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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Our guide to Twitter Networking Hours

I have always loved taking part in our local networking hours - #NorthEastHour (Mondays 8-9pm and Tuesdays 2-3pm), #NEFollowers (Thursdays 2-3pm) and #NECoastHour (Tuesdays 8-9pm) are all favourites of mine.


The benefits a local networking hour has to a blogger or business are as follows:-
  • Increase in Twitter Followers
  • Increase in business
  • Increase in website hits (my blog is normally viewed 600-1000 times during or just after #NorthEastHour)
  • You may discover a business of interest to you
  • A quick, easy and free way to promote your own services or posts
  • Interacting with and supporting the local community
Twitter can be daunting but networking hours are generally a very friendly place to be and everyone helps each other out. If you are stuck, you can find me @NEfamilyfun - just send me a quick tweet and I'll help you out.


Step by Step Guide


1 - Log into twitter at the beginning of the allocated hour. Look out for tweets in your feed using the relevant hashtag (lets just say #NorthEastHour)

2 - If you spot any tweets using the hashtag that are of interest to you or your customers (or they could be a potential customer of yours) try and reply, say hello or simply retweet. Interaction is the key.

3 - In your search bar, search for '#NorthEastHour' (or relevant hashtag). This will bring up everybody who is taking part. Scan the list for people of interest and interact.


4 - Don't forget to tweet yourself - a good mix of promoting your own business, images and general chat works well. I like to tweet once every 5 minutes. Don't forget to use the hashtag! 

5 - Mark any tweets of interest to yourself as a 'favourite' (click the little star underneath the tweet). Twitter remembers these tweets and will put them in a nice list for you to re-visit at the end of the hour. To find the list, click on 'favourites'.


6 - At the end of the hour revisit your notifications - if anyone retweeted one of your tweets or marked them as a favourite, make sure you thank them and give them a follow. If anyone has followed you during the hour it's always nice to follow them back and maybe send them a little DM (direct message) thanking them for a follow with a short sentence about what your business can offer.

To send somebody a DM, you both need to be following each other. You simply click the sun shape on their profile and select 'send a direct message'.


Make sure you re-visit the tweets you have marked as a favourite too and take any appropriate action.


Advanced


1- Shorten links

You are only allowed 140 characters per tweet - links can take up a huge proportion of this. I like to use bitly.com to shorten links. This is completely free of charge and bitly remembers your previous links. You can customise them too which I always do as it looks a lot more professional than a lot of random numbers and letters. Here I have shortened http://www.northeastfamilyfun.co.uk to bit.ly/NEfamilyfun 




2 - Schedule tweets

There are lots of programmes around that allow you to schedule tweets - I like to schedule my own tweets prior to networking hours (one every 5 minutes) so I am free to interact with other tweeters and tweet images without worrying about my own tweets. I like to use twuffer which is free and easy. Make sure you remember to include the relevant hashtag in your scheduled tweets and you can use your shortened links too.


Twitter networking hours have been invaluable to me - I have increased my followers, increased my blog views and I have received countless opportunities due to taking part. I would highly recommend you give them a go, the key is not to be shy and to interact and support fellow businesses. The rest will follow.

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38 comments

  1. Brilliant tip about Bitly :) I'll give it a try tomorrow morning when my next post goes live!

    Thanks x

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    1. Good luck - I love bitly. Fab when you need to squeeze a lot in x

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  2. Thank you so much for this! This was on my to do list to put in my new organised business file! Love it!

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    1. Loving the sound of a new organised business file!

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  3. This is really useful, I keep missing the chats as I never knew where they were!

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    1. Looking forward to you joining in Alison xx

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  4. Great post, i always see the networking hours but i am never sure when they are or if they would be any use as a blogger, will have to give them a go sometime. I think i will also be looking into scheduling some tweets too as i have never even thought about doing that before x

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    1. Definitely give them a go if you can, I've found them to be a great way to engage and grow readers x

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  5. this is a great piece of information , thanks for sharing will be keeping an eye on this

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  6. I great post. I love networking on Twitter I've made so many great connections

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    1. Yep - it's fab and best of all you can do it at home in your pjs with a glass of wine :-)

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  7. Thanks for this! I too am in the NE so recently followed the local 'hours' :)

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    1. Hope to see you joining in tonight - 8-9pm #Northeasthour

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  8. I had never heard of this, so thank you I am about to learn all about it.

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    1. Great - networking hours are fab for bloggers

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  9. This is something I need to do more of! Time to get organised with my #twitterhours!

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    1. Definitely - they really are a great way to increase exposure and followers.

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  10. What a great post, and some great tips, thanks for sharing!!

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  11. Very useful tips. I ve attended a couple of twitter networking events so far but always feel myself getting lost in the crowd. I m pinning these tips for future reference.

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  12. Fab tips huni. I need to do these, as don't really do any. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

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    1. I find twitter networking hours are a free and easy way to promote your blog :D

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  13. Great post, I need to join in with a few more of these!

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  14. Fantastic post with some great tips. I've not heard of Bitly before but will give that a try.

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  16. Thanks for this post and reminder, I've been planning to join #BrightonHour since we have moved here from London and never got a chance to do it, no more excuses! :)

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    1. Definitely no more excuses - you need to put yourself out there in your new home :-)

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  17. Fab guide. I am ALWAYS missing the networking hours relevant to me because my job is so unpredictable - why hadn't I considered scheduling before?! You're a star. Thanks!

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  18. This is great, I didn't even know this existed on Twitter! Thank you!

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  19. This is super helpful! I keep meaning to give the twitter hours a go but I'm so scared to contribute ha!

    northeastnerd.co.uk

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    1. Ah it's been nice to see you in some of our NE Networking hours now Fiona xx

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  20. Great tips. I always forget to look at hashtags.

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  21. I have never heard of this, but going to check out my local things.

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  22. Not tried networking hours yet but after reading this, I want to give it a go. How would I find some local to me as I'm in the West Midlands? Thanks

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    1. There is link to a list of local networking hours at the top of the page - hopefully there will be one close to you there xx

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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