Twitter Chats: 101 Tips for Success

 

Tweet Chats: 101 Tips for Success

Tweet Chats: 101 Tips for Success

I’ve been hosting #DigiBlogChat (a Twitter chat) since August 5, 2015. Besides this chat, I’ve hosted other chats for years for various brands. So I’ve learned a few things. This is for those of you who want to host your own chat. If you want to participate, you might want to read my post: TweetChats: How to Participate.

What is a Tweet Chat?

A twitter chat is a live event on Twitter, organized around a hashtag. It can be a one-time-only event, or an ongoing event.

1. Participate first before hosting your own chat. Get on a chat or two. Or four.

2. Cohost a chat to see how much work it is. You’ll probably need at least two hours per week to host.

3. Before you jump in, ask someone else how much work is involved.

An Occasional Cartoon Can Help When Your Chat Lags

An Occasional Cartoon Can Help When Your Chat Lags

4. Research your hashtag. Search for 2-3 best hashtags, the shorter the better.

5. Register your hashtag. While no one “owns” a hashtag, registering one gives you legitimacy. You can register on Twubs.

6. Register your tweet chat (also on Twubs).

7. Upload a header for your chat.

8. Send reminders to the people on your list.

9. Use a scheduler for reminders. Send them (at 7:00 am or earlier) a day or two before the chat.

10. Schedule reminders for the following week right after a chat. It saves time.

11. Group people on reminders,

Keep a Tickler File so You Don't Have to Consult Your Magic 8Ball

Keep a Tickler File so You Don’t Have to Consult Your Magic 8Ball

12. Keep a tickler list of topics and cohosts.

13. Flesh out your topics. Create 8-9 questions.

14. Stay open during the chat for an additional sub-question.

15. Save off-topic questions for another chat.

16. Don’t be afraid to repeat topics and tweak questions a little.

17. Involve participants.

18. Have a good, engaging topic to attract new participants and keep everyone interested.

19. Send more than one reminder, especially if you’re just starting out.

20. Remind people about the chat on Facebook.

Have a promo image for your Twitter Chat

Have a promo image for your Twitter Chat

21. Create a promo image with the time, hashtag, etc.

22. Change your promo image for each chat if you’re super-ambitious!

23. Promote your chat on Pinterest on your “events” board.

24. Delete and repin your promo on Pinterest before each chat.

25. Ask others to promote for you.

26. Get on the chat at least 15 minutes early.

27. Clear all your notifications and reply to people before you start your chat.

28. Use TweetChat or Twubs.

29. Keep both TweetChat and Twubs open; use whichever is most reliable that day.

30. Keep your questions nearby.

31. Cut and paste your questions into the chat.

32. Welcome everyone.

33. Encourage newbies.

34. Encourage a friendly atmosphere.

35. Get help to welcome people.

The Co-Host for #DigiBlogChat is Larry Mount

The Co-Host for #DigiBlogChat is Larry Mount

 

36. Have a co-host for help with topics, promotion, and for more reach, too.

37. Have sponsors create topics and questions.

38. Get a sub if you go on vacation.

39. Create a tweet or two for the sub to explain that you’re on vacation.

40. Remind everyone of the chat’s format.

41. Favorite tweets for inclusion in a post later.

42. Tell people you’re favoriting tweets for a curated blog post.

43. Halfway through send a “stretch” reminder. Hat tip to Bridget Willard of You Too Can Be a Guru for this one.

44. Check TweetReach for a free “slice” of your chat.

45. For complete analytics, use Tweetreach ($20).

46. Send a tweet with the Tweetreach stats.

47. Keep the Tweetreach window/tab open.

48. After the chat, do a screenshot, go to Facebook, and post the screenshot, along with a link to the Tweetreach stats.

49. After the chat, update your Twitter profile to the next chat’s date.

Change Your Profile to Show the Next Chat

Change Your Profile to Show the Next Chat

50. Update your Twitter list with the new people.

51. Schedule reminders. Keep a Google list. Schedule those reminders right away.

52. Prepare eight or nine questions for the next week.

53. Space your questions, starting at about 1:03 and then every 7-8 minutes.

54. Still reading? Holy cow. You should get a prize.

55. Side conversations are a good thing.

56. Friendships will develop. Also a good thing.

57. Don’t worry about spam. The community will probably block the spammer themselves.

58. Nip bullying in the bud. Prepare a statement to discourage it.

Holy Cow! Are You Still Reading?

