Twitter Tale & the Twitter Workshop
A blog post by Claude Saulnier - Wandsoft CEO
25th July 2014 Tweet
I recently attended Samantha Kelly (@TweetingGoddess) workshop and felt like sharing my twitter experience.
Although I had a personal twitter account and Wandsoft have a business one, I didn't know much about Twitter. Like many, I found it time consuming without seeing many results.
On the personal front, I don't mind, it's more of a source of information. At business level, it would be great if we could get leads through Twitter. After all, Wandsoft is all about Simplifying Business (saving time I guess).
I first heard about Samantha back in January at a meeting in Realex Payments. Some of their staff referred her as a Twitter Influencer. Having never heard of Tweeting Goddess before, I was baffled and realised I was probably missing something on the Twitter front. After all, she now has about 15,000 followers, and she closed her crowd-funding in 2 weeks.
I thought the name was funny, and felt she was probably someone with a good sense of humour. After following her a while and eventually meeting her, I am happy to confirm that!
I was under a bit of pressure back then due to the launch of our brand awareness marketing campaign. A friend of mine, Ardle (go on follow him, he is a good guy too) attended a digital course and was starting to tell me about twitter, and @tweetinggoddess came back to the conversation. Ardle kindly helped me while we had a stand at a Dublin Chamber event (thanks Donal - another good guy to follow, tell him I send you, he'll kindly invite you to a few networking events with the Dublin Chamber - a must for SMEs in Dublin). Having someone who had been using Wandsoft for 8 years by my side was giving more credibility to the software. Ardle told me he was helping one of his friends -around local election time- in Connemara on Twitter and started to mention the hashtag.
The next day, I got an email from my brother in France saying that my homonym had written to the local newspaper. A homonym is someone with the same name.
I wrote back to him, as I know there is a chap in my home town with the same name. My brother replied saying he knew it was me, and he said: "tu as Ã©crit le Connemara c'est l'Auvergne pour l'Irlande - Claude Saulnier expatriÃ© Ã Dublin', eg "Connemara is the Auvergne region of Ireland".
Connemara is popular with French people. If you wonder why, I believe it is to do with a song from 1981by French singer Michel Sardou - Les lacs du Connemara.
I used to like him as a kid. You'll be glad to know that my taste has evolved since, and Noir DÃ©sir or DÃ©troit would be more my reference for good French music.
Please take a minute to look at the video of Michel Sardou singing Les Lacs du Connemara" here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixMBOxSs6LA.
Having been to Connemara three times myself, always with good weather, it reminded me of home, as they are both beautiful regions. Karen, a good friend of mine is from Mayo (guess what: you'll have to follow her too, she is cool: she likes twitter, marketing and lives in the Silicon Valley with Karl). Mayo is kind of part of Connemara. Karen also agrees it's a beautiful place.
What had happened in the meantime?
The day before my brother's email, after that good conversation and a pint with Ardle, I went back to twitter and posted "#Connemara is the #Auvergne region of Ireland".
All I was really doing was experimenting with twitter's hashtags and helping my friend in his quest. While doing that, here was the local newspaper "La Montagne" lurking the Auvergne hashtags (following the "Auvergne" keywords in Queen's English).
So you can imagine, once more, that I was baffled that my tweet - in Ireland - aimed at helping a friend, ended up translated in the printed edition of a local newspaper, in a different country, 1,500 km away.
So I said to myself: there must be something to Twitter. And as anything, it's worth observing how people who are doing well in their field are doing it. So I started following @tweetinggoddess. I also found out she had a radio show -Goddess Hour- on www.radioactive.ie, a nice new Charity web radio in Ireland (follow on twitter @RadioactiveIE). She played Joe le Taxi from the wonderful Vanessa Paradis. Imagine, a French song played on an Irish radio.
The following week, I ended up on #IrishBizParty. Even as a tech-savvy, I did not get it the first evening, but was amazed at the flow of data. Small businesses chatting with each other. Guess what, our target market is Startups & SMEs.
