I attended a webinar yesterday (3 July). It was free. I was sent notification of it from two different emailing lists that I subscribe to, one from Lilach Bullock, who was one of the two speakers and the other from Hubspot, who were hosting it. Normally I ignore such things, but I’m on a drive to keep my skills fresh and so I thought it was worth a look. Some stuff I knew, some was new, and it got me thinking as well, which is always a good thing.

The are slides and video are here http://offers.hubspot.com/thank-you/webinar-how-to-get-80000-engaged-twitter-followers, if you want to take a look.

Did I learn how to reach 80,000 engaged Twitter followers? Well not really. This is an example of an attention grabbing title that’s not quite accurate. Lilach Bullock has lots of useful tips and does have 82.9k followers, but it has taken a long time and a lot of effort for her and her team to get to that point, and she’s considered to be a social media guru. For small businesses that aren’t in the social media business, the message, I feel, is that 80,000 is an unrealistic target, but what you can learn is how to use Twitter to engage with a number of people that’s appropriate for the scale of your business.

For me the biggest message was early in the presentation:

  1. Set realistic expectations; it takes time and effort
  2. Vital to have sticky and engaging website – ensure pages have easy one-click sharing buttons
  3. Ensure you have tracking and analytics in place

There were some tools that I am going to try out and also as a result of attending the webinar I get $50 of free advertising on Twitter, so I’m thinking about what experiments to do with that. I also learnt from the second speaker, Brian Lavery from Twitter, more about how Twitter advertising works, and the segmentation is particularly interesting for small local businesses.

I picked up some jargon terms that I can figure out, but don’t necessarily use and I thought a social media (marketing) glossary of terms would be good. I found one on Hubspot but it is missing things so I wonder if that is a project for someone? For example they referred to “Twitter handle”. I like that but haven’t heard it before, comes from CB radio talk, I’m guessing. @dentonpotter11 is my Twitter handle, although now I am thinking (as a result of the webinar) whether to set up a new Twitter account with a shorter handle, because then if people retweet messages my handle will take up less of the precious 140 characters.

A/B testing tweets was another thing mentioned. This is also known as split testing. In simple terms try two options of something and see which works best then scale up. Obviously in reality what two things you try and how you scale up is much more complicated. The message for me is that you have to be constantly experimenting, and learning from your experiments. That applies whatever size you are, and if you are experimenting you need to do things properly and have data to be able to measure what the difference was between option A and option B.

A tool I know an use already that was mentioned was Manageflitter. I use the free version frequently to clean up people that I have been following who haven’t been following me back. I haven’t tried the paid option.

A tool I haven’t used before that I am now trying is Commun.it. My verdict so far is interesting and lots of potential, but not sure it will work for me.

If you are feeling disappointed by the title of this post and that I haven’t delivered, perhaps you would be more interested in my very real example of how I grew my twitter following from 300 to 2000 in 6 weeks.