Everyone starts somewhere in Social Media. Tips and tricks we’ve all learned along the way can be especially helpful to those still navigating uncharted waters.
This interview series features twitter accounts in and around the construction industry, a growing population within the Twittersphere. My only disclaimer is that I do not always agree with the advice.
By popular demand, and in celebration of my 5th anniversary at Riggins Construction & Mangement, Inc., I have included my answers to these questions. I hope they prove helpful.
Stats:Twitter Name: @RigginsConst Twitter Bio: Commercial General Contractor in Orange County | Building Relationships Since 1977. | CSLB 335720 | Tweets by Bridget | Disclaimer: Follow ≠ Endorsement City/State: Santa Ana, CA Main Website: rigginsconst.com Facebook Page: facebook.com/rigginsconst Admin Name: Bridget Willard LinkedIN Profile: linkedin.com/in/bridgetwillard Klout Score: 57 Followers: 5,009 (9/2/2011) Following:Follower Ratio: .83
1. When did you start your twitter account?
March 19, 2009: Having already been an active twitter user since 2007, when the recession hit us it occurred to me that we should start a twitter account for Riggins. We have been tweeting ever since.
2. What was your biggest obstacle in twitter?
As much as I loved Twitter and used it as a personal outlet for all subjects taboo, with a rant thrown in here and there for good measure, I had doubts about Twitter for business. It was an experiment doomed to fail, personally, by me. (Can you believe it? Shortly after we had a great customer service experience that I outline in this post.)
Since I had been using Twitter on my own, the syntax didn’t phase me and, to be totally honest, wasn’t a large hurdle in the first place. I just watched accounts that I trusted and copied their style.
It was the retweet syntax or conversation with context that took me a while to decide upon. I soon realized that I like to respond at the beginning of the tweet (truncating as necessary).
My response RT @personA Original Text which could have been a quote or a question or …
@personA Original Text which could have been a quote or a question or something way way longer. | My response
@personA Original Text which could have been a quote or a question or something way way longer. // My response
or (and possibly the worst because there is no context)
@personA My Response
But, like most things in social media, this is a personal choice. My feeling is that because of the way email is formatted, we’ve all become used to reading the newest item first. It’s really up to you.
3. How often do you tweet? Do you have a schedule?
I have a loose schedule. I check my email, Facebook, and Twitter first thing in the morning, responding where appropriate. At a minimum, I check again after lunch.
Twitter is a great way to further your education. In teaching we learn about “sponge activities” which are tasks that take up time without wasting it.
My job has a lot of waiting built-in. I like to use that time for something productive like reading the content in my Twitter (or Facebook) stream. These are low-level committment activities. Meaning, when I am ready to continue onto the next task, I just stop reading. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a win-win situation. I’m using my brain, furthering the engagement for our account, and learning something.
I’ve always said that Twitter is akin to a Think Tank.
We build relationships, exchange ideas, peer review work, engage in customer service, and laugh a little. It's an electronic think-tank.
— Riggins Construction (@RigginsConst) May 17, 2011
4. What is your recommendation to new people on twitter?
Tweet something every day. Any one can keep a twitter account alive, with a pulse, albeit life-support, with a minimum commitment of five minutes a day. You also want set up your account so that it doesn’t resemble spam.
When you have time, make lists to make it easier to filter your stream for specific purposes. For example, I have a “subcontractors” list and a “client” list that I want to see every day. I actively read and retweet these accounts because they are very important to our business.
5. What is your favorite hashtag and why.
I know that I came up with this question, but I do not have a favorite. Hashtags are like children, we don’t have favorites. I like to make up hashtags, too like #youmightjustbespam, #kloutff, and #noAutoDms. I use #FBLT, #ff, #construction, and #OMTip quite often.
6. Did you have a twitter mentor? How did that come about?
I didn’t have a mentor per se. When I started this account, my initial strategy was to follow people in our county, people in real estate, and construction folks. There are a few people that took me in right away and made me feel like tweeting for business was not a huge mistake: @imadnaffa, @burginco, @tednguyen, @jonlan, and @ksablan.
7. Can you recommend a twitter account that we should be following?
Obviously, there are so many people that I am thankful to have met and, in all honesty, have made me a better person, but that would take up too much space in this already way-too-long blog post.
Looking backward, stranded on a desert island, with only one Twitter account to follow, I would have to recommend @CopyBlogger. They are my biggest influence and my favorite blog. A majority of my “expertise” has either come from them or @LeoLaporte and the Twit podcasts.
I like to use MiniDeck (it’s in beta – 4/9/15). It schedules my tweets throughout the day (based upon when they think it will be most effective). That way, when I have a few minutes to tweet, I can get the information out there without making my stream an AK47. But I only schedule when I’ll be online.
And here is our first tweet:
Ever wonder how to add more retail storefront? Watch our video on http://www.rigginsconst.com/projects.html
— Riggins Construction (@RigginsConst) March 19, 2009
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