R. Shawn McBride Fans and Audience was live with Samantha Kelly.
R. Shawn McBride: And let’s see here, I believe we are live on Facebook, folks, so I have @TweetingGoddess, Samantha Kelly with me and we’re going to be talking about tips to make Twitter work better for you. I’ve found amazing things on Twitter lately and it’s been a fun tool for me, but Twitter has its own unique community, you know. I started first more on Facebook. I had Facebook and Twitter both but I think I started building a little bit more of a following on Facebook. But then I found Twitter was good for really engaging with people in a different way because so much is public and you can find people that are thought leaders on your stuff. Samantha was one of the people I found fairly early when I started using Twitter more actively. She’s been a wonderful source of information. I know you’ve got a community of people and you work with women in business, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and I’ll share the link with a few more people on Facebook and we’ll get talking.
Samantha: Okay, hi everybody. Delighted to join you from Ireland. I don’t know if many of you have been to Ireland. I live in the southeast of Ireland. I started my Twitter journey fairly early, about six years ago I started my journey when I started my own business. My first business I didn’t have a clue about social media at all. I barely had a Facebook page, and I just started using Twitter, to be honest, because I had a business to promote, and I had no marketing budget. Also because I was a lone parent, and when the kids were in bed I was a little bit lonely. I suppose I started using Twitter initially just to reach out to people, to human beings, because believe it or not, every Twitter avatar has a human behind it.
R. Shawn McBride: Right.
Samantha: So that’s really how it started anyway.
R. Shawn McBride: I think that’s one of the misconceptions out there, and there are robots on Twitter, there are people that are doing postings kind of robotically and stuff like that. But there’s also a lot of real people behind it, as you filter through.
Samantha: Oh yeah, absolutely, and it’s just a case of finding them and finding the people you want to find. For example, let’s say you’re into music or you’re into kite surfing, if you just plug into the search on Twitter the word kite surf, you will find every single other person that’s talking about kite surfing. So it’s a great way. What I did was I put the word “mum” and “dad” when I was trying to find people for my first business because it was a gift box for young girls. That’s how I found most of my audience was because they were all mums and dads and they were using those words themselves, you know?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, and that’s the other thing interesting I’ve found on Twitter too, it’s kind of both a community but it’s also a research tool. As you’re working through Twitter, you can learn about stuff and then have conversations about the things you’re learning about. It’s very real time if you’re diving into something new or whatever, you can really learn about it on Twitter.
Samantha: Yeah and if you like, if you’re favorite TV show is Game of Thrones you can actually join in the hashtag #gameofthrones and start meeting like-minded people that are just like you. Let’s face it, you don’t get bored on Twitter. You want to find people who are like you, who understand you, get what you’re doing. So also other small business owners, especially if you’re in business, Twitter is wonderful for connecting with other small business owners, other people who are into social media. People like that. And you can connect with them really easily on Twitter. It’s just a matter of putting into the Search bar what it is you’re looking for.
R. Shawn McBride: Right, and I’ll go out periodically and I’ll search for things that are of interest to me, and make sure that I’m keeping current on what’s going on, but then I’m re-engaging with people that have the same interests and we’re building a community around it.
Samantha: Yeah and I don’t know if there’s anyone here on the Facebook Live, but even if I knew who you were and what you were doing, I’d be able to find you, I’d be able to suggest people that I think would be good for you to follow. And I always try to start with, I know I always started with people I admired or who were influencers in the space that I was in, so at the time it was FactsOfLife, LoneParent, LoneFathers, all that kinds of stuff. Talk with girls about facts of life and stuff, so it was a lot of people in that space. So that also includes doctors and health and all of that. And then as I progressed into Twitterland and started running Kind’s Twitter accounts, it’s more about whatever they’re into. So I could be running an account for a solicitor or a lawyer and then I could be running an account for a beauty salon. So I have to find people in all those different areas, so I kind of know who the influencers are in all of those spaces.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah and that’s kind of a directory of who’s who. Anna’s written us in the chat and she said it helps reduce the feeling of isolation, which I think’s definitely part of it too. And you’ve built quite a following in your TweetingGoddess page. I mean you’ve got approaching 40,000 followers right now? But not just 40,000 followers like WinOut, and you know people go out and buy followers and things like that. But your followers are actually talking to you. They’re doing things with you. They know who you are, which is amazing. Talk about the power of that and what that does.
