Wow, so it’s my 100,000th tweet week and Twitter is 7 years old too. I first
The start (and the bad stuff over and done with)
I was advised by my techie friend, Ali Clarke at Webmentor.ie to join Twitter for the limited company I was a partner with (which is unfortunately no more), and thought, what a really silly name but I’ll give it a go. So I signed up to Twitter and was completely daunted by what to do and what to say. Where did I start? I can’t remember what I said but I know I followed a whole load of people – I just dived in. I got a lot of follows back although with hind sight I wouldn’t recommend doing that – follow and connect with people relevant to your business, be selective and strategic if you are doing it for business.
Getting picked on: I’d only been using Twitter for a week and our company got a mention in the newspapers. I was immediately descended on by a few business men picking holes in what we were doing. It was quite scary and lasted a couple of weeks. I was ready to give up on Twitter at that point – I was getting picked on and getting upset by people I didn’t know – it was horrible. However, a few wonderful people contacted me to give me support and they are still friends to this day – even though they are in each corner of the globe. Charlie and his Angels – you know who you are.
This early experience gave me a good heads up about Twitter. It made me realise I needed to watch out for these type of people plus be there to support others who were picked on. It has also given me an inherent disgust with those that bully online – from those that are anonymous trolls to high profile business people it is very sad to see it happen. Consider if it was happening to your daughter/son, mother/father, husband/wife, best friend – would you like that? Would you have the balls to walk up to someone in the street and say these things to their face? Just stop and think…..and have some respect for others and for yourself too.
Twitter news and questions
I get very frustrated when I see or hear people saying that Twitter is a waste of time – “who wants to hear what you had for breakfast?” Only last week I saw a celebrity on TV slating it. Obviously they don’t use Twitter or they would realise the infinite potential that is here and here to stay.
- News: News breaks on Twitter now – you will see it there first. Personally I heard about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Michael Jackson’s death, the Syria uprising in 2011 and Whitney Houston’s death. I followed the London riots on Twitter plus a lot more, even good news too like the Princess of Cambridge being pregnant.
- Questions: Twitter is also ideal if you need help with something. I’ve often had a technical problem that I’ll tweet and get loads of replies to. I also like to help people if I see a question that I know the answer to. It doesn’t take a minute but if it helps people then that can’t be bad. Answering questions can make you the “go to” person for your niche, whatever that is. I have gained business from helping people with social media and accountancy questions via Twitter. Just add a column to your Tweetdeck/Hootsuite with the words related to your expertise and you’ll often be able to help people you aren’t even following or that follow you. It’s a great way to spread your networking, even just by joining in with chats about that subject.
Work via Twitter
I started writing blogs in 2009 and Twitter was the ideal platform to promote my writing. I began to receive recognition for what I was writing although blogs were all new to me at that time.
- Tweak Your Biz: Niall Devitt approached me to see if I would like to write for Bloggertone (now Tweak your Biz) which he was just setting up with Facundo Villaveiran and Fred Caballero. I was amazed and very honoured to be asked, I couldn’t believe I had even been noticed by these guys. So I was there at the start of Tweak Your Biz and now I’m the Managing Editor, and both achievements I’m very proud of to this day. I love working with the community here and lots has been happening as Niall Devitt mentioned recently – Tweak Your Biz: When An Irish Business Community Goes Global! A huge thanks to Niall for recognising something I was good at and enjoyed and for continuing to have belief in me still……even if I don’t always believe it myself 🙂
- BizSugar: Through being involved with Tweak Your Biz and my Social Media use I was then asked to be a moderator on Bizsugar.com by the amazing Anita Campbell who is also the CEO for TYB. My social network really started to grow then and led to me tweeting with lots of business people in other countries, especially America.
- Corpnet: Connecting up on Twitter via Bizsugar I then sent a DM to @Corpnetnellie asking if I could interview her and that interview led to me writing for Corpnet.com – all the way over in Los Angeles………from my house on a hill in Ireland. The internet and Social Media really have shrunk the world. I have interviewed many other business people from Ireland, America and the UK and even Jeff Bullas down under in Australia. All of these came from Twitter originally.
- The Ahain Group: Through Niall Devitt I was then invited to join The Ahain Group as an Associate. I basically look after most of the Social Media and content writing side…..plus the accounts now too. Watch this space as The Ahain Group is really going places.
- Tweetdeck vs Hootsuite: I prefer to use Tweedeck however I did recently dabble with Hootsuite but I missed some of the features so I headed back quite quickly. I need to have the columns these platforms offer to take care of the different accounts I look after. I also like the pop ups on Tweetdeck so it means I only need to look at Twitter if someone has spoken to me or one of the accounts I look after. I can then deal with anything promptly which I think really does help with Twitter. Sometimes if it takes ages for a reply then that person could have moved on to someone else for help or just find it a bit rude and that they’re being ignored.