Holy Cow! Are You Still Reading?

59. Decide upon your ultimate goal. To create a community? Gain followers?

60. Use a simple way to measure your goal. Number of tweets or reach, for instance.

61. Set interim goals, as well as long-range ones.

62. Use tools to extend the life of your chat. Storify is excellent.

63. Edit your Storify to 3-4 tweets per question.

64. Create a blog post from your chat.

65. Add images to your blog post.

66. Tweet the blog post.

67. Tag people from the chat who are mentioned in your post.

68. Research your topic if it’s one you don’t already know thoroughly.

69. Create Tweets from the research, such as links about articles.

70. Tweet images, such as cartoons.

71. Invite more people to the chat.

72. Invite people who might be interested in a particular chat topic.

73. If your invited guests join the chat, add them to the list.

74. Rinse and repeat.

75. Remove people from your list if they don’t attend.

Try to Keep the Chat on Topic Because Squirrel!

Try to Keep the Chat on Topic Because Squirrel!

76. If people get goofy and go wayyyy off topic, rope it back in. Or not.

77. Decide if you want to tweet about religion, politics, or sex.

Don't Worry Too Much About Low Attendance

Don’t Worry Too Much About Low Attendance

78. Despite low attendance, as long as your attendance trends upwards, it’s all good.

79. Set up HootSuite or Tweetchat with a column for your chat’s hashtag in between chats.

80. Avoid selling your own product.

81. Ask for topic suggestions and co-hosts.

82. Consider the time zones of your target audience. For instance, my friends in England stay up late to attend.

83. Have special guests to create excitement and extend your own knowledge base.

84. Offer the occasional prize or gift. For instance, for an anniversary or special event.

85. Track the number of tweets, impressions, and contributors.

Get Your Chat Listed

Get Your Chat Listed

86. Make sure you’re listed in chat directories, such as Kneaver.

Don't Believe Everything Your Friends Say

87. If your friend Adam tells you that making a list of 100 items for a blog post is easy, don’t believe him. It’s harder than making pie. People say pie is easy, too.

88. Use your desktop for the most control. Do not attempt to host a chat on mobile. That way madness lies.

89. Search for other chats in your industry on Google by “keyword + twitter chat” before you pick a time/day for your own.

90. Join other chats to search out new topics for your own.

91. Don’t choose a time that clashes with other chats in your industry.

92. Your chat name doesn’t have to end with chat (although most do). You could end with talk, for instance.

93. Send questions to guests (or publish them) ahead of time. Some people like to prepare beforehand.

94. Schedule at least two tweets the day of the chat and one the day before to promote.

95. Reward your best contributors. Give them a shoutout after the chat to say thanks.

96. If you have a guest answering questions for the brand, you can have them live on the phone during the chat.

97. Use your email list to promote and grow your chat even more.

98. Follow all the newbies on your chat–unless they’re spammy.

Publicize Your Twitter List After the Chat

Publicize Your Twitter List After the Chat

99. Publicize your Twitter list after the chat. Ask people to subscribe as a service.

100. If newbies forget etiquette during the chat, remind them (e.g., don’t forget the hashtag!).

101. Above all, be a good host. Like a party, a Twitter chat needs structure and planning to operate smoothly.

What Advice Do You Have?

If you have any advice, let me know in the comments! Thanks.

Ten Ways to Be Social

Ten Ways to Be Social

Ten Ways to Be Social

If you’ve been on social media for awhile, you’ve heard me saying over and over to engage. So today instead of telling you to engage, I’m going to tell you how to engage. Don’t worry. It’s not that difficult! But it is one of the top questions I get about social media.

