17 October 2012

How Social Media Changed My Game (Part Two)

While Facebook was certainly useful in my drive to raise funds for indigenous education in the lead-up to the 2012 Ironman World Championships, the real prize goes to Twitter.

With my aim being to draw people from social networks to my own website with a view to donating money, this platform was much more effective. In my mind, people see Twitter as a filter or conduit. They go there because they’re interested in getting content off the Internet, but don’t have enough time to discover that content for themselves. Therefore, they choose to follow certain businesses, people and sponsors, who can in turn promote their own interests and messages. Users can view these updates and then conduct their own subsequent follow-up. In effect, they’re nominating these providers as the arbiters of interesting content.

The thing to remember is this: if someone follows you on Twitter, they’re interested in what you have to say. If you meet their expectations, there’s a good chance they’ll come back.

My two most successful Twitter initiatives were:
  • Linking my Facebook page and all my blog entries to my Twitter feed. On the subject of my blogs, I had to ensure they constituted a key reason for people to visit my site in the first place. As such, they had to be short, interesting, insightful, entertaining and emotionally honest. This was crucial to reader buy-in.
  •  Engaging my sponsors and supporters on Twitter. If I could get a sponsor like Champion Systems to Retweet some of my tweets, this enabled me to access their already large audience and build credibility.

So, what didn’t work? In a nutshell, cold post updates that failed to offer any new information, as well as reminders. If you don’t initially engage someone with a particular post, you’re better off scrapping that angle and going for a new approach entirely. My Twitter hash tags (eg: #AIMEfor Kona) also never trended. While people knew what they were about, they never really responded to it, probably because of the small scale of my operation.

Author: James GoswellBachelor of Commerce graduate, University of Sydney Business School.

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