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The Benefits of Live Twitter Chats

By Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
The Political Social Worker

From time to time you may have noticed articles on this blog about Social Work Chats by Social Work Helper.  Hopefully a few of you have had the opportunity to participate in these weekly live Twitter chats.  For those of you who have not you should really give it a try as there are many benefits to doing so.

Joining a Twitter chat is a great way to:

  • Network: Chats provide a covenant opportunity for you to meet others in your profession.  Because it is online location doesn’t matter.  You may find yourself meeting a social worker who resides in another state or who lives half way around the world.  This can open the door to fruitful collaborations.
  • Educational: Twitter chats can be a learning tool. Some chats will feature special guest who will discuss a particular topic.  You may also learn from other participants.
  • Establishing Credibility: Joining a chat can help you to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area.  By engaging in the conversation you are able to show what you know.  This can help you to gain followers which could lead to increase traffic on your blog, job opportunities, etc.

Social Work Chats is not the only regularly scheduled Twitter Chat.  There are a number of discussions that cover a wide range of topics happening all the time.  You can find chats that may be of interest to you by visiting The Chat Diary.

Chats will use a particular hashtag for all their chats.  This enables participants to follow the conversation.  Social Work Chats by Social Work Helper uses the hashtag #swunited.  So every Thursday at 8PM EST those wanting to join the chat will include #swunited in all their tweets related to the discussion.

A Few More Words on using Twitter to Build Your Career

If you are planning to use Twitter as a way to build your career or business it is best to have multiple accounts; one that you use for entertainment and interacting with friends and one for professional networking. Furthermore make sure you pick a nice photo and fill out your profile.  Also add a link to your professional website or blog in your profile.  This will help followers to find out more about who you are as a professional and will also help increase traffic to your site.  You should consider having your blog articles post directly to Twitter when published.  This will help your articles reach a wider audience.

I also suggest that you make your professional Twitter account open so anyone can follow and retweet your tweets.  If you are using a social networking site to establish your career or build a business it makes no sense to lockdown your account.  The whole point is to make it easy for people to find and contact you.


Have you participated in live Twitter chat? Do you use Twitter to build your brand or open up new opportunities?

I provide consultation to helping professionals and organizations on using social media.  If you are interested in learning more you can email me at rwest@politicalsocialworker.org or call me at (631) 615-1709.

photo credit: ~Ilse via photopin cc

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.


  1. Rachel,
    Tweet chats are awesome. Here are some other social work related tweets chats. I would love to see some more of a social work presence. Sundays are #mhpchat (mental health professional chat) at 7:00est. Then #SPSM (Suicide Prevention and Social Media)- a vibrant/passionate group with also a good sense of humor. Great resources every week. this takes place every Sunday evening 10 est. it is a great hashtag follow. Tuesdays I participate in two #HCLDR (Healthcare Leadership) social work and health care are merging and a lot of great discussion about the latest healthcare innovations (8:30 est). Right after that is #MEDPSYCH 9:30 they have the mission of #wholepersonhealthcare. Sharing resources and conversations about promoting “brain health”. Of Course Thursday is #MACROSW.

    One that I found that may be of interest to social work is #grantchat (12pm Tuesdays). I have “met” a lot of amazing people to network with and share resources. A lot of resources I share on my blog and on social work helper are a direct result of tweet chats.


  1. How to participate in a Live Twitter Chat – Tips for Social Workers | Teaching & Learning in Social Work

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