Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

Last month I passed the 4,000 follower mark. Today, I was asked how I did it.

“It’s simple,” I replied. “I’m just me.”

There was never a point to my @Wendy account. It’s my personal account. I remember @mello76 asking me once what I was trying to accomplish with it. There were tweets about social media, random thoughts in my head, photos – really anything I found interesting.

“Nothing,” I replied. “It’s just me.”

People are often surprised to find that the Wendy they meet in person is the one they’ve gotten to know online. Apparently, that’s not all that common. This baffles me, because it’s the easiest possible way to get through life. There’s no need to keep track of much if you’re just being you.

Five years later, people are surprised when I tell them my personal account has more of a following than the @yelpcalgary account that I manage.

Are you really that surprised?

Sure, one account’s got a couple of years on the other… but still…

Successful social media is about being as much of yourself as you can be. Because you’re interesting and real. All by yourself.

Don’t believe me? I triple dog dare you to come up with 100 reasons you’re incredibly boring.

Ready? Go.

Oh Twitter. Not a blog post goes by that I don’t mention it, but it’s just so damned interesting! What makes it even more interesting is the fact that I have my first name as my handle. Yep, I’m @Wendy. It wasn’t really a problem at first. When the local Calgary Twitter community was at a stage where most people remembered your Twitter handle rather than your real name, I didn’t have to worry. Everyone already knew it!

As the service became more popular, random users would discover that there was in fact a girl in Calgary using the @Wendy handle. They’d tag their friend, I’d answer. They’d talk about Peter Pan, I’d answer. For awhile, I think I had a bit of a following in Indonesia. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you, but I swear every other follower was from there.

One day back in 2010, I discovered this restaurant chain was using Twitter as well. You may have heard of them before…

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.10.27 PM

I quite enjoyed answering tweets for people mistaking my account over the years. All it takes is that little apostrophe, and you get me.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.18.13 PM

And if you didn’t catch this recent news item

The restaurant chain isn’t the only one I receive mentions of, whenever anyone puts a space in the account for @wendywilliams, who do think subsequently get’s a flood of “how YOU doin!“?

I did make a random friend in Chicago thanks to Wendy Williams though, my Twitter pal Sid followed me accidentally think I was Wendy Williams, decided I was still pretty cool (even if I am Canadian) and continued to follow me anyway.

And then there was the time I was the devil’s spawn…

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.35.14 PM

There’s some good that comes out of being @Wendy at least… I make people happy when I tweet them! The following was sooo meant for me, right?

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.36.46 PM

I can’t deny that my life isn’t all that dull to begin with. But being the only @Wendy on Twitter? It adds an entirely new layer of interesting.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.46.33 PM

I’ve even got my own fan club.

I’ve been around the interwebs a long time. And I’ve seen my fair share of behaviour. I’ve been caught up in the rantings of internet trolls, excited by extreme uses of social sites, overwhelmed by trying to keep up with as much as I can… and I’ve come out the other end with sanity restored. If you’re still trying to get there, here are some tips that might help:

1. DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. This is the most important for maintaining sanity. Internet trolls just seem to like to provoke people. How do you recognize them? Easy. They complain. You try and make them happy. They complain more. The cycle continues and you end up nowhere. Break the cycle. Respond once in the same forum they have. Move on.

2. Schedule, schedule, schedule. Make a social media editorial schedule (a tip I picked up from Matt Clark, @itstrue). Follow it as consistently as you can. If it takes you more than an hour to fill it out, you’re taking too much time. Schedule less tweets until you become more proficient. Speaking of scheduling, auto-schedule your tweets and updates (I use Hootsuite)! Just fill the in-between with real conversation.

3. Use the social media rule of thirds. Post one-third content from other people, one-third that’s on topic for you and one-third that’s personal.

4. Lists are your friends. Make topical lists on Twitter wherever you can. Check in on the important ones once a week and comment to people you’d like to connect more with. Don’t worry about everyone else.

5. Be selective about your interactions. Don’t worry about being everyone’s best friend. They don’t want or need you to be. Keep your focus on what you think is relevant and chances are you’ll attract similar minded people.. thus making you relevant either way. Nay-sayers? See point number 1.

