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Social media training and hot potatoes

Today we gave potentially our last ever Twitter school. The popular Twitter training workshops have been running since January 2012, but due to new direction and focus on training elsewhere, today may have been the curtain call.

We went out on a bang though, and today’s workshop, although only a small group, totally encompassed why we have been tirelessly teaching people to tweet for business. With a generous mix of businesses and the usual flamboyant but energetic approach to training, we set to work getting people to get Twitter.

The reason Twitter School began was the very reason we still teach, blog, preach and generally help businesses on Twitter… to help them get it, and use it effectively. Twitter School was born from frustration after I attended a poor Twitter workshop, and left feeling that I’d learnt nothing, and took nothing from it - I wanted to give people what I missed out on!

Today was incredible, and I promise it wasn’t set up!

About half way through my signature Twitter School presentation today, I threw the rule book out, I turned off my PowerPoint, and I let the class lead. It became apparent that they wanted to ‘see’ Twitter working, so my lovely followers became lab rats.

Hooking up my iPad to the screen, I tentatively set about showing my tweets, mentions, and worse… my DMs to the workshop attendees. I took quick fire questions and requests and tested Twitter for all it was worth… and we got great results.

Advanced search on TwitterFirst we had a business owner with some warehouse space to rent. “What’s the best place to sell that on Twitter?” he said. Sell? Oh dear, that’s not what Twitter is about. I tell you what though, when we reversed that thought process and searched for people looking for warehouse space in Northampton instead, we struck gold… in under 30 seconds! We found an account asking for warehouse space, as they have a client ready and waiting – perfect! The web address and Twitter name were quickly scribbled down and I hope it leads to a sale.

Next we looked at mentions and how conversation worked. I had totally forgotten the conversations I had had the night before, but that didn’t deter me showing the class. One such random chat was about prawns and how you can/can’t heat them up (don’t ask) and another was about baked potatoes!

Baked potatoes delivered by tweets? 

Dale @PanchoPotatoes had promised to deliver my lunch to the Warwick Arms where we hold Twitter School. I saw that he had tweeted me, so I replied to give my menu choice as an example of how Twitter conversations work, only to see him arrive 10 minutes later! This really impressed the class – magic!

Other successes included having two people in the room thanks to reciprocation from Malcolm @CatalanTapas sending his restaurant guests to me. I explained that helping others was how Twitter worked, and that when Malcolm has a spare few places for dinner we often tweet and help him fill them (or we go ourselves!). To then have two people in my workshop who would never have found me otherwise proved the point perfectly. 

Twitter is brilliant! 

TweetdeckThe real winner today was the interaction and of course the sheer brilliance of Twitter and how adaptable it is. Many people have asked me over the years if Twitter is for them, to which I reply yes, but use it in a way that benefits you.

Not all people will find Twitter is a vein of gold and full of customers, but I guarantee, and proved it in seconds today, that people are looking for you, on Twitter, right now. Searching and interacting in a responsive way is a fantastic way to use the 140-character platform.

Forget the sales, forget the ROI, forget the rules, and forget that Twitter is online. It’s just people talking to people and we can all do that. When you add this to the great saying “people do business with people” you can really see why using Twitter well but on a personal level is where it’s at.

One of the businesses today summed it up perfectly.

“We already tell our customers what we do and what we want from them, but we want to hear from them, what they want, and what drives them.”

THAT is what social media is for, and THAT is exactly how you should see it. Stop selling, start listening and starting looking for people who are looking for you.

We have really enjoyed teaching businesses from our base at the fabulous Warwick Arms, and we can’t believe it’s been almost two years since that first sold-out workshop in a cramped back room at the Rose and Crown.

Our 1:1s and bespoke workshops are more popular than ever. We just realised that businesses like to have us visit them; they want their staff and team trained onsite, and they want it all tailored to their requirements.

We’re also going to be teaching social media and digital marketing for a local training company too. We’ve come a long way and we’re not looking back, we hope to see you at a future training session soon. 

If you or someone you know needs help with anything social media, marketing, digital awareness and all that comes with it, drop us a line. We love getting people excited in our digital world! 



My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

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