me it’s worth your time and the connections made. It’s even possible to participate while having the Bachelor on in the background. ūüėČ

Here’s a list of different chats I’ve taken place in over the past few weeks on a nightly basis that you may be interested in (central time):

Monday: #InternPro at 8:00pm, #JobHuntChat at 9:00pm

Tuesday: #LeadershipChat at 7:00pm, #LinkedInChat at 7:00pm, #GetRealChat at 8:00pm and #SMManners at 9:00pm

Wednesday: #GenYChat at 8:00pm, #ToolsChat at 9:00pm

Thursday: #b2bchat at 7:00pm, #MediaChat at 8:00pm

Sunday: #BlogChat at 8:00pm

Gratitude Journal… yes I’m actually doing it.

This weekend’s reading in Simple Abundance suggests that I start a “gratitude journal.” At first I nearly skimmed over this day’s reading as this is not normally something I would consider doing. However, I continued reading and within 10 minutes I had found a blank notebook that a friend of mine had given me and began writing down things I was grateful for that day.

I know my previous post touched on this a little, but I never thought I’d actually take the time each day to write down a few things I was thankful for. It wasn’t until after reading this that I realized how many little things go unnoticed – that truly are important to me. For example yesterday I just jotted down how thankful I was to have my ‘other, better half of me,’ my best friend visit me in Chicago this weekend, and another new friendship that was in the making and the fact that my car finally sold this weekend after trying to sell it for the past 6 months. So as you can see it’s not the big things in life that matter the most, sometimes it’s the smallest things, things you are almost unaware of until you sit down and take time to reflect on the happenings around you.

The author states ‘the more you have and the more you are grateful for, the more you will be given. Two months from now you will be a different person after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists¬†in your life.’ – I couldn’t agree more. How this simple book, with just a few paragraphs of reading each morning is giving me so much inspiration, I have no idea – but so far I am loving it! If your inspired by this post, I recommend finding an unused notebook lying around in your house and accept the same challenge I’m taking on. Take just 5 minutes before you go to bed each night and jot down some of the things you are most grateful for from that day.

My notebook of choice ūüôā

Friday the 13th

In my most recent post I mentioned that I had just started reading a “daily” book called Simple Abundance. I decided to write this post based off of last Friday the 13th’s reading because the message¬†paralleled¬†my current place in life so well, a perfect fit. It was titled “Gratitude: Awakening the Heart.”

In summary, the author reveals her constant desire and want for items that she could never afford, a sense of greed. The more she focused on these things the more depressed she became. It got to the point where she was physically and emotionally exhausted from concentrating on them. As soon as she came to the realization that she was torturing herself with these desires and¬†unnecessary¬†needs, she “surrendered her desire for security and sought serenity instead” and decided to give thanks to areas in her life where she was completely satisfied.

This is when I started relating it all to my life. The past few months have been a huge adjustment for any normal person my age – recent graduate, the move to a big city, searching for that ‘big girl’ job, leaving my best friends and family back home AND then to top it all off I hit the most stressful part 4 months after settling in Chicago – financial insecurity <– worst feeling in the world, might I add!! I struggled with the same issue the author spoke of; I focused all my attention on the negative things going on rather than being grateful and aware of all the positive things in my life.

My health, a wonderful loving mother and family, my amazing supportive friends, a great apartment in a thriving and beautiful city, cherishable and unique memories of my dad, my skills and talents and all the opportunities I’ve been given.. the list goes on with things that I am more than thankful for. It doesn’t matter how awareness comes about. All that matters is that you’re aware – and from there the author experienced an overwhelming amount of¬†gratefulness. You begin to notice and appreciate the smallest gifts in life.

And she leaves off with a few things for you to think about: Be open to exchanging your need for emotional and financial security for your serenity. Open “the eyes of your eyes.” Are your basic needs met? Do you have a home, food, clothes, a paycheck, good health? Can you walk, talk and see the beautiful world around you? The list goes on… so with that I feel I have passed along her message as best as I could, hopefully it has the same positive impact on yourself as it did for me. What are you grateful for today?

“Destiny is made known silently.” – Agnes de Mille

Take Time to Get Inspired

In the frenzy of our everyday lives – it seems we never let 10 minutes go by without checking our phone or computers. Waiting for texts, emails, missed calls, Instagram and Word With Friends updates and countless hours browsing sites like Pinterest (my new obsession), all seem to have forced us to be so wrapped up in our work and social world that it’s really difficult to find time for yourself. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m half tempted to delete my Words With Friends just so I can enjoy the last 20 minutes of my day before I fall asleep collecting my thoughts. Instead, I’m making moves on the 10 games I’m currently playing with my friends, it’s pathetic.

So another habit I’m trying to make for myself – is to avoid engaging in some of these useless games and sites on my phone, in order to allow more “me time.” My mom bought me a few books for Christmas which after opening, were followed by the “oh sweet, thanks mom” thought process in my head – but I’m actually going to start devoting some time in the morning when I wake up and the last half hour before I go to sleep, reading them.¬†I just recently finished reading¬†Dave Ramsey’s: Entreleadership, a book that my mom and step dad gave to me. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed it and walked into work everyday excited to share something new I had read about with my colleagues. Highly recommended! As of January 1st, I just started reading Simple Abundance, which has a short reading for each morning – so far, so good I’ve allotted 5 minutes after I wake up to read each day’s message. Another thing I’m doing with each’s day’s reading is jotting down anything important that happened that day. At the start of every year I plan to re-read this book, going through each day and looking back at what I accomplished the year prior or what things were happening – kind of a like a diary ūüôā

I find that when I’m not distracted by TV, my phone or my computer, I come up with great thoughts and ideas – I become INSPIRED. Although, a lot of my thought processes and inspiration leads to things I eventually want to write a blog post about – ¬†in the end takes me right back to my computer. However, I find that I can easily justify this because in all actuality it’s helping me to create a brand for myself and potentially my future. Do you have a certain time each day where you allot it to yourself and not work? If so, what do you spend it doing?