Next week we’re trying out a Twitter chat to help engage current attendees and help convince those who haven’t registered to consider coming to the DirectEmployers 2012 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM12). Since the concept of a Twitter chat may be a little new to some of you, I thought I’d explain how they work and how you can get the most from ours (as well as others!).

First, let’s clarify a couple of things:

What exactly is a Twitter chat?
It’s a public Twitter conversation around a unique hashtag that allows users to follow and participate in a discussion. There are several benefits to hosting one, such as growing your community, interacting with your fans and followers and promoting initiatives or your business.

Some popular Twitter chats in the HR arena include: #tchat, #talentnet, and #hfchat. (For more check out this post from

Now, let’s get started:

As the name implies, to participate, you need to have a Twitter account. If you don’t have one, just visit and fill out the form with your name, email and password to sign-up.

Next, to help make this Twitter chat easier, we set up a “room” using Simply go to:

You will need to authenticate Twitter to be able to tweet directly from here.

Once you have, you should be in the DEAM12 Twitter chat room, which will look something like this:

From here, much like an online chat room, simply type your message in the open field and click “update” box. The tweet should automatically include the #DEAM12 hashtag and will show up in the twitter stream (collection of tweets that have the #DEAM12 hashtag below). It may take a moment, so if you don’t see it right away, please don’t panic.

You may also want to adjust the settings through the buttons below the message box:

  • Pause is a good option if there are too many tweets and you need time to catch up.
  • Refresh Speed is somewhat similar. The conversation should auto refresh for you every 10 seconds, but you are welcome to adjust to be faster or slower.
  • User Control allows you to highlight or ignore participants. You may also block retweets in this area.
  • Toggle Font lets you increase the font size.

You certainly don’t have to use this option, but it’s great for beginners. If you’re already using a tool such as Hootsuite, that works too. Another option is to follow directly on Twitter as outlined below (personally, I have run into issues with time delay or not seeing all of the tweets with the hashtag):

Once you’ve logged in to Twitter, click on the “Discover” icon at the top of your screen.

Once on the page, you’ll see a field on the top right to enter a #hashtag or keyword. Enter our hashtag, #DEAM12, in this box.

Next, click on the magnifying glass icon. Tweets with the #DEAM12 hashtag will be displayed as follows:

Once you are in, you can dive into the conversation. For our first Twitter chat regarding DEAM12, we have some topics and questions outlined, but encourage all participants to chime in with questions, concerns and comments.

So that’s it – not so bad, right? Good, then you can register here:

If you can’t make it, we have a second #DEAM12 Twitter chat slated for Wednesday, 10/17 from 2:00-3:00pm EST. Stay tuned for more information. Should you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to email or call 317-874-9070.

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