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#FromeTweetMeet 2013

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you're all invited - local and visiting tweeters very welcome. #FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com It's completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you're coming, it would be a big help.

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you’re all invited – local and visiting tweeters very welcome.

#FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com

It’s completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you’re coming, it would be a big help.

Read about last year’s event.

Hope to see you on the 19th!

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you're all invited - local and visiting tweeters very welcome. #FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com It's completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you're coming, it would be a big help.

This year’s lovely #FromeTweetMeet branding has been supplied by @Cole007

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Frome’s Twitter stream: US election special

Thought it would be fun to add a quick post showing what the people of Frome have been tweeting about in the last 15 hours.  Here are the phrases and words which featured most prominently in their Twitter posts – no great surprises!

US election special:  The most frequently occurring words and phrases in tweets posted by Frome folk, in the last 15 hours

US election special: the most frequently occurring words and phrases in tweets posted by Frome folk, during the last 15 hours

When words create a thousand pictures

PR’s changed. A hell of a lot.

My first day in the job saw me sending a stream of press releases through the fax machine; stuffing the remainder into envelopes for the last post.

I’m still writing releases but the distribution couldn’t be more different.  I also run a number of social media accounts on behalf of clients – communicating with journalists and wider audiences. I use Twitter to generate media coverage for businesses, as well as develop their brand awareness and engage with online communities.

To help monitor the effectiveness of this, I’ve developed a way of visually representing the type of followers (people and business) my clients attract on Twitter. If you’re in Frome and have a copy of the The List‘s March issue, you’ll see an example of this on the opening page.

Avalanche Media's Frome word cloud in the March issue of The List

A new addition to The List - a word cloud showing what people and businesses in Frome people have been tweeting about

The word cloud shows which words have featured the most in tweets posted by Frome folk over the past month – a fun and fascinating exercise!

Applied to Avalanche Media clients, word clouds provide a number of uses; the depiction of Twitter follower characteristics being a particularly useful one. Here’s an example applied to @bathbusiness (The Bath Business Club), of which I’m a member and soon to become its first lady chairperson don’t you know.

@bathbusiness now has over 1080 followers - as the above shows, very relevant ones.

@bathbusiness now has over 1080 followers - as the above shows, very relevant ones.

The above image encapsulates the type of followers Bath Business Club is attracting on Twitter. The word cloud has been formed using words which appear most commonly within the profiles (the short paragraphs describing themselves) of the club’s followers. The stronger and larger the typeface, the more frequently the word appears.

These infographic word clouds represent just one way of monitoring social media effectiveness – and demonstrating how a targeted community can be developed online. They are quite beautiful in my view – and offer an easy-to-interpret visual for clients to understand the value of this marketing activity.  Simple, yet revealing don’t you think?

Frome’s first #tweetmeet

Frome tweetmeet

When asked by BBC Somerset presenter Ben McGrail if I thought a Frome tweetmeet was a recipe for an awkward blind date it did get me thinking. Will everyone be interesting beyond 140 characters? Have I orchestrated a Frome #fail?

My own experience of meeting up with fellow Tweeters offline has always been extremely positive. I now work alongside a bunch of people first met on the micro blogging site (despite there being less than a physical mile between us). As the reason to follow and connect with people is generally due to a mutual interest, I find there’s usually common ground and plenty to talk about when you do sit down for a coffee or a beer.

But as the breakfast show presenter was keen to point out during my Friday morning interview, there was potential for an anticlimactic Friday night spent trying to engage in dull conversation. I considered this for a fleeting moment, but then remembered I had a back up plan – the special cocktails I’d asked the host venue to include on the menu. Preparation is everything.

Devil's Tweet and Angel's Tweet

Tread carefully: Devil's Tweet and Angel's Tweet tweetmeet cocktails

I’ve long thought Frome had the potential for a lively tweetmeet (conventionally called a tweet up, but this is Frome). Also, I have a theory that this energetic Somerset town has a much higher than average proportion of its population on Twitter. Would anyone care to research?

Search for #Frome on Twitter, ignoring the Ethan Frome references and misspellings of from and you’ll see what I mean. Most days see a lively and entertaining conversations between residents, businesses and other organisations in the town.

After a local straw poll and various on and offline conversations I was also well aware that a great number of people who converse with each other every day on Twitter wouldn’t actually recognise each other on the street.

