A Twitter Party is a social media event hosted by an individual, group of individuals or organization to raise awareness about a particular issue or set of issues. The Twitter Party could be generated around an event (Africa Day, Africa Human Rights Day, International Human Rights Day or any other significant event).
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Twitter is a great way to spread the word about what AU Watch is doing to help transform Africa. The platform has been critical for raising awareness about many social justice issues in Africa, including a call to raise money to feed all children in schools. Twitter can be used to raise critical issues, locate like-minded people and organizations and share lessons and successes.
So, how does a Twitter Party work?
There are many ways to have a Twitter Party. However, it helps to have a clearly identified theme, message and set of questions to engage users. Twitter parties are interactive, fast-paced, exciting and passionate about generating new solutions and strategies for existing issues.
1. Decide on the theme and questions to stimulate discussion.
2. Ask, So What? What makes this issue urgent? Why should we care? Conduct research online for statistics, evidence, quotes and personal stories connected to this issue.
3. Create a title, 1-2 sentence description and hashtag for the topic (also provide the Twitter handle you will operate the party). Set a date for the online party. Share this information with all social media and email networks, encouraging all to pass the information on to others who will be interested in joining. Make an e-flyer to go with the event information since visuals help to spread the word faster than text alone.
4. Remind your networks closer to the date of the event. Twitter parties generally last for 1-2 hours. Start and end the event on time, as advertised. It might be helpful to have a Twitter panel of experts as a way to generate discussion. Also have a set of questions ready to keep the conversation lively. Encourage participants to use the hashtag associated with the event and to retweet others as a way of magnifying the discussion to other Twitter users.
5. Share your tweets, photos and videos with AU Watch DF (@auwatch) so we can also take part in the conversation and share with our networks.