6. Quality over quantity, my friend. Always. Don’t have time to spend a quality 10 minutes getting the most out of your time online? Don’t. I’m an advocate about doing as much as you can yourself, but if you must, hire somebody else to get you started. Social media and online marketing are supportive mediums. They’re also amplifiers. Positive word of mouth gets around online. So does the negative. Make sure you’ve got a solid foundation and processes to work from. Then dive in to telling everyone about it.

7. Take a day off, or a week. The interwebs will still be there when you get back. I promise. And it really won’t take you as long as you think to get back in the swing of things. Double promise.

8. Stay realistic about your expectations, whether of online results or of people. Be clear. Be direct. Be confident enough to ask for what you want. If we don’t see your one update about something, it’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we’re busy people too.

9. Set loose goals. Yep, loose. And change them often to suit your needs. The goal is progress, not perfection. Can’t keep up with 10 updates a day? Bring it down to 5. Not sure what your goals should be? Don’t let that stop you, if you’ve got the time, experiment. Sure you’ll make mistakes, but if people stop talking about social media catastrophes like BP (not to make light of the actual environmental catastrophe preceding it), surely they won’t remember yours.

10. DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. Right, I said that one already, but it’s the most important point! For real, that’ll save you hours.

You’re welcome!

Bonus: When writing blog posts, never publish your first draft without rereading several hours later, or even better, the next day. (Caveat: Unless you’re at least halfway through a bottle of wine).

Scavenger hunts have always been an amusing way to spend a day (I even did one at my sixth birthday party). But with the advent of social media, they’re taking on an entirely new twist. Even Pearl Jam hopped on the hunt train. I’m not sure we hit 5.9 Million tweets globally, but we certainly took over Twitter today in Calgary as participants in Tweets For Eats YYC tweeted in photos, took good-natured jabs at one another online and raised the profile for a Calgary charity as we descended upon the city. It’s yet another avenue of online successfully meeting offline… and all participants and spectators having a blast in the mean time. Today was, without a doubt, the most fun I’ve had at a fundraising event in a long time.

Let me start out with a little run down of the day. I was on a team with Margot from The Costume Shoppe and her friend Karen. We met for a morning picker upper at Chiasso and then headed on over to Melrose to join the couple dozen people already stationed outside waiting for the doors to open and check-in to begin (not to mention the free breakfast sandwiches, yogurt and fruit Melrose had waiting to fuel us up). The hunt didn’t start until 11, but at 945 the doors opened wide and we rushed in to get our forms all filled in and wait for the much-anticipated hunt list.

We ride bareback on Team Silvester

At 11 on the nose, the list was handed out. There were over 200 items consisting of sponsored items recognizing the hunt sponsors, physical items (as in we had to bring these back with us), photograph items (send in a picture) and unique items (only one team could win each one!). Most teams were out the door lickety-split. Not us. We took our time and perused the entire list, sorting out what we wanted to find and splitting it up by neighbourhood or location. From there, we hopped in the car and off we went!

The hunt could take you from just a block or two from the start point all the way out to Elbow Falls. We concentrated on covering as many items as possible in as small an area as possible. This meant restraining ourselves to downtown, Inglewood and… where else but The Costume Shoppe!

I had no idea the day was going to go by so quickly! Part of that was thanks to my awesome teammates, I couldn’t have asked for two better ladies to spend the day with. We had a hoot and had a similar approach to the hunt! The other, well, there were just so many places to try to visit and items to get. We got a little creative with a couple of the clues, like having our team crawl underneath a truck bed instead of a real bed and finding a paper clip in place of a “trombone” (Hint: it’s the French word for paperclip). I was also introduced to a couple of places in the city I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, like this garage filled and decorated with bottle caps!

We didn't do it... I swear!

The day ended at 400pm back at Melrose to tally points, have some much-needed food and drink, listen to some tunes and await the winner of the grand prize of 4 iPads! Three recounts later, we had our winners. The Four Pink Ladies!

Check out the #t4e stream to read all the Twitter updates and photos from the day.

Congrats John S, Mike B, Mike and Ally S on a hunt well done. Can’t wait for next year!