5 November, 2015

The Fairtrade America Guide to Twitter Chats

Photo by Riccardo Gangale. Computer lab in the Marinyn secondary school in the Finlays Tea Plantation in Kericho.
by Mary Linnell-Simmons

Fairtrade America now hosts a regular Twitter Chat to bring together people who love (or not!) Fairtrade. Curious to join but not quite sure? Whether you’re a twewbie or a twenius, this is the guide for you.

What is a Twitter Chat?

Think of a Twitter Chat as a party or an event that only takes place on Twitter. Anyone can join if they use the same hashtag (ours is #FairtradeChat). All messages are public and it’s a great way to talk about a single subject with others who care about it too, no matter where they are in the world. Check out our Events page to see when the next one is coming up.

Why should I join?

Do you ever wish you could have a really good discussion with someone who cares about the things that you do? Or a really good debate with someone who doesn’t? We do! Our Twitter Chats connect with Fairtrade supporters, businesses, NGOs, partners, farmers, workers and more all around the world…FOR FREE! What a great way to spend an hour with a cup of Fairtrade coffee.

How does it work?

Just like any event host, Fairtrade America will introduce ourselves, the Chat, and any special guests. Then we’ll ask about 6 to 10 questions to which you reply (remember to use the hashtag #FairtradeChat so we see it!) with your answer. So, for example we might ask: “Q2: What is your favorite Fairtrade product.” And you might reply: “A2: Definitely bananas – they’re my favorite food full stop!” After you answer the final question, we’ll thank you and everyone for participating.

How do I join?

Sign onto Twitter between 2 & 3pm ET on the day of the Chat. Start following the conversation (see next point) and join in by adding the hashtag #FairtradeChat to the end of every tweet. That way, all other participants will see it.

There are so many people - how do I follow it?!

Imagine you go to a party and there are 100 people in the room. There is a lot of talking going on all around you but you find someone really interesting and talk to them for all or some of the party. That’s like what a Twitter Chat is! On average, there are over 2,000 tweets in each of our Chats, so you won’t be able to read them all. The easiest way to follow both is to keep an eye on the Fairtrade America Twitter page for new questions and to do a search for #FairtradeChat to see others’ answers. If someone says something interesting, you can start a conversation with them until the next question is asked. Making new friends is encouraged.

What do I talk about?

Each Chat has a theme which will be announced in advance on our Events Page as well as on Twitter. Come to the Twitter Chat thinking about that theme (it could be chocolate, workers’ rights, gratitude – anything!) and ask your own questions too. If you have an idea for a theme, contact us and let us know.

But…I don’t have a Twitter account?

All Twitter accounts are free and you can sign up here. Twitter is a great way to follow breaking news, connect with businesses, ogle at celebrities, and share your thoughts on things you care about. Make sure you follow us on @FairtradeMarkUS!

…Did you say something about prizes?

Well – what’s a great party without a few goodies? We give out Fairtrade products, donated by the companies on this page, as prizes to a handful of lucky winners. The next one could be you!

Can I ask someone at Fairtrade America a question?

Sure! Send us an email to questions@fairtradeamerica.org and we'll happily lend a hand!

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