You may have heard of or even participated in a Twitter Chat. But have you ever checked out a Facebook Chat? Each month, a few of my marketing-obsessed colleagues and I choose a topic to focus on and host a live Q&A on the Constant Contact Facebook Page. We cover a variety of topics from how to use Pinterest to the functionally of our product updates. During the chat, we stand by, ready to quickly answer fan questions and share our expert advice. However, in each chat, a question we often receive is, “How do I participate in this chat?”

Here’s how:

Leading up to the Q&A, we promote the time and the chat topic across all of our social channels and within our Hints & Tips newsletter. Typically, we host the chat from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST on the second or third Thursday of the month. If you want to add the Q&A to your calendar, you can reply to the Facebook event invite.

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At the start of the chat, I post a “Live Facebook Q&A” photo on the Constant Contact Facebook page. The chat then takes place in the comment section of that photo and will last for one hour. I also pin this photo to the top of our newsfeed for easy access. This is a great way to prepare for the Facebook Chat topic. It’s also a good idea to write down the questions you have or the thoughts you want to share prior to the start time. Coming prepared will allow you to actively engage in the discussion right away.

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The best way to participate in the conversation is to click on the photo to expand it to the full screen view. Here you can post your question or comment on the right hand side.

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Unfortunately, Facebook does not automatically refresh while viewing a photo. To keep up with new comments, just manually refresh the page after posting your question. The comment stream will then appear below the photo (trust me it’s not as complicated as it seems.)

You can continue to engage with the conversation by replying to comments or adding additional comments or questions at the bottom. Beware: the comments are threaded. This means Facebook will automatically move the most-commented-on or liked replies and the comments from individuals in your network to the top of the stream. As a result, the stream may appear different after each refresh.

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That’s all it takes to participate in a Facebook Chat! We hope you join us for our next chat. We’ll be discussing mobile.

Interested in running your own Facebook Chat? In this video, I explain, “How Do You Run a Facebook Chat?” You can also check out the discussions from our previous live Facebook Q&As on our Facebook page.