There's more to these parties than snacks and drinks...
Twitter parties and Twitter chats are not the same thing, despite the names being used interchangeably. Twitter chats are fun, informal opportunities for building social media relationships and small businesses absolutely should participate. These regularly occurring, mostly non-commercial conversations bring together participants from all backgrounds and embrace variations of a reoccurring theme each week.
Twitter parties are one time or periodic events that are almost always sponsored by a brand, business, or organization. Hosts are hired, prizes are offered, and, while the tone can range from casual and fun to serious and educational, there is almost always an element of self-promotion for the sponsor.
I think Twitter parties can be an excellent part of a social media strategy - if done right. Sadly, most parties rarely offer the desired ROI or results. If you're thinking about hosting a Twitter party, here's how to reap your desired rewards and have a great time as well!