Say Hello

One thing is sure. When you say hello to people, they say hello back! Even a casual, “Hi! How’s it going?” will probably do more to get you engagement than tweeting ten articles with links. People like to be noticed and we all love to talk about ourselves.

If you say hello, people say hello back!

If you say hello, people say hello back!

Talk About Them

Don’t just talk about yourself. Talk about them. Ask how they are. Be curious. How did they get their name? Where is their company located? What do they do? How did they get the idea for the article they just published?

Thank People

When people retweet you, share your posts, or comment on a blog, say thank you. Don’t simply retweet their retweet of your tweet (did you follow that? Yay.). Go one step farther and retweet something THEY would like retweeted. Probably something they wrote that links back to their website. Here’s a terrific post on the two words that help brand loyalty (guess what they are?!) from Bridget Willard.

Retweet from a Friend's Website

Retweet from a Friend’s Website — I’d add an image here

If your friend sent a tweet without an image, go to the link and add the image. They will get more retweets and you’ll look good, too.

Finished Tweet, Uploaded and Scheduled

Finished Tweet, Uploaded and Scheduled

To turbocharge the tweet for your friend, add an image, shorten the link, include their Twitter handle, and schedule it at an optimal time so it’ll get the most views. The screenshot above is from my HootSuite scheduler.

Comment on Your Friend’s Blog

For extra brownie points, comment on their blog. It only takes an extra minute, and they will love it! Seriously. Even if you just say “good article!” Better still, ask a question about the article and keep the conversation going.

Cross-Post to Another Platform, such as Pinterest

Cross-Post to Another Platform, such as Pinterest

Cross-Post to Another Platform

See a good post on Facebook? Put it on Twitter. Or put it on a popular Pinterest board. Or post it to LinkedIn. And then you could tag your friend and thank them for the interesting article. The tag is important if you want your friend to see it.

Being Friendly Isn't All That Difficult

Being Friendly Isn’t All That Difficult

Join Their TweetChat

Many people have chats these days. Join in their chat and publicize it, too. That makes both of you look good. My tweetchat, #DigiBlogChat, is Tuesdays at 1:00 pm Pacific Time, by the way. And here is how to participate in a TweetChat should you ever want to join one.

Meet in Person

This is the ultimate way of being social. Once you meet someone in person, everything changes. That person becomes three dimensional. So if you’ve been talking to someone since the Internet was invented (by Al Gore), ask to meet that person if you’re going to be in their area.

What Did I Miss?

What are some other ways you like to be social?

 

Three Favorite Tools to Manage Twitter Chats

Three Favorite Tools to Manage Twitter Chats

Three Favorite Tools to Manage Twitter Chats

If you’ve been tweeting for awhile, you are already familiar with some of the more common tools out there. However, you may not know about which tools you can use to help you with Twitter Chats. Many people use the Twitter app on their smartphone to tweet, or manage their accounts with Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. For a chat, it’s much easier if you use the desktop–there’s so much going on and so quickly.

You can use Tweetdeck/Hootsuite with specific columns for your chat’s hashtag and mentions, but specialized tools are much more helpful. What other tools are available to help you manage your chat and keep your sanity? Here are three of my favorites.

TweetChat is a Favorite Tool to Manage Twitter Chats

TweetChat is a Favorite Tool to Manage Twitter Chats

TweetChat

TweetChat is an interface that allows you to run and attend Twitter chats. Enter your hashtag to start, and login through your Twitter account. As moderator, your questions will be highlighted and more visible to others in the chat. You can slow down the stream, which is handy if you’re on a busy chat. TweetChat automagically adds the hashtag to your tweet, too.

