Emma’s Discovery: Tweetchats

It’s all in a day’s work or in this case, evening work. Part of my job is talking to people with multiple sclerosis (MS), health care professionals and others about a range of topics from work to medication to the health services. And all the while, making it interesting and useful.

The European MS Platform held a chat on #MSWorkability* last week and it was a busy night facilitating, answering, engaging and listening.

Emma’s Discovery: Tweetchats

  • Publicity: Let people know but don’t leave too much time. Maximum one week’s notice. Use Graphics/images that show all the details, (time, date, logos, partners, facilitators, the hashtag).
  • Partners: Bring people with you. We worked with The Work Foundation and Shift.ms to highlight the project and to reach a broader audience.
  • Timing: Evening-time is outside of general work hours and if we’re to engage MSers/people at work (staying in the right work is our hope for everyone!)
  • Evening: 21:30CET worked very well for EMSP on the #MSWorkability chat in particular).
  • Questions: Have three/four questions per hour with a couple of backups for when/if the conversation slows.
  • Connection: Make sure your connection is fast and reloading to keep up with the exchanges. If you’ve let people know, expect people to engage.
  • FOMO: You don’t have to respond to every single tweet as conversations strike up without you as facilitator but you do need to stay on top of everything and have understanding of what direction discussions are going.
  • Authenticity inspires: people will use personal narratives that can be really personal. Acknowledge, respect and engage with a view to coming back to them later if they shared a very difficult experience.
  • Measure- Tweetreach is a very useful tool for a rough estimate and will help you understand where your words have landed (https://tweetreach.com/).
  • Follow-up- We have planned a Takeover for the start of Brain Awareness Week (12th & 13th March) which will allow us to follow up with people on the topics discussed. While the reach may have been large, it is the follow-up that will hold people’s attention and really build on the relationship.
  • It’s all we have! The time passes so enjoy the conversation.

Please tell me about your experiences because I know there are better ways to do a chat. There were times when I was snowed under and know there’s always room to improve.

*This is a mouth-full but the premise is that work (Workability, supporting people to stay in employment) would become a priority outcome of the clinical care of people with MS. We had a very good conversation with a whole range of issues coming up.


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