Samantha: Look, I’m not trying to be modest here but honestly, all I did was I talked to people. People say that’s so amazing. But you know, I never, ever bought a follower. That’s just a waste of time, to be honest. Don’t even bother doing that because you’re just going to get followers who aren’t in your target audience who are probably in a totally different land, although even online it doesn’t matter, the world is smaller, but you know there could be people who are most likely never, ever going to engage with you. But if I start talking to people and asking them how their day is, and start reaching out to people who are following me– Something I often do, if I’m kind of quiet, I might go to see what my followers are up to. I might go into my followers and say, I haven’t actually talked to Anne in ages, I wonder what she’s up to. And then I might see, oh Anne’s just won an award. That’s brilliant. And then I just comment and I say “Well congratulations Anne, well done.” And what does that do? That makes Anne’s day. She’s like, “I didn’t even know TweetingGoddess would know I existed.” Whereas it makes her day, it makes her feel good, then, of course, she’s going to retweet that, because it makes her feel good. And then what’s that doing? It’s actually marketing me, even though she doesn’t intend to. And also if you engage with someone and you have a good article, let’s say, you put out a good article, Twitter Tips like if you see someone is struggling on Twitter, you can actually search for people who are struggling on Twitter. You can search for “I need a Twitter Sitter” or “I need help on Twitter” and you can put that into your Search box and you can actually say, look, I have this video, it’s really easy to follow. Check it out. Have an online course. You can say check out my video on my blog, I’ve loads of tips on there that can help you. And when you help people for free, naturally they’re going to want more information if they think you’re pretty cool and they like you, and then you start getting the sales.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, so you built this by engagement. You’re talking to people. That was kind of the openness of Twitter which I found so powerful lately, now that I’ve gotten more involved with it. Facebook, you’ve got to meet somebody, right? I’ve got to meet somebody face to face, know who they are, and then when people come along then, then I can connect with them. Then I can start building a relationship. Twitter is very open for the most part. Most people have their tweets out in public. You can search it, you can find somebody, then you become friends with them, you start learning about each other, and really build a relationship. LinkedIn, Facebook, most of the other channels, you have to have a connection with somebody before you can start engaging with them.
Samantha: Right, you have to approve, like if it’s Facebook, you have to approve their friend request. And on LinkedIn, you have to accept as well. So it’s like a big intro email. Whereas Twitter, someone will follow you, when someone follows you, I go and I have a look, okay who is this guy, what’s he all about, does he look normal, is he going to add value to my day or can I add value to him? Okay, he looks like he has nice tweets. I always look down to their past few tweets and if they’re bitching about people or if they’re being negative I just don’t bother following them back. But if I feel it could be someone that I would like to have in my network, I follow them back. And so don’t underestimate the power of Twitter lists. If anyone wants to go into my Twitter profile, @TweetingGoddess, I have a list of Impressive Females, I have a list of Amazing Irish People and Top Irish Leaders, so they could be some people to start you off even, because I wouldn’t have put them on the list unless they were very engaging and unless they were doing something amazing. And that could be in business, it could be in charity work, it could be in anything. So check out other people’s lists as well, because let’s say you go to a competitor and you see them on Twitter. Have a look at their lists. Have a look and see who do they think are really important to put on the list? Because chances are, they might be similar people that you might want to be talking to too.
R. Shawn McBride: Right, exactly, it’s a very open platform. So you’re learning as you go and you can see who is in that particular community and you learn a lot whereas the other platforms tend to be very closed. You have to connect with somebody, then you can get their information. So it’s been amazing for that for me. You talk a lot about norms in Twitter as we talk and how do you do it. So if somebody’s ready to jump into Twitter, they want to build a community, what are some of the things they need to be thinking about as far as being a proper member of the Twitter community so that they seem like they’re doing the right things and playing by the right norms?