TweetChat Automagically Adds the Hashtag to Your Tweets During a Chat

TweetChat Automagically Adds the Hashtag to Your Tweets During a Chat

 

The screenshot above shows you the TweetChat interface during an actual chat (#DigiBlogChat is on Tuesdays at 1 pm Pacific time, run by myself and @LazBlazter). Note the green “Pause Stream” button–very handy sometimes! I also like the “active rooms” feature, where you can see which chats are active.

Twubs is a free and easy-to-use tool to help you manage your Twitter chat

Twubs is a free and easy-to-use tool to help you manage your Twitter chat

Twubs

This free and easy-to-use tool helps you manage your Twitter chat. Simply enter your hashtag and sign in through Twitter. Like TweetChat, Twubs adds the hashtag for you, and lets you isolate tweets from the chat. There’s also a handy list of chats if you get on Twitter and feel like chatting (tweetchats are an excellent way to get high-quality followers), but don’t have a chat in mind.

On Twubs, people can join as contributors or members of a chat

On Twubs, people can join as contributors or members of a chat

Another nifty feature of Twubs is the ability to register your hashtag. Keep in mind, though, that no one “owns” a hashtag. And people can join as contributors or members if they are regulars to your chat. On a busy chat, you could easily miss someone’s tweet, so seeing contributors is a handy feature–though this is a partial list of total contributors.

TweetReach analyzes the reach of your Twitter Chat

TweetReach analyzes the reach of your Twitter Chat

TweetReach

TweetReach analyzes the reach of your Twitter Chat. Also use it to see how far a url or phrase has traveled (could be a handy way to see who has retweeted your blog posts, for instance). If you use it halfway through the chat you can get an idea of how well your chat as a whole is doing. You could also pay the $20 to get the full-fledged report with all the analytics. If you like data, you’re likely to be in Nirvana if you see the full report!

Have a Favorite Twitter Chat Tool?

Leave me a comment, below. I’m always fascinated by the tools that people use to help manage their Twitter chats. And thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Why Not Promote Your Book with Twitter?

This is part three of a series of blog posts about promoting your own book. If you missed parts 1 and 2, here they are.

Stay tuned for another post about using Facebook to promote a book soon.

Be Generous on Twitter

Be Generous on Twitter

Twitter

23% of online adults currently use Twitter

According to the Pew Research Center, 23% of online adults currently use Twitter

According to a Pew Research Center article, “23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated.” Does that sound like your audience?

Be Generous First

Use Twitter to tweet about yourself, your interests, and, of course, your book.  More importantly, engage with your friends and followers, as well as other authors on Twitter. You can ask for retweets occasionally by saying “please retweet” in your tweet. Share other authors’ and friends’ tweets. If you’re generous on Twitter, your generosity will be repaid.

Write Great Tweets

As with everything on twitter, your writing must shine so that people will want to read your books. Crisp, clear, fun writing will attract people. Tweets can include great quotes from book reviews (with links to where people can buy your book), and fabulous images.

Pin Important Tweets

Twitter now allows you to “pin” your tweet to the top of your account. Go to the tweet you want to pin, click on the three little dots under it, and choose “pin to your profile page.” Now your tweet will live at the top of your profile.

Use A Hashtag or Two

A hashtag such as #SciFi or #Fiction may be just the ticket for your book promotion so that people looking for something to read can find you. You could also add them to your profile, along with #author.

Consider Targeting

Who is your ideal audience? The narrower you can define your audience, the better. You can search within Twitter for your audience and follow those people.

Tweetchats

Tweet chats are an excellent way to get more high-quality followers as well as to become an authority on your topic. If you don’t know what a tweet chat is, here’s how to participate. I highly recommend that you begin your tweet chats long before your book is published.

If you have a book with 12 chapters, you probably have at least 12 topics for tweet chats. You could have one weekly for 12 weeks (or longer, to gain even more followers). To promote your chat, send reminders every week. Tweet them out a day or two before the chat. My chat, #DigiBlogChat, is on Tuesdays at 1 pm, so I schedule my reminder tweets for 5:00-7:00 am Monday mornings. That way, they’re not in the main “stream” and don’t cause a lot of clutter.

