Today’s blog was supposed to be about episode two of the BBC 2012 Apprentice. But I have to confess I gave up on last night’s show twenty minutes in. One reason was the women were cackling again though the main reason was that I was involved in a far more worthwhile project #scotland hour!
I have recorded the programme and could watch tonight. But given what I saw in the first twenty minutes and later picking up comments on Twitter I am not sure I am going to waste my time! So instead have decided in my last blog of this month to talk about twitter, #scotland hour and the benefits of using twitter for business.
Twitter is one of the social media communication tools. It is one that we recommend to clients who want to raise awareness of their product to new and existing customers and to communicate with new professional networks.
An example of how a professional network can work on Twitter is #scotlandhour. A # on twitter is used when people are talking about a specific subject and want to communicate with others who are also talking about it. So during major sporting events like the six nations you will see on twitter lots of #sixnations. And if enough people are talking about a topic Twitter will pick it up and have it as a trending discussion in the UK. You do need volume though to achieve this.
This was one of the main aims of #scotland hour to get Scotland trending in the UK as a place to visit by encouraging as many tourism businesses and interested parties to talk about Scotland on the last Wednesday of each month from 9pm to 10pm. For the past few months there has been a different topic assigned to each month. So last night was accommodation and last night’s was food and drink. It allows a focus to the discussions and means that each month different people take part in the discussions and #scotlandhour is growing every month. Last night #scotlandhour was indeed a trending topic in the UK and yes this was despite #bbcapprentice on BBC1. Showing the power of this medium!
What are the benefits of #scotlandhour? Firstly it raises awareness of Scotland as a place to visit and not just in the UK there is also evidence that #scotlandhour is getting picked up overseas as well. It also allows those of us in Scotland to learn more about the rest of the country. Last night I discovered a new place to eat in Coldingham not far from where I live. As well as getting some great information of where to eat in Lewis where I am going on holiday this year. Finally as a result of #scotlandhour I have built up a new and exciting network of new people in the tourism industry and people who just love Scotland just like me!
And the wider benefits of Twitter? In a word too many to mention. So here are just a few reasons. Firstly it is a cost-effective way of raising awareness of your business. You can raise awareness of your business in a targeted way by following others that will interest your customers. (easy to do and we can show you how in our social media workshops). It will introduce you to new networks both in your local area and beyond. And yes it will bring you business not overnight but it will bring you business.
A couple of examples. Firstly a hotel that we work with who have been on Twitter for a couple of years. Twitter has enabled them to increase their local market by highlighting food and beverage. It has also allowed them to fill accommodation and just yesterday they were asked to quote for a group as a direct result of being on Twitter. Secondly a small crafter who doesn’t have the money for a marketing campaign. Uses Twitter to let people know about their product and as a result my colleague has bought from them and told lots of people about their product. And finally my local bookshop Mainstreet Trading. They use Twitter to talk about new and existing books! To talk about what cakes and food they are selling. It makes me buy from them and go in to their shop on a regular basis!
So sorry if you have gone on to this blog expecting to hear about the Apprentice! Rather than discussing fights and back stabbing hope you have found #scotlandhour and my thoughts on twitter beneficial. Who says women need to scream to get noticed in business!