- Socialoomph: I use Socialoomph to schedule business tweets because there is so much to get out there sometimes and it would be too time consuming. I find it really useful and there is a lot more to it which can make your social media life so much easier. But don’t’ just rely on auto tweets as Social Media is all about engaging with people – they can’t talk to a robot after all……well not yet anyway.
Lost & found pets
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs and cats – especially my own pets. And if you follow me on Twitter I’m sure I annoy you with my auto retweets of @lostfoundpets. I would apologise for this but it is easy to filter out of your timeline if you don’t want to see them. Personally if there is anything I can do to reunite a lost pet with their owner then I will do it.
I lost a cat a few years ago and will never forget the devastation I felt. Not everyone is an animal person but for those that are I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean. I have been told that my Retweets helped reunite a dog lost in Tramore and hopefully there have been others too. Again it’s another aspect of Twitter to spread the word quickly and simply. Not just animals but also children or adults, wallets or laptops; it doesn’t take a minute to retweet something and you could help someone more than you know.
Again if you don’t like it then filter out – I have to filter out Football and Politics a lot of the time. 🙂
Twitter can be good fun a lot of time. It’s great when watching something on TV and everyone can join in a conversation about it. Using hashtags you can connect with people you aren’t following – and not just with TV programmes but also conferences, particular subjects you’re interested in or weekly discussions like #kaizenbiz and #blogchatie. I recently
got involved with #TNI on a Thursday night and it spread my network even further just chatting about holiday experiences. It’s fun and easy to do plus you’re networking at the same time……from your sofa.
I especially enjoy it during the Six Nations rugby tournament, and being Welsh I absolutely loved it recently when we beat England and won the Championship – the banter is always great fun.
And of course I’ve made loads of friends through Twitter – virtually and in real life.
- The #Twineups: In 2009 a few of us were drinking Pinotage and tweeting each other – what I like to think was the very first #Twineup as it was named at the time. This grew and eventually we met up in real life too. Miriam Ahern then suggested to me that we have a #Twineup for New Years Eve involving Bloggertone too – An Online Party New Years Eve. We had no idea how big that was going to be. We had people from all over the World joining in including America, Asia and Australia, all celebrating New Years Eve at different times. It was brilliant and I’ve often done #Twineups since then but none as successful as that one.
- The Locals: I moved to Ireland 8 years ago only actually knowing one person. I then moved down to just outside Dungarvan nearly 5 years ago knowing no-one here. I wasn’t daunted by that at all as I’m happy in my own company plus I always seem to find friends. Although in those 5 years I have met a lot of friends in real life locally, as I’m not one to go out very much any more I found Twitter great to “meet” people online before actually meeting in person. I would say about 70% of my friends locally are ones I met via Twitter initially– all the Déise crowd are brilliant and there are always fun events going on which you hear about via Twitter. A big shout out to the Déise guys and gals.
I have done several interviews for Tweak Your Biz over the last few years and I have to say they are my favourite pieces to do. I have some favourites and have made some great friends through them.
- Cliff House Hotel: When I interviewed Adriaan Bartells from the Cliff House Hotel we had no idea the interview was going to do so well on Twitter – last time we checked I think it had received over 300 retweets. I took a snapshot of 60 of those RT’s at one point and they totalled 288,000 followers. It has been my most read and shared post so far I believe.
- The Secret Garden: I also interviewed Brian Patterson at The Secret Garden about how great he is on Facebook and that got into the Bizsugar Top Ten too. Both Adriaan and Brian have become good friends and I recently saw them both talk at a Social Media event – I was very proud of them as I’ve watched them grow on Twitter and Facebook and do it so well.
- Lorna Sixsmith: And recently I interviewed the amazing Lorna Sixsmith who is, among lots of other things, a fellow writer on Tweak Your Biz. I am in awe of her energy and knowledge, her tenacity and multi-tasking skills. I still feel exhausted reading through her interview.
I met all three on Twitter originally and wouldn’t have been in touch with them otherwise. In fact I’d say the majority of my interviews have originated via contact on Twitter – another reason it has worked so well for me.
And then there is everyone else I have met via Twitter, virtually and in real life. I’m not going to list everyone as it would be too long but you all know who you are. One person I will mention is Mel Schregardus – one of the original #Twineup ladies in 2009. Although we live 2 hours away from each other and only visit a few times a year we are in touch daily via DM’s or text and she has truly become someone I’d like to call my best friend. All because of Twitter.
I know I’ve just touched the surface of those 100,000 tweets but I could probably write a book of everything that has happened……hmmmmm, good idea maybe 🙂 Anyhow until then if you are connected to me on Twitter then I hope you enjoy my tweets and I look forward to more connections in the future.
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