Insight, advice, news and chit chat

Follow Friday is when, on a Friday, people show each other some Twitter love, by recommending to their followers who they recommend to follow. It was invented by Twitter users. And it’s usually preceded by the hash sign – as in #FF or #FollowFriday. So, it’s actually a hashtag, used on Fridays!

A note about hashtags, while I am at it

When you put a hash sign next to a word on Twitter, it becomes clickable. Any spaces or punctuation marks will “break” the hashtag and it will be just the word before the hyphen or apostrophe or space which is clickable.

Why Friday?
I can only guess this, it’s a nice end of the week thing to do. Friday is a more relaxed day. People have Pizza Friday and Beer Friday, there are songs written about Friday, it all kind of goes with that Friday feeling.

Typically there are three ways to do it.

As a true fan of Social Media and of the powers of Twitter, I have been observing new users for a while now, and have had the privilege of training those who have an interest in using Twitter more effectively.

Twitter has a lot of strange things unique to it – punctuation marks and abbreviations which may look like alien-speak to anyone who hasn’t learned it. Although there are many guides online (I particularly like the Mashable Twitter Guidebook) I can see why a lot of people might look at the stream of tweets and wonder what is going on!

There are 5 basic things you really need to know– once you understand them you will be well on your way. – hashtags, RTs, @replies, mentions, and url shortening.

I wrote this post for Women Unlimited Worldwide but thought I would include it here too! Hope you find it useful!

We spend a lot of our time creating bespoke websites, so it’s a strange question for me to be attacking. Do I really want to even put this question in your mind?

But here I am bravely writing about this.

Why would I even bring this up?

I know you won’t be able to get value from this post unless I answer this question.  So there are 3 reasons.

It’s been said, and rightly so, that having a lot of followers on Twitter can mean nothing – it’s about “engagement” and “Quality over quantity”. And what some people consider “a lot” is for others “a paltry amount”.

But there are 2 very important-to-consider and not-to-be-ignored reasons for Twitter users to aim for more followers.

Having a lot of followers is a vanity thing.

It means more people looked at your profile, and for whatever reason felt they would follow you. Saying that, sometimes people will follow you SIMPLY because you may follow them back.

But back to the vanity thing. It feels good to reach milestones and see a bigger number there. It motivates and encourages you to go out there, and please those followers out there, by being an active member of the Twitter community, by being useful, interesting and great at banter! And there is no arguing that those things are great things to be!

The other benefit of having a lot of followers is marketing.

If your business (or personal brand) benefits from being well known and having a good reputation, then having more followers means you will get far more “bang for your buck” when you tweet. It’s a simple maths thing, although of course the ideal scenario is having “Engaged Followers” – ie people who you interact with often enough for them to be interested in the stuff you share, likely to interact with you, and likely to retweet you.

I have, at the time of writing, 8413 Twitter followers. This number changes often and I try not to cry when people unfollow me. But I am not going to lie. Having a lot of followers is great. When I tweet a request for something, I am more likely to get people replying with recommendations. When I am at my weekly networking breakfasts, I ask for the introductions on Twitter and often get new contacts for my fellow members in the same meeting. When I share some of my own content, more people retweet me and reply to me with comments. All this is where I see the benefits of a higher follower count.

And here is a fine example of where quality is definitely more important than quantity.

There will be some people who aim at a very targeted niche audience who really only need a much smaller number of followers to get value out of Twitter. An example is our good friend and client Abbie Tanner. Abbie does marketing specifically for IFA’s in the UK.

She has fewer followers than I (but still an impressive amount!), but as far as her exact industry, financial advisers in the UK who use Twitter, she has a lot of it covered. She can use Twitter just to communicate with them and show her expertise in their field and as such she is getting huge value with a lot less frequency of tweets and a lot fewer followers. Her followers – those who are Financial Advisers in the UK and also active users of Twitter – maybe few in number, but they make up for it in their potential to be great contacts for Abbie.

So, decide for yourself. Do you need more followers on Twitter?

What type of followers would be best for you? And how will you make the right impression on them? Your thoughts on this are most welcome (in the comments below please!)

Juggling Social Media with Alicia Cowan

Exciting news! On the 16th of March, Alicia Cowan and I will be joining forces once more to bring more people over to the world of social media – and ensuring that it’s used properly for business. We have both had a lot of success using these tools in our respective businesses – we even met each other on Twitter!

We are not advocating that social media marketing is there to replace face to face relationships, but rather that it is there to allow people to get to know you and your business in a soft and gentle way. Each of the platforms – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest – have their own unique behaviours and uses – and though Alicia and I use them all it’s not mandatory.

The rewards of social media are undisputable in our eyes, and  this is because we apply a few simple behaviours but mostly we are just ourselves.

What’s really rewarding is that so many of our previous attendees have become super active on Social Media which is a great way to keep in touch with them.

Social media is another form of networking so it’s really a long term thing, which is great as it gives people time to practice, get to know people, and just let it become second nature.

My social media Valentine sected

I wanted to post this today as it’s Valentine’s Day and this post is dedicated to my main love on social media.

Anyone who has been to my social media seminars knows that I rave about them, and there is a certain light in my eyes when I talk about them.

It’s actually not a person per se – although social media IS all about people and connecting with others.

This is a tool created for busy people like me to allow us to make the most of all the amazing social sharing possibilities on Twitter. It’s called Buffer.

I know that some of you already know what we mean by this from our April 2011 Newsletter, but for those of you that didn’t see it let me explain this very important point again.

I can hear all the desperate questions already… “What does it mean to be an egg, or rather to not be an egg?“, “What’s wrong with eggs?“, “What is an egg when it comes to Twitter?“, “How do I change from an egg to just fabulous old me?“, “What is the best way to poach an egg, I mean some people have said to use vinegar but really I’m not sure…” Ok so maybe that last one won’t be one of the questions, but the rest we have all heard before when this subject is brought up.