To Tweet or Not To Tweet?
Twitter Round Table Part 1
Since the majority of my SocMed work is done under the Kelby Media Group umbrella (which gives me so much cool info to share! W00T!) I thought I’d also talk to a few of my fellow Tweeps who work in the creative industry to share their insights from an individual’s point of view as well. NOTE: This round table took place back in January. Be sure to check out Part 2 of this round table to see what’s changed and what hasn’t for our participants.
Round Table Participants:
IRL Name: Andy Sowards
IRL Name: Calvin Lee
Twitter Bio: Self-Proclaimed Media Ho, Designer Guy and Twitter Addict. In his spare time, Stunt Doubles for the Hulk and a really Nice Guy! You can even ask @ChrisBrogan http://twitter.com/chrisbrogan
IRL Name: Adam Nollmeyer
Twitter Bio: Photographer spreading propaganda thru photos that don’t suck. http://flickr.com/acmephoto
IRL Name: Jacob Cass
Twitter Bio: Graphic Designer, Logo Designer, Web Designer, Blogger, Creative Thinker, Uni Student, Freelancer.
@NAPP_News: Since diving into SocMed, what changes have you noticed for yourself professionally? Has it brought you more work, more web hits, or more “street cred”?
@AndySowards: I would have to say, “All of the above!” I have gotten more work… tons more. Before I was getting clients here and there from random sources, but now, I get more work and it all pretty much comes from Twitter or Facebook.
As for Traffic, I started my site just a few months ago , which is when I first started Social Networking hardcore with Twitter and Facebook In those few months of blogging and social networking, I gained a following of 1,400+ on Twitter, several hundred Facebook adds and 800+ feed subscribers and it keeps growing… and YES it definitely has increased my “street cred.” Now, I can outsource a project to a fellow developer/designer, I can get web/design work from new connections, and I can ask top developers/designers questions if I have trouble with anything. I basically have the world at my fingertips!
@MayhemStudios: Using Twitter and Facebook to push out my blog posts and reposting others’ posts has helped double my web traffic from 20K hits to 42K a month. As for “street cred,” I’m in the top 10 with most of the big boys. I find that funny, since I don’t see myself as a SocMed guy at all. I’m just a designer.
@JustCreative: I would have to say my fees and income have nearly tripled since launching the blog but this doesn’t come easy. It has required a lot of time commitment, marketing and hard work. You have to establish yourself as a professional and every aspect of your online presence must reflect this.
@AcmePhoto: YES! Flickr, Twitter and Facebook have most certainly helped [me] create a “fan base”. People who I like to have in my “contact lists” are other photographers as well as those in parallel industries. Marketing agencies, public relations firms, website developers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and social media evangelists. Although there can be several “perks” to social media, it is NOT about being selfish. I’ll answer questions and help others become better photographers because my clients hire me because of who I am and what I do. Some companies are trying to do more photography internally instead of hiring. This also means they are going to the web to learn how to be better photographers. If I teach them a few tricks to do their photos internally they will become more of a “fan” and then, they call me when they have a high-end job that they know requires a professional.
@NAPP_News: Did you launch your business and your SocMed presence at the same time?
@JustCreative: When I started blogging, I should have researched [SocMed] more, as it would have saved me a lot of wasted time and effort. But at the time, no, I didn’t launch it at the same time. But for my new blog (LogoDesignerBlog.com) http://logodesignerblog.com/ I will certainly [utilize SocMed]. It is a must.
@AcmePhoto: I was in business before I “launched” a social media presence, although my online presence did have a lot to do with growing my business. While a presence can grow quickly it’s something that can easily be grown by spending a bit of time every week. An online presence as a process is similar to learning a sport, fostering a friendship, or rearing a child.
@NAPP_News: How do you measure your metrics? What programs do you use?
@AndySowards: I typically just rely on Google Analytics, it does a very good job of letting me know everything I need in a quick 10 minute glance at the stats each day.
@JustCreative: Google Analytics
@AcmePhoto: Google Analytics, flickr stats, and asking people who call where they heard of me. Also it’s pretty easy to tell where a lead comes from if someone makes a request for information through a facebook message, flickrmail, or a direct message on twitter. BTW – Flickr is my #1 referrer, followed by Twitter.
@NAPP_News: How much time do you devote to SocMed and what is the cost to your business? How do you measure ROI?
@AndySowards: I spend a good portion of each day, probably 30 minutes 3-4 times throughout the day devoted to networking, catching up, tweeting links and promoting my site/services. I don’t think of it as a “cost” even though it takes time… I see it as more of an investment than anything… So far I have realized this simple rule, the more you SocMed, the more exposure you get to possible income sources and opportunities to take your game to the next level. You really never know what could come from a day of SocMed, which is why its so addicting!
@MayhemStudios: I spend about 8 hours throughout the day, few hours here, few hours there. It’s a fun way to network, which doesn’t really feel like it is. It does suck up a lot of time and your productivity goes way down. You end up running behind and playing catch up, pulling all nighters, getting no sleep and learning to work quickly.