Samantha: Okay so like etiquette I suppose. Okay, the first thing to do is, maybe follow me first. Or follow you, Shawn. Or follow Ana. Start following people that you already know. Have a look at the people we’re talking to. Ask me, you know I really want to connect with people who can do, who are involved in the wedding industry. So I’d be able to point you in the right direction of a community that’s already there in the wedding space. There are different communities. There are beauty communities, wedding communities, accounting communities. There are all kinds of communities. And if there is none for solicitors, create one, you know? And all you do is you start talking to these people and then maybe when you get to know them a bit more say, you know what? Why don’t we meet up every Thursday nights on Twitter at 5 o’clock, and let’s have a Twitter chat? You could call it Solicitor Chat or Lawyer Chat or whatever it is, and you start a community that way. I started that by doing, one night I was really annoyed and I was really frustrated as a small business owner, and I was sitting in my living room and I said, you know what, I am sick of all these blocks being put in front of me. Do you know what it looks like, we’re just going to have to help each other out here. There’s plenty of business for everybody. So I said, “If you have a business and you’re a small business owner, join me for Irish Biz Party” I called it, #irishbizparty. I said let’s have an Irish Biz Party. Let’s retweet each other our next chat and see how we can help each other. And it trended in Ireland that night.
R. Shawn McBride: Very nice.
Samantha: And everyone’s like, oh my god can we do this again? There was a bit of messin’ and a bit of banter going on, and people saying oh I have the beer, where’s the party, where’s the toilet, so there was a bit of fun happening as well. But sales were happening and I started to see people going, I didn’t realize you lived up the road from me. We must meet for coffee. And then I saw collaborations happening, I saw sales because one girl put up this kind of a thing, this teacher’s gift, you know when kids finish school? And it was lovely, it was kind of a plaque thing. I saw one lady say, oh that’s lovely. Where can I order that?
R. Shawn McBride: Yes.
Samantha: And so there were sales happening. So that’s when I saw the magic of what was possible. That’s been going on every Wednesday night here in Ireland every Wednesday night, for years. I don’t own it anymore, but I own #womeninspire hashtag which is tonight in Ireland at 10 pm. So that’s about six hours from now. But I started that because I noticed like you have to see who are your audience. Who are the people you want to be talking to? And I noticed that it was women in business that really were identifying with me and any articles I wrote, they were sharing them. So they were my biggest allies. So I said okay, I need to create a community of female entrepreneurs just like me because they’re the ones I identify with and they identify with me. And I’m all about not ignoring anybody. So let’s say someone comes on and only has three followers. They say Hi @TwitterGoddess, I’m new, I don’t know what I’m doing, blah blah blah, I will always retweet them and say to my followers, Hey guys, check out Joanne or whatever, have a look at her, she’s only new, welcome her to Twitter. And then people on Twitter, they’re different from Facebook. The demographic is aged 35-55 and the highest demographic is the over 55. So they’ve all been there, done that, have either been through a divorce or some kind of illness or tragedy or death or something. Well not them, but they’ve been through some kind of life change. But you know I find, I really do find this on Twitter, that they’re much more likely to help, and they’re much more likely to not put up with any crap. So if you want to be in with good people around you and helpful people, then Twitter is where they are.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah. It’s all about community. It sounds like you’ve got a lot of intentionality in what you’ve done over the years, but there’s also some accidentals and things that just click differently than you thought they would.
Samantha: Yeah, absolutely, I didn’t know I was going to be running Twitter accounts and training people on Twitter. My business was totally different. When people started asking me and approaching me, like a hotel approached me and said, do you know what, could you help us, like how did you get so many followers? How did you do that? I said okay. When I helped them, what I did was I went into their account and I just went back to the customers they already had who had already mentioned the hotel. And I said Hi Mary, how are you, we haven’t seen you in awhile. And then Mary was like, oh! The hotel just said hello to me. So then Mary was like, I’m doing this and I’m doing that and starting chatting. And the next thing she said was, actually, I could do with a little break, have you any special offers at the moment? And bam.
R. Shawn McBride: Bam.
Samantha: So their kicks to sale went up 15% and that’s when I realized. When their head office rang the girl who had hired me and said how did you do that? They went, we hired Samantha! That’s when I knew that I had something special that people didn’t realize.
R. Shawn McBride: Right, so much is just communication. You’re essentially using Twitter, as a tool, to engage in conversations and communicate with people.
Samantha: That’s all, really. Honestly. I mean Facebook Live is another great way, what we’re doing here. Because you’re engaging, you’re having a look. I don’t know if there are people here that we can talk to and say Welcome to whoever their names are. I always like to say, Welcome Ana, Welcome whoever’s in the room. Because it’s important that the people watching don’t feel ignored because they’ve taken time out to join us. So the same with Twitter, if they’re taking the time out to retweet me or to engage with me, I’m never going to ignore anybody.
