How to Host a Twitter Party

by Jeanne Benedict

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I’m a hooked on Twitter and now after attending many Twitter Parties, I really enjoy the hashtag typing blitz for an hour or so that is basically what this on line event is all about! 

For those who have heard about this social media phenomenon called “Twitter” but still don’t quite know what it is here goes:  Twitter is a social media website where users type a 140 character or less phrase that goes out via a feed and shows up on pages as a stream of real time line items or “Tweets.”

A Twitter Party is a way of connecting on line at a virtual party of Tweets that all contain a hashtagged phrase — for example #JeannesTwitterParty — which allows everyone’s Tweets to show up on the same page.  Twitter parties are a great way to connect with like-minded Tweeps and have become a popular way for brands to market their products as well! 

Host your own Twitter Party with the help of these tips!

 Organizing a Twitter Party

  • One of the first things you’ll need to do when organizing a Twitter Party is pick a hashtag address, such as #JeannesTwitterParty, and that’s basically where the Twitter Party happens. 
  • To see how this works, look at the info column on your Twitter page under “Trending Topics.” Click on one of the hashtagged phrases or words and you’ll go to the page where everyone’s Tweets with that phrase or word will appear.
  • Simply choose a hashtag phrase or word and test it out to make sure no one else is using it. Type # before your phrase or word in the search box located in the info column on your home page and see what comes up to figure out what your phrase or word should be. (At the time of writing this article, the hashtag designation is a community-based feature, however it could become an official Twitter attribute in the future.)

Party Over Here!

  •  For most Twitter Parties, there is an “invitation page” on a website that fills in the details about the party.
  • Set up your Twitter #hashtag and invitation page and get the party started by Tweeting the #hashtag and the URL of the invite page a couple of weeks before the Twitter Party!
  • Here’s a sample invite for your Twitter Party:



 Join us for an evening of wine tasting on line. We’ll taste and tweet about some of our favorite vintages and giveaway a bottle from a top Napa Valley winemaker!

DATE: Friday, May 21, 2010

 TIME: 6pm – 8pm PST

 HASHTAG: #JeannesWineTastingParty

 PRIZE: A Fine Bottle of Wine*. The winner will be chosen at random from the attendee Tweeters.

 RSVP: URL of the Invitation Page or Website or a Party Host’s Twitter Username.


We’ll be choosing our wine list based on suggestions from fellow Tweeters.  Share your favorite wines by replying to @JeanneBenedict or Tweet them with the #WineTastingParty.  Follow our #WineTastingParty conversation for more details and send a Tweet to @JeanneBenedict if you have any questions!

 *Be sure to disclose any in-kind donations or even payment you may be receiving as a result of promoting a brand, company, or group through on line avenues as per FTC Guidelines.  One way of doing this is by putting a “Sponsored by” or “In partnership with” mention at the bottom of the invite. You should also check out the guidelines for on line giveaways just to be on the safe side.

Twitter Terms and Tips

 Don’t be intimidated if this is your first time to the Tweet dance. Seriously, how hard can typing 140 characters be? This list of common words, abbreviations, and actions will help acquaint you with some of Twitter’s virtual vernacular and basics.

Twitter Terms

  • @Username – Using the @ sign before a Twitter username will reply directly to that person and show up in a sorted list of feeds. It’s a great way to get someone’s attention amid the sea of feeds that are on one’s home page. To access it on your account and see who mentioned or replied to you, click on the @Username link in the info column on your Twitter home page.
  • # or Hashtag – The # symbol or hashtag is another way people sort information on Twitter and have group conversations via feeds where the # is used. For example, if you wanted to see the Tweets for a #WineTastingParty, you would type in #WineTastingParty in the search box located in the info column on your home page.  
  • DM or Direct Message – This is a private message sent only to a Twitter user (similar to email). A person must be following you in order for you to send them a direct message. Too many of the same DM message, especially if you are promoting something is considered to be spam and you could be blocked. 
  •  Follower – A Twitter user who has chosen to follow you and your feeds will show up on their home page.  
  • Following – A Twitter person that you have chosen to follow and their feeds will show up on your home page.
  • RT or Retweet – When you Tweet what someone else has Tweeted to reply to them or promote something for them you are Retweeting. You can simply use the RT icon located on the bottom right corner of a message or you can copy and paste their Tweet into your top Twitter box to add your own message such as “I’ll be there! RT @username You’re invited to a #WineTastingParty!”  
  •  Tweet – A noun meaning the 140 or less Twitter message a person types in or a verb meaning the action of typing the message.
  • Username – Your Twitter name

Twitter Tips

  • – A website that condenses long URLs into 26 characters so a Tweeter can maximize their message and character usage on Twitter.
  •  Tweet Smart and Short! – Make it easy for people to Retweet your entire message by keeping your Tweet at about 120 characters. This will allow another user to add a personal comment when they Retweet your message.
  • Think “License Plate Lexicon” – Popular on car license plates, acronyms are used for words to keep the character count down on Twitter, such as “Gr8t” for “great.” Here’s a list of common acronyms from the IM guy at
  • Enlist the Help of Tweeters with Lots of Twitter Followers to Hype Your Party– Send an @Username Tweet to a person with tons of followers to see if they’ll help host or hype your party. Seek out people that have a shared interest in your party theme. Be polite: Send only 1 tweet and if they don’t respond leave it at that. (You don’t want to be blocked or seen as a spammer.)
  • Tweetreach – a website called Tweetreach that calculates how many people your Twitter Party reached. You get a little taste of your reach for free and then a full report for a price.  (They seem to calculate the number of followers each person that attended your Twitter Party has by the number of Tweets that person did which included your party’s hashtag. So a person with 100 followers that tweeted 10 times with your hashtag would count for a “reach” of 1,000.) FYI: It’s a great tool for Twitter Party hosts to provide metrics to a brand should they want to make a business out of it. 
  • Attending a Twitter Party – there are Twitter apps in the on line universe that make this process easy, but quite frankly when I attend a Twitter party I simply open 2 windows in my browser: 1) My Twitter home page that I continually Tweet responses and comments and paste the Twitter Party hashtag in 2) The hashtag page so I can see the real time results of others at the party and respond to them or answer questions to win a prize! 

 Twitter Party Ideas 

Twitter Parties are all about sparking conversation and sharing ideas from a Twitter Wine Tasting to a Mom’s Night Out on line! Bottom line, this party can be about any thing you like. Have a great idea? Tweet it and get the Twitter Party started!

Twitter Wine Tasting

  •  Host a wine tasting party as outlined in this article.
  • Consider getting a winery on board to donate a bottle. 
  • Find Tweeps or companies on Twitter that are also into wine!

Twitter Book Party

  • Host a weekly book party (just like a book club), where Tweeters discuss their favorite book.
  • See if the author or publisher of the book is on Twitter and wants to contribute to the discussion.
  • Keep the conversation going on Twitter as you read chapters of the book and hit interesting plot points.
  • Try to offer a signed copy of the book by the author as a Twitter Party giveaway.

Twitter Mom’s Night Out

  •  Take the Momversation off the playground and online! Mom-focused Twitter parties are very popular where conversation topics can range from kids to “approved by mom” products to dads, and much more.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your Twitter Party hashtag and details if it is food, wine, or mom-related stuff. (Nothing naughty!). 

A version of this article was originally written by Jeanne Benedict as the Lifestyle Party Expert and Contributing Editor for

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