Twitter connections are too often disregarded by marketers and businesses who quickly and easily forget the two key words of ‘Social Media’.
In my continued analysis of my Twitter feed, I see far too much emphasis on people sharing their own content, pushing and selling their agenda that they forget about engagement, context and relationship building.
Last year I continued to make some great Twitter connections, including some of the “celebrity” nature. Now, I’m not talking Hugh Jackman or Stephen Fry here, but where the connections lead was unexpected and wonderful to watch unfold.
In my last ABN article for 2013 I wrote about Mental Health in Business and how I had become a beyondblue Ambassador. When I was informed of the role, I tweeted a message to fellow Ambassadors about my excitement to be joining forces in de-stigmatising the health issue. Brad McEwan (@bradmcewan10), Channel 10 Sports Presenter and beyondblue Ambassador, was quick to reply and welcome me aboard. He followed me and graciously remembered who I was when I tweeted a few months later “welcome back to Melbourne (TV news)”.
Around the same time I started following Lynton Tapp (@Lynto_Tapp), runner-up in 2013 Masterchef. He had shared his personal story with honesty on national TV and I was blown-away (and relieved) to see his online engagement with fans around the world. He was clearly taking nothing for granted. I must have tweeted something half-intelligent, because he followed me.
In early December, Lynton tweeted his support for Foodbank Victoria (@FoodbankVic), a charity sourcing healthy food for disadvantaged people across Victoria. When I checked them out, I wanted to throw my support behind them, so started to follow and Tweet about them, resulting in a virtual fooddrive. Foodbank also followed me back.
A few weeks later Foodbank was using Twitter to let Channel 10 TV shows know that their Masterchef Lynton was donating his time and asked if a camera crew could come out and film. They weren’t getting any traction and I touched base wondering how I could assist. Then it clicked, so I took a chance…
I tweeted Brad, asking if the newsroom could help. The next day I was on the phone with him saying he’d love to help out and would try and get a camera crew. I called Foodbank who were thrilled. The following day, Brad and Lynton are working side-by-side with Foodbank. The camera crew didn’t make it, but the PR around Lynton and Brad’s generosity helped a charity.
Did this change the world? No. But it does show that Social Media can actually be used to connect people and that good people shine through and help whether you have met online or face-face.
So, when you are thinking about your Social Media strategy, ask yourself: “Who could I be having real life conversation with?” As I’ve written before, Social Media should not be a “set-and-forget” solution to your marketing and if you take this approach, not only are you potentially missing the opportunity to meet new people, the audience is likely to scroll right past your words because you’re not talking with them, you are talking at them and about yourself. What did I (@meganbarrow) get out of all this? There might not have been much in it for me business-wise, but people saw more of what I actually believe in and that I walk-the-walk. Oh, and Lynton will shout me a coffee, which I won’t complain about!