This Friday, February 20th, from 12-1pm CT, @AHIMAResources will host their second Information Governance Twitter Chat, using #IGNow, in honor of IG Awareness Month.
Last year’s #IGNow Twitter Chat was not only the inaugural chat session on this topical subject for AHIMA, but it was my first exposure to the addicting, adrenaline rush of a Tweet Chat. In a blog I authored last year titled, “AHIMA’s 2014 Information Governance Twitter Chat: Preparing Like and Olympic Athlete“, I joked about the physical training (neck rolls and finger bends) and mental preparation required to participate in a chat session. Now as a seasoned pro, I can honestly say that the level of preparation I discussed wasn’t too far off the mark. So, with that, let me share some additional advice:
Physical Preparation: Trust me. After a one-hour Twitter Chat you’ll definitely feel like you’ve run a marathon. So, before you get started, make sure you’ve had something to eat, have water nearby, wear comfortable clothes and sit in a comfy chair. I’d also recommend you get set up on a Social Media Management System to make it easier to engage in the discussion. My preference is HootSuite™, but there are plenty of others to choose from. Make sure you log in before the session and set up a stream to follow the hashtag (#IGNow). Be sure to use this hashtag each time you tweet, or you won’t be included in the discussion stream. And, when you answer one of the questions, be sure to tag your response with ‘A’, followed by the question number. This way folks have an easy way to follow which question you’re responding to.
Mental Preparation: Just as important is your mental preparation. I found what works best is to pre-plan a few tweets , particularly when the questions or topics are revealed in advance -and have them on a separate spreadsheet that you can copy and paste from. This way, you’ve mapped out those ideas that you’d like to communicate and you ensure you can do this within the constraints of 140 characters – not always an easy feat. And, while it’s good to do some preparation, don’t overdo it. What makes the chat so fun is interacting with others, so just let those juices flow.
To me, the most successful Twitter Chats are those where the hosts put in a lot of effort preparing for the event, from pre-promoting the session, to drafting thoughtful questions that will provoke interaction to a post-event summary that nicely captures the topics and key tweets. Here’s a great example from a recent Iron Mountain Healthcare IG Twitter Chat (#InfoTalk Twitter Chat). I’d love to see more AHIMA members get engaged, as the level of industry experts and vendor participation is already pretty high and we need their unique perspective to balance things out.
As IG grows in importance so too should the use of Social Media to proliferate information and share key learnings and best practices. I’m looking forward to Friday’s #IGNow Twitter Chat, and I hope you are too!