Hey, how ya doin’? Why I’m calling everyone I follow on Twitter

I joined Twitter over a year ago for completely the wrong reasons: I opened a Twitter account because everyone else had one and it seemed like a laugh.

Although I didn’t give too much thought as to why I was using Twitter and what I wanted to get out of it, I did think about what I was going to tweet.

I decided that all public tweets had to be related to what I’m involved in: Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, SEO, Word Stuff, Grammar and Punctuation. Any post or article I found online that was interesting, useful or amusing I would share. Any tweet that was interesting, useful or amusing I would retweet. And I would always be friendly, sometimes funny, and occasionally insightful.

Oh yeah. And I wouldn’t tweet about what I ate for breakfast (who cares), what I was working on (who cares), or whether or not I was tired (who cares).

I started off by following just a few people. Mainly the big names whose blogs I read anyway. But pretty quickly I got a few followers. And I followed some of them back. And it sort of grew and grew. In the last year my Twitter friends have kept me up-to-date, informed, entertained and amused. Twitter has got me new clients, an interview for a book and various guest posts. It has enabled me to email some of the top industry bods with a question because, hey, we already have a relationship via Twitter. (And every single one of them has come back to me.)

And I’ve really enjoyed the amazing support, advice and luuuurve of my fellow copywriters. (Which if you’re a freelancer working on your ownsome is invaluable.)

But as time went on and ‘the people I know on Twitter’ became ‘friends I have on Twitter’ I felt the need to know more about the people behind the avatar.

So a few weeks ago I announced my quest: to call everyone I follow on Twitter and have a chat.

I’m starting off with all the UK copywriters and writers because I figure they’re going to be pretty cool. Then the overseas copywriters (via Skype, I guess.) Then the SEOers. Then the designers.

Luckily I don’t follow Paris Hilton or Ashton Kutcher. But I do follow No. 10, Arsenal Football Club and The Guardian, who I’m thinking may be fairly tricky to get hold of. And some of those A-list bloggers are going to be hard to pin down, if for no other reason than they’re always flitting all over the world attending conferences.

But so far so good. All the copywriters I’ve spoken to in the last few weeks have been fabulous, and happy to share a top tip or some words of wisdom. I’ll gather these together for a future blog post.

How long will it take? No idea. I only follow about 250 people, so under a year if I call one person a day (which I probably won’t). But I think it will be kind of fun.

So if your ‘phone rings in the next 5 minutes  – it could well be me.

  • Glenn Hilton
    Posted at 15:13h, 09 June Reply

    Great idea Sarah. I followed a myriad of people in my first 10 months on Twitter but then came to realize that the key was taking the online offline and have spent the last 8 months focusing more on meeting with people in person for lunch or coffee or connecting up at conferences or events. It’s definitely brought a lot more depth to relationships that’s paying off in many ways. What you’re doing is great as I hadn’t thought of calling people. Definitely would be more effective for connecting with those who are out of reach for a face to face & less time consuming for an initial connection when reaching out to locals too. Love to see a followup post in 6 months or so as I’d like to hear the results.

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 15:37h, 09 June Reply

      Hey Glenn
      It’s quite a project isn’t? I’m going to do a blog post once I get to the end of each group of people. I’ll be Skyping you, Glenn, as soon as I get to the overseas designer category! Looking forward to chatting. 🙂

  • John Kennard
    Posted at 09:24h, 10 June Reply

    But what about those people you follow for whom you have no phone number, Skype address or other means of contact?
    Or those that aren’t a copywriter, SEOer or designer?
    I don’t want to feel missed out here, ya know…

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 12:38h, 10 June Reply

      Ha ha. Well I’m starting with copywriters, SEOers and designers and then I’ll work my way through everyone else. Do you think No. 10 will take my call? I reckon everyone has a phone number somewhere don’t they? I might even call pygmy for a chat!

  • Melanie
    Posted at 14:14h, 10 June Reply

    What a fantastic idea! I love this. I have met people I am following on Twitter purely by chance at networking events and when you get to know the “real” person behind the tweets it is great and friendships and clients grow from there. Making social media truly social. Not sure if I am brave enough to call people yet though!

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 14:41h, 10 June Reply

      Hey Melanie
      Expect a call from me as soon as I get to digital marketing experts! (Maybe later in the year!)

  • Lorraine Forrest-Turner
    Posted at 17:00h, 10 June Reply

    You’re amazing, Sarah! How do you find the time? I can barely cope with reading blogs and tweets let alone writing them. To then fit in calls… HOW do you do it?

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