Tonight, I hosted my very first Twitter party. I’d been wanting to try my hand at being part of this ever-growing trend, and then my friend, Dicy McCullough, published her most recent children’s book, Tired of Being a Bully. Having fallen victim to multiple forms of bullying in my life, I thought that the conversation of bullying would be a great topic for a Twitter party. I was right.

The party ended up trending. And as Dr. Ron Graham (co-author of No Such Thing as a Bully) suggested, this was how I, too, felt when I found out that our hashtag, #bullynomore, was trending:

And just to add to the happy of trending, here’s a picture from my computer screen to show that we were, indeed, trending in the US:

trending

This was no easy feat, especially considering that I had only ever attended a Twitter party and never actually held one. So, I offer my tips to keep you sane while hosting your very own Twitter party:

1. Choose a hashtag that is applicable yet short and memorable. I went with #bullynomore (thank you @gfunkified).

2. Enlist the help of like-minded friends. (Thank you Aries Mommy, Just Jeanae, G*Funk*ified, Importance of Being Reese, To Hab and to Hold)

3. Find an expert or two. I was lucky enough to have experts Dr. G (Dr. Deborah Gilboa) and Kelly Karius to be on our panel. We even were lucky enough to have Dr. Ron Graham join us in the conversation.

4. Write your questions ahead of time. I had all my question tweets created and ready to go. In the middle of the party, I did rearrange them based on the conversation my attendees were having.

5. Have someone help you pull winners. I enlisted the help of another blogger to pull winners using Random.org to generate the numbers. We also made sure to have screenshots for any future questions about how/why someone won. Having another person help with this small task actually saved me a LOT of work and confusion. (Thanks here to @thebizymommy for this tip.)

6. Set up a TweetGrid for your party and share this. I used bit.ly to make the link for the Tweetgrid more accessible. (I also used bit.ly to create my RSVP link from my blog as well as the form my winners would fill out.)

7. Pre-write your prize tweets. I had all of the winning tweets pre-written. All I had to do was fill in Twitter handles as we went. This saved me enormous amounts of time!

8. When the Twitter party is over, use Storify to archive and share out the entire conversation. Super handy! (And thanks to @growmap for this tip.)

9. Then, use TweetReach to determine how many people you reached. Check mine out! (Thanks, again, to @growmap for this one!)

tweetreach

42,000+ accounts reached!? Say what!?

10. Have fun. Seriously – have fun with it. I didn’t stress out and even ate ice cream while it was all happening. Why? Because I was prepared.

Have you ever hosted a Twitter party? Did I leave out any good advice? Share with me!

Thanks again to all who helped out. I also want to give a shout-out to this awesome page: Think Before You Type. Just evidence that teenagers can be pretty darn awesome.