The etiquette of social media is an important issue that I cover in training. Each site has a different population and a different use. Understanding the etiquette will make engagement so much more rewarding, equally ignoring it could be harmful to your organisation.
I will be covering etiquette in various blogs over the coming weeks but I thought I would start with twitter #hours.
Twitter hours are now very popular and I always suggest that clients get involved in the right one/s for them. Twitter hours are a nice welcoming way to get networking on twitter. They are very much about an hour of engagement and giving each other a ‘shout out’ and support.
Obviously people new to twitter won’t really know how to use them, but also I see some larger organisations getting involved now, but perhaps missing the point, and so I have put this blog together to help people with that.
Twitter hours are a great way of networking with people in your geographical patch, or in your particular field. For example #WeddingHour is the perfect networking for wedding photographers, venues, florists etc, you get the idea.
To keep up with the tweets put the appropriate # (ie #Lancashirehour) in the search bar and follow the thread live.
I have asked 3 people who have set up and manage twitter hours in Lancashire and Cumbria, to give their tips for best use and here they are…
Connor Daunt runs @LancashireHour, Thursday 8pm to 9pm
For me the etiquette of Lancashire Hour I like to see is people correctly using the hashtag #LancashireHour throughout the “session” so other members can follow the various threads. It is a long hastag, so my advice is to copy it once, and then paste it each time you send a tweet during the hour. Retweeting and interacting is vital I believe, there are plenty of “twitter friends” to be made and I’m a firm believer that the more you put in, the more you get out from such hours. I like to see members bring some news / updates each week instead of just sending the same profile tweet each week which a few unfortunately do. I prefer the #hour to have an open format. In real life networking events, members aren’t constrained by a format / topic.
Finally from a hosting point of view, It saddens me to see some hours that are run as multiple hours by the same person, run externally and at the very same time. This I believe isn’t in the spirit of what the #Hour should be about and makes it impersonal and irrelevant .
Jenny Pollard runs @WyreFyldeHour Tuesday 8pm to 9pm
There are many #hours on Twitter providing fantastic opportunities for free, no-need-to travel networking. Twitter can be an extremely powerful way to build good relationships and promote what you do. However in addition to the usual Twitter etiquette, to be most effective you’ll need to keep the following points in mind:
- Get to know people and get involved in conversations, don’t just hard sell
- Use the hours #tag to ensure your tweet appears on the hours timeline
- Stick around and get involved, don’t just tweet and run!
- Don’t overuse the #hour tag, make sure your tweet is specific to a single hour
- Your tweet should contain meaningful information not just #tags and links
But above all enjoy it!
Michelle Masters runs @CumbriaHour Monday, 7pm to 8pm. Cumbria hour is run a little differently as there is a discussion topic set for each week.
Michelle’s tips are…
I think people want to be talked to and not at. People really expect people to join in the topic now and to have conversations with them. Companies who come on and just sell sell sell, seem to be ignored and get bored and don’t come back again. People come on for the networking but also the hints and tips that the topic provides.
What I would add to all that is the concept of treat others as you want to be treated. So, if you would like people to re-tweet your tweets, then do that for others. The big no no for me is scheduling tweets to show in the hour. You really need to go in and take part, live. After all, you never know who you might meet!
I hope that has been helpful. If you haven’t joined in with an #hour yet go on and have a look, and get involved, it really is one of the easiest ways of getting some great contacts and encouragement.
If you have tips to add, please feel free to leave a comment below. If you would like to talk to me about this further please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.