Have you ever walked into a party not having met anybody before but feeling as if you knew everybody?
That’s just what a tweetup is! It is an event designed for one tweeter to meet another in person. Scary, right? Not really. After following someone’s tweets for a while, you feel as if you do know them.
A Tweetup is an Opportunity to Network in a Casual Atmosphere
Recently, I was invited to a tweetup put on by @Sogeshirts. His real name is Tim but I truly get to know people by their Twitter ID. @Sogeshirts and I have corresponded in a casual way for a month or so, and then one day out of the blue, he invited me to a tweetup he was hosting for Dr. Klein (@purposeinc) of San Diego Chiropractic in La Jolla. Because I was exhausted from back-to-back meetings and it was late, I said yes before I had a chance to think about it, get nervous, and chicken out.
The Big Day Arrives
Let me explain that I didn’t know what one does at a tweetup, I didn’t know how to dress, I didn’t know if I should have had business cards to hand out, and I didn’t know all that I didn’t know. But I got into my car and drove to La Jolla. Sure, my GPS took me through Pacific Beach and I thought I was going to be late, but not only was I 10 minutes early but I got a parking space right out front. If you know La Jolla, you know this is unusual.
When I walked into San Diego Chiropractic, I was greeted by Dr. Klein who immediately instructed me to call him DK. And I finally met @Sogeshirts. What a joy to finally put a Twitter handle with a face. After some quick, get-to-know-you questions, the next person to walk in was @EllieMendz and I began to relax. It seemed that everyone I was meeting was not only genuinely nice, but I could tell it was definitely not going to be a stressful evening.
Soon a whole gaggle of gals came walking into the office (some with groupies!), and we all gathered around the wine tasting table courtesy of Falkner’s Winery in Temecula, and began an evening of learning — about each other, chiropractic care and how to increase visits to our respective blogs. @RedLotusMama, @SurferWife, @Semperfimomma, @SanDiegoMomma, OhYeah_Her, @LittleHenHouse and @Sogeshirts spent the evening eating course after course of delicious food, sipping terrifically tasty wine, and learning from DK not only about chiropractic care but also about search engine optimization. Turns out he knows a thing or two about it after having his website blasted in front of an entire convention. He shared with us some small steps we can take today to move our blogs up in the rankings.
The party wasn’t over until the beginning of the wee hours, but eventually it was time to go home. In the end, it was hugs good-bye all around.
What DK and Tim Did Right
Even though I have never been to a tweetup before, I know instinctively that these guys did it right. They made it a fun, relaxing, entertaining, and non-threatening event complete with food, drink, complimentary massages and adjustments. DK and Tim provided information about a topic the audience would be interested in. Sure, DK wanted to tell us about his chiropractic practice, but he took the time to answer the question, “What can I share that would be of value to San Diego bloggers?” He provided us with a reason to show up that had nothing to do with him or his business.
The cues of what to do next over the course of the evening were within the control of the attendees, and DK listened like a pro. It was free-flowing and casual with absolutely no sales pitches. Nothing other than a quick, “So if you ever want to stop by and get adjusted, I’m here.” Bravo!
Why Your Business Should Be on Twitter
The bottom line is that DK got people talking about his chiropractic office on blogs. The blog posts were read and retweeted. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the strongest endorsements of a business. You can’t do any better than word-of-mouth both for small and large businesses. Have patients blogged about DK before? Probably but not the people who showed up on Saturday. Nobody in attendance had ever heard of DK before (one notable exception was @RedLotusMama but that’s a story for another day), but have we now? Yes. And will we recommend him to people who live, work and travel to La Jolla? Absolutely! DK’s network of people who know him and will recommend him to others has grown.
Still not convinced you need to be on Twitter? Here are some more reasons you should:
- You will meet people you probably would not have met otherwise
- You will meet people in a casual and friendly environment
- People will get to know you, your business and your products
- It is free to be on Twitter
- The only expense is that of your time
- You can put out as many messages daily as you can think of to create
- You do not need to be an ad copy whiz
- You can be yourself
- Nobody really complains if you put out too many messages
- You can schedule your tweets so your message stays in front of others
- Can’t think of anything to say? Retweet what others have said.
- You can find others in your same line of work/business in other parts of the country and network
- If you have a blog, someone might actually read it if you Tweet a link!
One thing you have to know is you have to give Twitter some time to do its work. You will not have stable business relationships built in a day but neither will it take a year. The use of Twitter to increase one’s business should be part of an overall marketing and public relations plan.