Here’s an example of a reminder tweet (note: send it to multiple people at a time):

Send reminders for your tweet chat the day before

Send reminders for your tweet chat the day before

Schedule your reminders every five minutes. I use HootSuite Pro, but you could also use any number of other schedulers.

Use Tools to Help During the Chat

For the chat itself, log into Twubs or TweetChat (log into your Twitter account first), then put in the hashtag of your chat. Twubs and Tweetchat help you by automatically adding the hashtag. Also, you can slow down the stream, since many chats go very quickly, with lots of people tweeting in.

Twubs can help with a Tweetchat

Twubs can help with a Tweetchat

The Twubs interface is quite simple. You can see who’s tweeting about the topic. You can also see the contributors, and you can also easily retweet.

Tweetreach

One way to see how much reach you got during your chat is by using Tweetreach. Simply log in (perhaps halfway through the chat), enter the hashtag, and Tweetreach calculates the reach. The below is a snapshot (50 tweets only).

Use Tweetreach to check your Tweet Chat's reach

Use Tweetreach to check your Tweet Chat’s reach

Prepare Questions Ahead of Time for a Tweet Chat

To run a tweet chat, prepare the questions ahead of time. I create 8. At first, people like to say hello and introduce themselves, so give people 3-4 minutes for that. Then you can tweet a question every few minutes during the hour. Some chats are more freeform, but I like the question and answer format.

Have Guest Hosts

You could also have guest hosts who can create topics and questions, and this can generate excitement. If you do a book giveaway, that will be even more exciting! I’ve given away books, e-books, tickets to social media events, and classes during chats. The more promotion you do, the more excitement will build. Use all your social media to promote, and you might even want to call people if there’s a big giveaway!

Are You An Author with a Book to Promote?

How has Twitter helped you? Or if you’rejust getting started, what did I leave out? Please leave me a comment, below!

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

You’ve been wracking your brain trying to figure out what to write about on your next article or blogpost, but have come up with nothing. Zero. Zilch. When you’re at your wit’s end, here are a few places to go for inspiration.

Go Into Nature for Inspiration

Go Into Nature for Inspiration

Go Into Nature

There’s something about the sight of trees, the sound of rain, the smell of the ocean, and the feel of sand and rocks that help you to refocus and rediscover what’s important. Here’s an interesting article about sounds: Why Buffalos and Crickets Help Us Relax. A field trip to a nearby park can really get the inspirational juices going.

Take a Shower if you want inspiration

Take a Shower if you want inspiration

Take a Shower

A warm shower is one of the most relaxing places there is. You don’t have to take one with your dog to get the benefits, but that could help as well. Look at how happy that dog looks!

Get Enough Sleep for Better Inspiration

Get Enough Sleep for Better Inspiration

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep has been touted lately as important to alertness and health. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at these articles:

Go for a Drive

A drive forces your mind to focus on something other than your work (unless you’re a taxi driver). Hopefully, there’s a place to drive nearby with trees and that doesn’t involve sitting in traffic. Rolling the windows down and feeling the wind can help clear the cobwebs out of your mind and help inspire you.

Get inspired: Go Drive

Get inspired: Go Drive

Explore Other Blogs–Or Your Own

Other blogs may give you ideas that you hadn’t thought about. You could even search Google for “Inspiration,” and see where that takes you. Another idea is to go back through your own blog and see if you could take off or expand upon an idea that you had.

 

Explore Blogs

Explore Blogs

Spend Time with Pets to Be Inspired

Spend Time with Pets to Be Inspired

Spend Time with Pets

Your pet cat, your pet iguana, and your dogs would all like you to inspire you. And it turns out that you can get a lot of great ideas from man’s (and woman’s) best friends. Being more curious is but one of the things you can learn from your pets.

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Better still, go there without any way to record those new ideas. Then you’ll be forced to remember that idea. Many of us who are online all day find being offline a welcome relief.