I measure my ROI by: 1) The amount of promotion I get out of it, which is a good amount. I think SocMed is one of the best ways for promoting your business. 2) Building my network/friendships. 3) The amount of potential clients that contact me for projects.
@AcmePhoto: Tough question. Twitter is easy to ‘walk away from” and not feel like one must “catch up”… Also it’s easy to tweet whimsical things, however the “time” is following other people’s replies and knowing who is in your network. Social media is not about spamming out a message like traditional advertising. It’s about listening first then communicating.
@ NAPP_News: How do you avoid the “time suck?”
@AndySowards: This is the tricky part… [I] set specific times each day, and time limits, to devote to SocMed. Go over your time, get off SocMed and get some work done. It’s pretty simple. Its easy to set time, but the key is sticking with it. If you have a project due or something that you really need to get done, stay away from Twitter and close TweetDeck until you are done!
@MayhemStudios: It’s very hard to get away from the Time Suck! The suck still traps me sometimes. The best thing to do is set certain times in the day for SocMed. When that time ends, stop and go back to the real world. Don’t take it too seriously and have fun with it. Too much of anything is not good.
@JustCreative: When I first started I was in the time suck, I submitted articles literally anywhere I could find, I commented on every blog I could, wrote as much as I could… all of this was to get started. This is the hardest bit, getting established. But once you are there, it is a lot easier. Well, maybe.
@AcmePhoto: Same as with anything else. Some people watch 4 hours worth of TV and that is “normal” but I’ve never seen anyone foster relationships and grow a network while sitting on the couch in front of a television. People read to learn, but they can read books for pleasure. Social media can be fun and work as well.
@NAPP_News: Since switching to SocMed how has that affected your IRL networking? More face time? Less face time?
@AndySowards: Strangely enough, it actually increased face time. I have come into contact with a good amount of local clients/business partners as well as those in different states or countries. I have been actively meeting and collaborating with these local people; however, I don’t focus on any one thing. I let SocMed guide me where I need to go next and everything works out.
@MayhemStudios: I was into SocMed before it was called SocMed. I did more of that then IRL networking anyways, so nothing has really changed. Now that SocMed has really taken off. I’m really enjoying it and taking advantage of it.
@JustCreative: The only network I had in real life at the time before starting my blog was through referrals and most of that wasn’t really face to face. I am trying to focus a bit more on that this year as it could be beneficial for local business but I am not trying to focus on this area.
@AcmePhoto: MORE face time. Social media has helped me meet more people locally. Phoenix Arizona has an awesome tech community and there are several meetups. Finding those who care about networking and helping others succeed is key. I’ve been to several local networking events where someone approaches me to say they know of me through Facebook or Twitter. It’s a great icebreaker that leads to learning what else we share, like a common interest, or forging a possible business relationship.
@NAPP_News: Can you or have you tried to incorporate your online networking tactics with your real life tactics?
@AndySowards: I have tried incorporating the SocMed techniques into RL tactics with good results. When I am in face-to-face meetings, I feel more confident in not only showing great interest in what the other party is talking about and sharing with me, but I’m also more willing to lay my cards out on the table and see if they are interested in what I have to offer in different mediums as well. SocMed has taught me a great deal about being open and straight to the point with my thoughts. It’s even taught me more about being more “human” and easily approachable.
@MayhemStudios: I have always done that by engaging in conversation with people in SocMed and in IRL networking. I also have referred people that would fit each other needs on projects like I do in SocMed.
@JustCreative: You most certainly could, many top bloggers do, but personally I do not. Once I did get approached at a nightclub by a girl saying “Hey, you’re Jacob Cass from that blog” – that was a real eye opener. It’s only happened twice but it’s still quite a freaky/embarrassing/proud feeling.
@NAPP_News: Quick! Give me your three do’s and don’t’s on social networking.
@AndySowards: Ok, Ok! ;D
– Be friendly, kind, and helpful (RT’s)
– Be relevant to you and your audience 80% of the time, everything else 20%
– Be active
– Be mean or fake
– Be selfish (extreme self promotion)
– Send unsolicited automated sales messages
1. Do share and give great information.
2. Do follow people in same industry and similar interests
3. Do engage and help people in your social media community
1. Don’t sell! People hate seeing spam about me, me, me.
2. Don’t ask for anything in return
3. Don’t use auto responders to thank people, very impersonal and annoying.
Do to others, as you would like done to you.
Do be committed.
Focus on a few select networks, not all.
Don’t be “that guy”…. and YOU KNOW that guy. The one at the party trying to pitch you his snake oil, or spamming links in every Facebook message.
Don’t sign up for twitter, post one link to your website, and add a few hundred or thousand people using a “friend adding robot”. Nobody will friend you back.
Do not sign up for Facebook using “business name” there are business or fan pages for that. Work on building your personal brand, which will then reflect on your company.
DO jump in and start playing.
DO find those you truly admire and gently get their attention.
DO help others. It’s not just about YOU.
In summary –> DO be awesome. DON’T be lame.
Twitter Article Extras:
To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
Twitter Roundtable Discussion, Part 1
Twitter Roundtable Discussion, Part 2
A List of Helpful Sites