R. Shawn McBride: Right. Again, the slight tweak between Twitter and Facebook is Facebook you have to be connected with somebody, then you can deepen the relationship whereas Twitter, this is out there in the world, somebody that’s looking to get better at Twitter, you know when we have this video posted on YouTube and we’ll retweet it. Anybody can see that. Anybody that’s searching, “How do I get better at Twitter” might come across this video and then they can connect with you or connect with me, depending on what they’re trying to do, you know I have a completely different business. I’m all about helping businesses with their business plans, but we learn about a lot of other people through Twitter because it’s very open.
Samantha: Yeah, well look, myself and yourself, the important thing about Twitter is to take the relationship that you’ve built on Twitter to the next level which is what we’re doing here right now Shawn. Which is we’re actually bringing this to the next level which is face to face, we had a little Skype call there last week and it’s all about bringing it to the next level. And then the next level after that is, we’ll probably meet in real life, whether you come over to my event or I go over to the states, whatever, and it won’t be a handshake, it will be a hug at that stage.
R. Shawn McBride: Exactly, we know each other.
Samantha: That’s where the magic.
R. Shawn McBride: Right, you and I have yet to meet in person, but I know a lot about you and your business because we’ve talked on Twitter and then that’s turned into a couple video chats before or during other sessions, and there’s a real relationship here. We know each other and what’s going on, and all because we found commonality in the beginning. I think you posted some quote when you were at an event. Somehow that quote popped up in one of my searches. And I’m like, I like what she’s saying and what she’s thinking so I sent something back to you, and next thing you know we follow each other and it’s just gone from there, right?
Samantha: Then I had a note on YouTube. You see and don’t forget, people are watching all the time and that’s why it’s so important. You don’t need to see these debates going on, on Twitter. I just never get involved in controversy. I just stay out of it because I do not want to be in that Twitter stream of negativity. That’s why I always go and have a look, I’ll have a nosey at your site, I’ll have a nosey to see. Everybody is doing that, so trust me. If you’re involved in a Twitter chat, there are lots of them in the States, there’s TwitterSmarter which is run by Madeline Skylar, there is USABizParty, which I think Ana is going to start soon, there are all these different Twitter chats, there are content chats, there are Adobe chats. Like, have a look for Twitter chats and you can see, trust me, just because people are not taking part, they’re watching. They’re watching what’s going on. They’re learning. Trust me, I know this for a fact. Microsoft contacted me because they saw me talking on their chat.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, I’m being followed by a social media person from a very large US company. They started following me, I don’t know why, but they did. And I’ve got a couple of celebrities that are following me as well. So they’ve found whatever I’m saying resonates with them. I find it very interesting how that Twitter community builds. Celebrities I thought I’d never talk to I’ve actually sent messages back and forth with. We’ve actually had Twitter conversations. Authors of books. You know I’ve read books and liked a chapter, or liked the concept and I’d just send a message to the author and the author writes back to me. I mean that’s the type of access you would never have in the real world. And so it just opens doors.
R. Shawn McBride: We’ll have to do it again and share some more tips and get some questions from some folks and you know feel free to write to me or Samantha if you have questions. Tell people how to get ahold of you, Samantha, and we’ll kind of wrap up with that and we’ll open it up for future questions and give people some more content that helps them in the future.
Samantha: Sure, it’s TweetingGoddess.com. And also if you’re a female entrepreneur and you want to join my community it’s WomensInspireNetwork.com and we do weekly chats like this, mornings online. And we also do webinars online. And you get free 30 minute consultations. Basically, I just got sick of networks that I wasn’t getting value from, so I said, you know what, I’m going to create my own one that works properly. You know if you tweet to us, we actually answer you.
R. Shawn McBride: That’s a great concept you know, and I’ve actually joined one of your chats. It was very early US time, but it was a great experience and I can see the value you’re giving to people. You should definitely check it out. I’m over at McBrideForBusiness. I’m all about businesses building their plans and executing their companies, and this is one of the things I do. I love to just bring great experts to share their little expertise and Samantha’s got a ton of information about Twitter and really made a difference on how I view Twitter and what I’m doing over there, so check her out, get some tips and help build your business to the next level. Samantha, thanks for joining us.
Samantha: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
R. Shawn McBride: Sure. Okay, we’ll get this closed out on Facebook Live. We’ll get it posted for folks so they can check it out in the future. And check out both of us in the future if you want some more tips because we’re always giving value to people and that’s what it’s all about.
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About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.