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Clients will often ask you the best questions, questions that you didn’t know that anyone had! Last week, someone asked me how to have a conversation on Twitter, and seemed surprised that a conversation was even possible. That could turn into a blog post, or a series of tweets.

Talk to Your Friends

Talk to Your Friends

Talk to Your Friends

I’ve talked about having a blogging buddy before. That is someone who supports your crazy, crazy ideas, and inspires you to have more of them. Bridget Willard is mine. You could also have coffee or lunch with someone, especially if, like many entrepreneurs you often eat lunch alone.

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Sometimes I’ll get inspiration from others on the #DigiBlogChat Tweetchat (Tuesdays at 1 pm pst if you’d like to join!). Recently, someone asked about Twitter best practices, so that became a blogpost and it also turned into chat questions, too. Yes, the tweetchat idea was the 1/2, but really it’s more like one and one-half. That chat always invigorates me!

 

 

 

TweetChats: How to Participate

TweetChats: How to Participate

TweetChats: How to Participate

Getting the Most from a TweetChat

You’ve been invited to a tweetchat and, full of enthusiasm, you say yes without fully realizing what you’ve committed yourself to. After all, how difficult could it be, right? Actually, this is one of those times when you can do a Happy Twitter Dance because TweetChats are fun and easy to learn! You can easily participate in a TweetChat, with the help of a few tools (not necessarily a Weedwacker). As my ol’ granpappy used to say “Never bring more than one Weedwacker to a TweetChat. But I digress.

Each TweetChat Has Its Own Hashtag

For instance #DogFriendlyChat or my friend Amy Donohue’s #KidneyChat. Hashtags help to organize chats. If you need to know how not to use hashtags, here you go!

The Day or Week Before the Chat

A chat’s creator will often create and post questions so that you can prepare for that chat. For instance, Bridget Willard holds #ConstChat for Riggins Construction, and tells people the questions ahead of time. In last week’s #ConstChat, we chatted about insulation. This gave everyone lots of time to study the questions about insulation and prepare ahead of time if they wanted to. Bridget has created a really neat Tagboard for #ConstChat.

Prepare Ahead…or Not!

You can prepare answers to the questions ahead of time and for extra super-duper bonus points, you can even put your answers into a file which you can then cut and paste during the chat itself. But for the most fun during a chat, why not be spontaneous and interact with the others in the chat? When it’s your first chat, or maybe any time, maybe it’s fun to just be spontaneous.

Whether you decide to be spontaneous or prepare ahead of time, so long as you follow some basic etiquette, you’ll be fine. Don’t talk about the heartbreak of psoriasis, unless you’re on #PsoriasisChat, for instance.

Five Minutes Before a TweetChat

Log into TweetChat.com using your Twitter account. Get a cup of coffee or water, and take a deep breath. TweetChat.com automagically adds in the hashtag for you, so you don’t have to think about. It aggregates all the tweets with the hashtag for you, making the chat extra easy. Another benefit is that you can slow down the stream using TweetChat.com. It’s really a great tool. There are other third-party apps to help you, but TweetChat has been the most reliable for me.

During the Chat

The most important tools you’ll need during a TweetChat are your ears and eyes. Watch what everyone else is saying and have a discussion, be engaging, be funny, or entertaining. Everyone will have a much better time if you’re not too serious. Retweet others, have fun, and talk to everyone.

Follow Others

Follow Others After a TweetChat

Follow Others After a TweetChat

One of the biggest benefits of being in a TweetChat is to gain high-quality followers. So join TweetChats that are important to you as a brand and that will help you grow your business. If you have a new interest or your business is growing, seek out a TweetChat related to your new interests. You’ll meet other like-minded people to follow and connect with.

After the Chat

I like to add people to a list if the chat is one I regularly attend. For instance, Larry Mount (and me will be starting #DigiBlogChat today, Tuesday August 5th at 1:00 pm pdt. So I’ll start a list called DigiBlogChat within Twitter. You can read my previous post about how to use Twitter lists (for the power user). You can create a list even if you’re a participant. Or, subscribe to someone else’s list (why reinvent the wheel?).