This short video will help you to understand the concept:
Samantha held a course in June, the day I was going on holidays. Hard luck!. One thing that struck me was that it was very good value, especially from an "Influencer": €80 for the day! I mentioned it to a few friends, and one of our clients, Eunan went. And I got very positive feedback. Eunan gave me a tip from the course, and we altered his site slightly, and twitter started to make sense.
I was very happy to see she was running another workshop in July. I mentioned that to more people and Peter from the Nursing Station came along too. The Nursing Station started using Wandsoft in March to manage the candidates and the book keeping.
As I arrived, attendees were already networking. Attendees were a mix of people either starting up their own business as well as people who had been in business for a while. While you cannot choose who will attend, it's wonderful to have a good mix of nice people in the room. Since the promotion of the course was mainly done through Twitter, it shows how nice communities can be built.
The workshop took place in DIT, in a room is fully equipped with computers. So it was great, no laptops to bring, no connectivity to sort. So, it was a good choice of venue. The Right Catering Co supplied the sandwiches who were delcicious (go on follow them, they'll be handy for your next event: twitter.com/RightCateringCo).
I will not tell you all Samantha told us. It is impossible. I think anyone who wants to know about Twitter should attend Samantha's workshop. She has so much experience, that writing some tips learnt won't help much. You really need to hear it directly. You can also buy her book. I have no commission, I just like to help people who are hard workers and that are willing to share their success.
The way @TweetingGoddess chose for people to introduce each other was interesting. It was the key to build a profile, which is very important for people to establish a twitter relationship (eg: to "follow" you). And that's where it's complicated for Wandsoft as the only thing our system does not do is Coffee -LOL. Anyway, we all found out about each other in less than 140 characters. Like an elevator pitch, just shorter.
You may say, how come as a tech-savvy, you didn't know all about Twitter? Well, I don't know everything! If I struggle to get 100 followers (at the time), someone with 15,000 followers, willing to share her experience will actually save me a lot of time. I have also learnt was a Lurker was (and the newspaper story illustrates that well).
At the course, Peter was able to help Helen, Susan and I have very complementary businesses, and we can go on. That was networking in the room, with 15 people. Imagine networking at a larger scale: that's Twitter: follow, interact cleverly. The old saying is so true: "People buy People".
Twiitter is all about establishing relationships. Here is the group who attended: twitter.com/wandsoft/twitter-workshop-dit/members
Follow the link, follow the people, follow the businesses, interact with them, they are all entrepreneurs, and you never know how your interaction could help them or you.
Twitter is not a short-term thing. Twitter should be part of your overall Customer Relationship Management. Do not buy 10,000 followers. Build your relationship over time, same as you would with your business. It took Wandsoft a year to get 100 followers, and only 2 weeks to go from 180 to 250. Bring your personality to Twitter (unless you are a rude person by nature LOL).
I questioned myself about the business account. At Wandsoft, we love helping our clients solving problems. Our target market is SMEs, not big corporations. I think bringing our personality behind the account is important. It's not just about a blend message about a functionality no-one cares about. So the Wandsoft account will interact with SMEs.
My "selfie" with @TweetingGoddess and her first book.
You should also keep an eye on Samantha Kelly's site tweetinggoddess.com to book yourself for the next workshop, to buy her book or simply to see the next place she'll stop to have a cup of tea, and if you like 80s music, bit girly, listen to Goddess Hour, Samantha's show on Radio Active, every Saturday evening from 9pm. She plays some French music too. And if you don't follow her yet, it's not too late, click here.
Samantha, thanks, and good luck with Tweeting Goddess, the book, the show, the family and everything else.
To all of you who attended, thanks for your help and good luck to all of your ventures. I'll arrange a one to one soon.
And finally, the workshop gave me some great ideas of functionality that does not seem to exist in a Business Management Solution such as Wandsoft, to interact with people in a different way. Watch this space. We might soon Simplify Twitter too:).
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