For residents of the Twittersphere, a world so prevalent that it was recently added to the Oxford Dictionary, Twitter chats are a great way to expand your network online while also learning more about a given topic.
The idea is simple — Twitter users who are interested in a certain subject have a discussion over Twitter at a given time by all following the same hash tag — a term preceded by a pound sign that corrals all tweets in which it’s included. Participating can be a great way to share information about your store, brand or area of expertise, as well as learn from others. It can also be a valuable tool to interact with other users and expand your followers.
Participating is easy. If you already have a Twitter account, simply type the hash tag into the Twitter search bar. You can also use other sites like Tweet Chat , which make following chats even easier by filtering out non-hash-tagged tweets, as well as automatically adding the hash tag to all of your tweets to make sure they are seen by others in the chat.
Looking for a place to start? Here are just a few popular chats in the design community:
Interior Designer Chat is a weekly chat for interior designers, design bloggers and anyone in the home décor industry. Each week’s chat centers around a different topic with industry experts serving as guest hosts. Follow @IntDesignerChat  for more information.
When: Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET
This group of kitchen and bath professionals meets weekly to talk about different topics, including design, trends and marketing. Follow @kbtribechat  for more information.
When: Every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET
DesignTV is a weekly lifestyle chat on Twitter, and despite the title, it’s not actually about TV — it’s about living a well-designed life. Follow @DesignTVchat  for more information.
When: Every Thursday at 5 p.m. ET
Founded by Leslie Carothers of social media agency The Kaleidoscope Partnership , the Get Published chat is meant to help create opportunities for getting published in the design and furniture industry. Follow Carothers (@tkpleslie ) for more information.
When: First Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. ET, with special editions before major trade shows.