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Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202
Sam Smith: I’ve been tweeting for a couple years now and I’ve sent over 6000 tweets. I forget what it was like that first time I sent that first tweet. Is your advice to send tweets? When should you do that first tweet? Do you listen in all the social networks the same way?
Gerrit Heijkoop: The starting on Twitter phase is a bit awkward. We’ve all been there. It’s like going into a bar, which is entirely empty. You’re the only one stepping in there and there’s no one there talking, and there’s no one there talking to, and there’s no one who listens to you. It’s an empty space and you’re there all alone, zero followers, zero following. What you should start with is, get some people in your virtual bar. You just start to follow people. First of all, you want to start to follow the people you already know. Because hey, it’s 2011, there are lots of people around you who are already on Twitter.
As I said, give Twitter your email addresses and it will tell you which of the folks that you know are already on Twitter. Start following them. That’s a nice base to start with. Because hey, these are your friends, anyway.
Then, you can take a look at people they follow or people they re tweet. Obviously, this person is saying something relevant, because they repeat his message. Or you can browse their lists.
For example, I have ordered the accounts I follow in all these kinds of lists. And I have a list that’s called Event Peeps. If you’re in the events industry, you could start with going to my profile, look at that list, and you’ll find all these people I’ve already collected, who are also in the events industry.
That’s where it starts, and then, you collect a nice set of people that you start to listen to, people you already know, and people who could be of interest, because they work in the same professional field.
Step two is, if you listen and you see questions, start answering them. In the Netherlands, we have a very, very famous or Twitter thing going on, it’s called #daretoask (#durftevragen). It’s actually a hashtag, it’s very famous.
It started with a few guys who noticed. Networking is very strong, there’s a lot of social capital around you, a lot of knowledge, a lot of connections. But your network cannot help you if you don’t ask what you need. If you don’t make explicit that you’re looking for a specific venue, or that you’re struggling with a specific challenge, or that you want more information or how to get started with hybrid events, if you don’t tweet that, people won’t be able to help you.
Sam Smith: You mean, they can’t read your mind digitally?
Gerrit: Exactly. Still, they cannot read your mind as they cannot in real life, they cannot online, either. I was brought up in a little farmer’s village, and I got a little farmer’s knowledge there. That says, you cannot harvest before you sow. If we go online freshly new and we start asking questions, there’s little chance that we get a lot of answers, because the people out there are not just there sitting ready to answer your questions.
You should start sowing by answering questions yourself, and that’s why there’s the connection with the listening. If you listen keenly on questions in your network, and you start to answer them, and that’s what I then call, as a parallel to the #daretoask, that’s what I call Dare to Give.
Then, you start creating value for your network, you start to become a valuable person in your network, and people are hardwired to repay you.
END OF TRANSCRIPT
http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)
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