It’s rare that I chat about social media on my blog – after all, there are several credible sites that focus on best practices, and while I’m immersed in social from morning to night, I would hardly call myself an “expert”. (I prefer the term “enthusiast”… but trust me, I’m not enthusiastic about everything. However, that’s like any job, no?)
Hence, I seldom break out of family/ food/ fashion/ beauty/ musings/ contest mode, but once in a while, I like to jump in on a hot topic or give my two cents’ worth.
(Although we technically don’t have cents in Canada anymore, so let’s call it my nickels’ worth.)
Today, it’s all about Twitter Parties – particularly, the etiquette of scheduling, RSVP’ing and winning prizes at a Twitter Party.
First, let’s chat about scheduling. When Canadian twitter parties are scheduled, every effort is made to ensure that another Twitter Party is not being held at the same time. E-mails are sent; I give the heads up to brands who often throw Twitter Parties, and as a courtesy, I search Twitter for the terms ” Twitter Party” and the exact date I am looking to host one. If everything is clear, I then instruct our moderators to send out “Save the Date” tweets (I’m sure you’ve come across these if you’re active on Twitter). This is to further give others the heads up about our party while we are in the planning stage.
Translation: If two Twitter Parties end up on the same day at the same time, it wasn’t me.
Unfortunately, the courtesy my team extends to others is not always reciprocated, and once in a while, we’ll have more than one Twitter Party happening at the same time.
Do I take it personally? Nope. The double booking is rarely malicious. Often, the other person simply didn’t realize that there was another party going on, and sometimes, even if they do their homework, they can miss the announcement. In which case, there’s nothing to do but change the party time or plow ahead. And plowing ahead is usually the preferred option.
2. RSVPing for Twitter Parties
Okay, let’s chat about RSVPs next. The purpose of the RSVP is to indicate your interest in attending the party, and it also serves as our list for drawing prizes. So, if your name is on the list, and you have attended the party (which is always double checked), consider that your entry into the draw. We randomly select names, check for participation, and then announce our winner.
However, here’s the second time etiquette comes into play. I do realize with Twitter Parties – and any “virtual party” for that matter – the beauty is that you DON’T have to physically be in one location at a time, and that’s why it’s easy to party hop. And that’s completely okay, and up to you! However, I always encourage my party attendees to choose a party and stick with it. In everyday life, you would never attend one party, while checking your phone all night to see what’s happening at the other one, right? If you have indicated your interest in attending a party via RSVP, then it’s not unreasonable to expect that you should simply stick with the party you originally committed to attending. Again, it’s up to you – and if you have a valid interest in both parties, then party on!
(Of course, not every in-real-life party gives away amazing prizes; hence, I do understand the fascination with party-hopping.)
3. Winning Prizes
One of my favourite parts about the Twitter Party is the ability to give out prizes. It’s such a joy to see the community rally together and congratulate the winners! The excitement is contagious and I love rewarding party goers for taking the time to participate and share our discussion. And I do have a tip – a very valuable tip…
If you are a Canadian participating in Twitter Parties, please ensure that your Twitter profile indicates that you are located in Canada. The truth is, if I pull a winner’s name from the RSVP list and his/her Twitter profile does not display their location, I often must re-draw. Why? Because Twitter Parties are fast-paced, and people from all over the world jump in to participate. If I draw a non-Canadian resident, it wastes time and the efforts of all the partiers who are kind enough to congratulate the winners. (Even if you’ve partied with me before, unfortunately, I can’t assume you’re Canadian by association.) So, take a quick look at your Twitter profile and make sure you’ve listed your city and/or country of residence.
Finally, I’m so sad to report that there has been a growing trend of dishonesty when it comes to claiming prizes. Although for the most part, Twitter Partiers are gracious and truthful, there is a small percentage of people who try to claim prizes that have been awarded to others. See below.
Is your name Paula McNutt, Crystal McNutt or Janice Rogers? You’re doing a disservice to everyone by trying to claim that you own a Twitter handle that just happened to win on my last party. I’ve deleted the correct owner’s information, but you can clearly see how awkward it is to have two people trying to claim one prize. It means that I have to contact the Twitter owner and ask them for their name and location, so we can determine who is the Real Slim Shady, so to speak. Yes, it’s extra work for me, but it affects all of you – if brands continue to see corrupt activity surrounding prizing, it impacts the frequency and value of prizes that are given out.
(The impostor(s) did fill out their mailing address and contact phone number – perhaps a personal reprimand is in order? Sigh.)
Anyhoo, that’s all I’ve got for today. With the absence of Tweetgrid, Diana from Toronto Teacher Mom put together this fab tutorial on How to Use Tweetdeck for Twitter Parties. Take a peek! And, hope to see you at our next Twitter Party!