Friends in Bath who use Twitter regularly comment about Frome’s prolific Twitter activity – high praise indeed.

So I needn’t have worried. Last Friday’s tweetmeet in Frome was a hoot. We successfully packed out the bar areas of the hosting Archangel and judging from the noise levels at various points, conversation more than flowed. As a general rule, sobriety ebbed. I was completely overwhelmed, not just by the impressive turnout and buzz around me, but by the mass enthusiasm for a repeat event. Then there was the surge of positive feedback on Twitter itself, at various points in the evening and following morning.

Success! Frome's first #tweetmeet

Success! Frome's first #tweetmeet

BBC Somerset’s Ben McGrail has said he’s tempted to come along to a future event, so we’ll hold him to this when the next one’s organised. Keep your tweety eyes peeled. And big thanks again to all who came along, supported and helped to promote Frome’s first tweetmeet.

PR: the makings of a good egg sandwich

So proud of client Andy Fussell’s appearance as the mystery guest on Chris Evans’ breakfast show yesterday.  All thanks to a discussion the day before on fried egg sandwiches and bit of Twitter follow up.  Some PR opportunities can’t be foreseen.

Andy Fussell - Chris Evans' mystery guest

Listen again (available for the next week) – scan to 2:04.11 to hear Andy’s 3-minute interview on the BBC Radio 2 programme.

Remember the locals: a Twitter lesson

Reputation is pretty much everything.   What leads to this – an unscientific, common sense cocktail of being good at what you do, being trustworthy and treating others as you wish to be treated.

image courtesy of http://www.vidafine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/twitter-food-510x632.jpgThere’s masses written on the important role that social media now has to play in the clever old world of marketing and PR.  But forget the stuff about the future of [Twitter] and consider that everything you do and say now is important.   It doesn’t matter whether or not the 140-character micro-blogging dialogues will remain in the future:   what’s important is they are happening now.  Reputation-building is an ongoing exercise and the likes of Twitter provide a here and now tool to communicate.  Herein lies the trick: engage, don’t just communicate.  It’s a simple one, but many miss it.

The beauty of social media is the power it gives its users to have a direct conversation with those who might otherwise remain inaccessible.

It’s been an interesting afternoon on Twitter, though I fear that the reputation of a local establishment may suffer as a result of ignoring the engage rule.

To provide some background, the market town of Frome in Somerset plays host to a number of public houses (considerably more in previous times, but not today’s story), including Archangel.   A former coaching inn packed to the rafters on a Saturday night, Archangel is no longer a pub per se, but a more refined bar, restaurant and rooms.   And very nice it is too, I’d highly recommend it.  Good cocktails made by mixologist Ben, a regional food-inspired menu from head chef John Melican and some beautified surroundings complete with Bruce Munro lighting.

So in this case, change is a good thing.

But sadly, this establishment’s local and regional audience appears to be forgotten when it comes to marketing.   Why, I’m not certain.   Certainly in the tougher climes of January and February it will be this clientele that Archangel relies on.  PR-speaking there is of course a huge need to firmly position it on the UK map and set it apart as a destination in the South West.   This requires constant outreach at various levels to generate awareness and exposure.   But it’s dangerous to forget those on your doorstep and this would appear to be the case with Archangel’s social media efforts.

There’s a large and still growing audience of Twitter folk based in Frome who have shown support for the new establishment – both in terms of online messages and actual footfall.   This doesn’t always appear to be appreciated by the marketing person and today’s dialogue on Twitter clearly showed an attitude of dismissal towards local custom.   Rather than interract and (important word) engage with those who more frequently use Archangel, the person tweeting on its behalf seems more preoccupied with patronising those with a Frome address and ignoring the support that exists at local level.  This surely is undoing the hard work of those in situ, trying to build its reputation at ground level.  It’s possible this miscommunication is in large part due to Archangel’s Twitter alias not being locally-based, but good manners aren’t reliant on post code.

Don’t be put off by the dialogue online in this case – the Archangel experience aims to please and I’m certain you would find this to be the case.

The PR lesson here is think about your audience.   While social media exists to share and interract with users all over the place, remember that you’re communicating with people and therefore behaviour is paramount.   Be yourself, be friendly, be appropriate, be informal if that feels comfortable.  But if you’re politely engaging with some while being rude to others, the chances are this won’t go unnoticed.   Get it right with social media and the unscientific cocktail will go down a treat.

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