Charlene’s ‘First Steps’ to creating #beechat

When the lovely John asked me if I would like to guest post on his blog in the beginning of 2017 it was an offer I could not refuse. I have done many collaborations with John in the past and he has been a significant part of my own #beechat community on Twitter over the past year and it is always an honour to work with him. So I want to start off by thanking John for the opportunity to appear on his blog once again!

I’m going to focus this post solely on how I started my own #beechat community on Twitter as part of John’s First Steps series on his blog. I want to try and encourage others not to be scared to try something new and not to be scared of failure – you never know unless you try – which is what I done.

On the 21st of April 2016 I decided that I wanted to create my own Twitter Chat (which is a question and answer format for individuals to get involved in to meet new people, discuss different topics and to increase following on social media and other platforms). I’d been involved in maybe one or two twitter chats myself and fancied hosting one of my own. I was unsure how it would pan out or if it would even be successful – but I just went for it anyway. What did I have to lose?

I think I had roughly 10 people involved in the first ever #beechat and the topic was all about pizza. The following chat I had 16 people, then 25, then 34 and the numbers just increased and increased every single week. I host #beechat twice a week – every week – and cover just about everything varying in different topics and subjects constantly. On a Monday at 5pm-6pm (GMT) & Thursday 9pm-10pm (GMT). #Beechat now has a following of 2,200+ and an absolutely wonderful, supportive and encouraging community with whom I keep in touch with on a regular basis.

I also introduced a snail mail campaign to #beechat in which individuals can write letters to one another and become pen pals (the old fashioned way) on a regular basis. There are over 100 of us involved in this now and it keeps growing and growing. I never imagined it would be so popular and it’s just so overwhelming!

snail-mail

#Beechat is also a retweet account and many users on different platforms use this hashtag for recognition, likes and publicity which also makes me feel an incredible sense of pride!

I receive many messages from people asking me how to go about starting a twitter chat and what sort of planning you need to do and all that jazz; if I were to be 100% I would say just make a hashtag that you think will work (keep it short and sweet) and just go for it. Don’t over think it. Wing it. See how it goes and take it from there. Believe in yourself and just go for it. It may not be big at first but with all things – it will become better in time. Practice makes perfect. Perhaps ask other twitter chat hosts if you could host on their chat for a bit of experience beforehand if you want to see if it’s definitely for you and something you could commit yourself to doing regularly. I am always open to guest bloggers and don’t mind people taking over from time to time – if you’re interested just drop me a message on twitter (@blogabtnothing1) or email me at charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com

Honestly, the first steps are the hardest, but once you have come out of your shell and took those steps: You will be amazed at what you can achieve.

I have loved sharing my experience on how I started #beechat – there really wasn’t much to it guys – but that’s exactly how it happened. Everything just fell in to place for me. It is very demanding to host a chat twice a week, upkeep the snail mail and retweet account & to run my own blog too and everything that comes with it! (As well as working, studying and doing everyday things) but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The people I have met through my own community are a blessing. #beechat also trended on twitter in 2016 and I felt profoundly proud and it is a moment I will never forget.

Birthday cake.jpg-large.jpg

Thank you all so much for taking time to read about my first steps in to creating the #beechat community and for those of you who do participate in anything I mentioned above: God bless you and I am eternally grateful to you for making it what it is today.

Lots of love

Charlene McElhinney

http://www.charlenemcelhinney.co.uk

TWITTER: @blogabtnothing1

YOUTUBE/INSTAGRAM: charlenemcelhinney

Email: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com

SNAPCHAT: TheMcElhiester

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