Keep track of those you’ve met virtually in the chat through your own or others’ lists. Engage with them, retweet them, and check up on them regularly.

Please Participate in #DigiBlogChat!

Please drop in some Tuesday and visit! It will be loads of fun!

 

 

PoCchat: Driving Online Connections Offline

PoCchat: Driving Online Connections offline

PoCchat: Driving Online Connections offline

Recently, I had the good fortune to co-host Bobby Umar’s #PoCchat on Twitter. PoC stands for Power of Connection. I “discovered” Bobby through his dynamic TEDx presentation The 5 Cs of Connection. I really appreciate having the opportunity, and thought I’d go a little deeper into my own personal reasons to “Drive Online Connections Offline”–the topic of the tweetchat.

By the way, here are the numbers that our tweetchat generated:

PocChat: Driving Online Connections Offline

PocChat: Driving Online Connections Offline

 

Connecting Offline

Similar to @IdeaBloke, whenever I go somewhere now, I consider if there’s someone I could meet from online. Better still, are there two people I could meet? For instance, I recently met one of my new besties, @CarlaKerstens through friend @WClements1 on Twitter, and then we met at Twitter. Since then, we’ve texted, Facebooked, tweeted, had meals and drinks, gone to Big Sur, the Exploratorium, and drunk hot chocolate at @TCHO.

@Ideabloke always tries to look up people he knows from online

@Ideabloke always tries to look up people he knows from online

WordCampSF

At WordCampSF, I met up with friend Ruby Rusine (@SocialChirps) who had traveled from Sacramento for her first WordCamp. Although we had never met before, we spent many hours together, and, by the end of WordCamp, had each invited the other to stay the next time we needed a place. And also got to visit with my friend Darla @DarlasRock, who I’d met because we’d both gone to see @BrianSolis for his #WTF talk and giveaway at @Yammer.

WordCampOC

One of my favorite experiences was traveling to WordCamp Orange County, where I got to meet my online friend Peter Woolvett (@CustomerSpecs) in real life. We met up with a third friend, @Gidgey, sat together, and attended many of the same talks. During a few slow times, we snuck out together for espresso and sorbet, attended an after-party, and searched out unusual breakfast places. Laughter ensued.

More Friendship Than Business

When @Gidgey traveled up north to see her family, I got to meet her talented and lovely sis, @TheMcCannski, and travel to Marin together. In addition, we met up with the rest of her family and had brunch together. And recently, when another friend, whom I met on Twitter, came down for a conference, we met up and she stayed with me.

The Bestest

Hammin' it Up in Sedona

Hammin’ it Up in Sedona

Last year, I met up with nine women whom I met through Twitter, among them Pam (@PamAnnMarketing), Bridget (@Gidgey), Roxanne (@r3SocialMedia), Cyndi (@SoSchatze), Wendy (@MrsPickle_), Amy (@TheFabulousOne), Kendra (@Kendra_Hubbard), Deirdre (@TankGirlMktg), and Kirti (@DiyaMarketing). At first our comraderie centered around business. Now we are friends and I can’t imagine life without them–since we talk every day. This year, we are doing another in-person meetup. Next year, we hope that the always effervescent Ali (@AliSilversmith) and Jen and the “other Bridget” can join us. And of course we give each other support, friendship, advice, and business, too. A few of us are breaking off to do still another meetup with a few others who tweet for automotive businesses.

Connections

I would not hesitate to call up any of these people–now friends–if I needed a shoulder to cry on, or for personal or professional advice. What I would advise others is not to be afraid to deepen your online relationships by, as Bobby Umar would put it, “asking the tough questions.” Then when you meet in person it’s like you’re meeting an old friend in the flesh.

How About You?

These are just a few examples of people I’ve met through online connections. If you’ve met people from online, offline, how did it go? I’m really interested in your stories!

 

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