Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twitter! A great tool for networking and expanding your knowledge base!

Recently I have been reading the publication #Twitter works! - author Fiona Stoop (@werkcoach). In this Dutch written publication Fiona Stoop shares some hintful tips on how to use Twitter successfully for your work.

Have a goal and a strategy
Are you looking for a job? Do you want to promote your company?  Recruit participants for an event? Do you want to profile yourself as an expert in your domain?  Are you communicating a campaign message?  or are you looking for support and get some complex questions answered?  Fiona Stoop is stressing in her publication '#Twitter works!' that it is important to have a well defined goal and a clear strategy when using twitter.
Fiona comments:  'Developing a strategy can take time.  Reading and checking tweets from other professionals can be very helpful in discovering your own strategy.  Just applying and using your account regularly, will help you what attracts and disattracts people'.   According to Fiona an active tweeter is using twitter at least twice a week communicating around 10 - 40 tweets a month.

Hints for becoming an effective tweeter
For triggering and catching people's interest Fiona Stoop recommends to have;
  • A photo of yourself which attracts people
  • A bio, which describes your expertise in one line
  • A number of followers, who show that they have a relation with your expertise.  Quantity and quality of your followers are a criteria for people to read and follow your tweets
  • 20 % or less communication about your private affairs and focus more than 80 % of your tweets on your expertise and relations
  • Twitter is a medium of giving and taking. Do not focus on promoting yourself and your services, but try to be service oriented in helping people with sharing resources, answering questions and retweeting their messages.


Tips for tweeting
To make twitter work for you, Fiona gives some useful tips.
  1. If you want people to follow a certain topic or an event use the code #.  For example, I use the code #IAFNL11  for addressing the Conference 'Facilitation as a {2nd} profession.
  2. If people decide to become a follower of your account, make them feel welcome by sending them a Direct Tweet or thanking them by saying thanks @koolwijk for following my twitter account.
  3. To get people retweet your messages, retweet messages of others. One day you might get followers, who will retweet your messages having more than 1,000 followers.  Twitter has tremendous possibilities for spreading interesting messages. So start retweeting messages gradually.
  4. Be careful and cautious in spreading messages promoting your services and products. Focus on helping others! People will get interested in you, if they gradually start to know you and have a feeling of trust in you. '' You also don't start to sell your services at a birthday party, when you introduce yourself and get to know new people'.  'People will become interested if you have some interesting stories to share at the party.'
  5. Don't overtweet, but be creative in keeping your messages worthwhile reading in 140 characters.  You can use bit.ly for making links to websites, which you can embed in your twitter message.


Benefits of using twitter
 I have been using twitter since January 2011. Sofar twitter has provided me a number of benefits;
  • Through twitter I have been able to read publications and seen video's, which are updating and enriching my expertise. These articles I would have never encountered without twitter.
  • I got to know interesting people, who I would not have met through f2f interaction.
  • The number of visitors at my weblog increased from 200 per month in January 2011 up to 1,000 visitors per month in August 2011. In my f2f meetings colleagues refer to some of my publications at my blog. The twitter messages got them connected to my blog.
  • Many times I refer in my f2f meetings with colleagues to their twitter messages. The medium is complementary and deepening our f2f conversations.
Twitter works!  from Fiona Stoop (@werkcoach)  is a publication worthwhile reading!

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