I admit to being a Twitter lover – all those who follow me (my Twitter “handles” or addresses are @your_excellency, @wisdom_pearls and @oarsometeams) will vouch for my regular contribution to the PA and learning and development world. I love the novelty of sharing messages using a certain number of characters and I love being able to keep instantly up to date with what’s happening in the PA world, with clients, friends and colleagues, as I swipe through my Twitter feed……
For those of you who haven’t yet “converted” and joined the Twitter world, this article “To Tweet or not to Tweet….that is the question!” will provide you with some food for thought. Couple this article with the very useful “Help” function on Twitter and you’ll be a Twitter aficionado in no time!
As ever, I’d love to hear your feedback on this article – I invite you to connect with me on Twitter and let me know what you think!
Back to Basics – What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free social networking service that allows you to send and read messages known as “Tweets”. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters which display on your profile page and are delivered to your Followers. Twitter information is concentrated, to the point and highly effective – it’s also instantaneous and real-time.
What are the benefits of joining the Twitter world?
You have access to the most up to date articles and information through Tweets. Your Twitter feed will fill with Tweets from those who you have chosen to “Follow” so you can be selective with the information you want to read. It’s a great way to connect with your fellow PAs, to raise your profile and “personal brand” in the PA world and to keep up to date with networking and training events happening across the world.
“A picture paints a thousand words”
You can attach up to 4 photographs to complement your text based Tweet.
No eggs please!
When you set up your Twitter profile you need to complete contact details and the “introduction” wording that your Followers will see. You will be set up as a default “egg” and will need to upload a photograph and background (or header). For me, remaining an egg (and unhatched in the Twitter world) is a “no-no” – it depersonalises the identity behind the Tweets. The quicker you upload a photo and hatch yourself the better!
“These are a few of my favourite things”
When you read a Tweet you can hit the Star button to “Favourite it” – the person who wrote the Tweet will receive a notification that you’ve hit that “Favourite” button (and if you’re at the receiving end it’s a boost to your Twitter confidence that you’ve posted something that your Followers like!).
This feature is a really useful thing to do if you want to refer back to that Tweet at a later date. By hitting the “Favourite” button you save that Tweet in your Favourites list and can access it again. I regularly Favourite Tweets which include interesting articles/reading links so I can read them later – my train journeys, for the most part in and out of London, are my Twitter catch up times.
There is a search facility on Twitter whereby you can find all Tweets with the same Hashtag (or #). For example, during the Office* show the hashtag #office15 will be used. If you’re attending or tweeting about an event, find out what the assigned hashtag is and get in to the habit of including it!
#ff stands for “Follow Friday”. This is where you Tweet recommendations of your followers out to others.
So this Friday I will be Tweeting
#ff to @officeshow for featuring my article ‘To Tweet or not to Tweet, that is the question!’ – lkg 4wd 2 this yr’s show!
What about using “Text Speak” to maximise character limit?
You’ll notice I’ve used some creative abbreviations for longer words in the Tweet above – thus saving on characters when you know you’ve only got 140 to “play with”.
When you are Tweeting there needs to be a balance between the use of abbreviated words (or “text speak) and still maintaining a professional looking, and sounding, Tweet. Remember, you can link your Tweets to a longer post/expansion of what you want to share using other social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn and you can add photographs, images and website links too.
Some Twitter Etiquette – Please!
Before you send a Tweet, check that it’s something you would want to read yourself – would you share this information with your manager, your parents, your grandparents, your children?
Avoid sharing every little detail of your life (including what you’re eating for breakfast!). Whilst Twitter can be used to promote “you”, make sure you combine this self-promotion with interaction with others too.
Think before you share any information and be respectful to your Followers.
If you know you’re going to be Tweeting a lot (for example during a conference or event) share this fact with your Followers beforehand so that they are forewarned.
If you’ve enjoyed reading a Tweet, share it (via Retweeting) with your own Followers if you think it would inspire others. Thank the originator of the Tweet for sharing it.
Recommendations to follow……
Here are some suggestions for you to follow on Twitter – with a low-down on the useful information they are likely to share with you. This has been a great exercise in pulling together information on PA Networking Groups too and huge thanks go to Cath Thomas (@NHSPAsWales) who produced the initial map as the basis for my research and collation of information.
Local PA Networking Groups
You PAs recognise the enormous benefit of networking and the attached document is an impressive list of local PA Networking groups! My intention initially was to provide you all with just the Twitter handles (or addresses) for these networking groups. I decided it made sense to pull together a full contact sheet and know this will be a useful resource for PAs nationwide. My thanks go to Cath Thomas (@NHSPAsWales) for the use of her map which formed the basis of my research. Please accept my apologies if I’ve missed anyone off this list – drop me a line if you’re not on here and want to be added or if you’d like me to amend any of the info ongoing.
Office* is billed as the UK’s leading event for PAs, EAs, Vas and Office Managers – this year’s event takes place at Olympia in London on 13-14th October. By following @officeshow now you’ll be able to keep up to date with useful PA articles and all the news in the build up to October’s event. I am delighted to be speaking at the event and will be sharing my HELLO strategy to networking – it would be great to see you there!
The wonderful team at Executive Secretary Magazine , headed by Editor Lucy Brazier, post inspirational quotes and links relevant to the PA world including networking and training events and their very own Executive Secretary Live events. They are also the instigators of a regular Twitter based training session every Thursday evening called #AdminChat, more details of which can be accessed by contacting Lucy’s PA Matthew Want on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK’s oldest professional Institute for Managers, Administrators and PAs, they post Tweets relating to their membership benefits, including a brilliant CPD Scheme. The IAM were recently taken over by IQ (Industry Qualifications) and there are some exciting initiative in the pipeline with regard to networking events to support the PA world and roll out of a new Level 3 and 4 PA qualification.
London based and free to join, Miss Jones provides information and inspiration on venues and hold regular networking events to view interesting (and very often salubrious and elegant) London event spaces.
The Executive Secretary Summit
An annual event for PAs. You decide which suppliers you want to meet and you’re given a personalised meeting schedule over the course of the 2 days. You can also book on to inspirational training sessions and attend the gala dinner. This year’s venue was Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire – just up the road from Silverstone racecourse and I was delighted to be a speaker and share some inspirational learning. This event is run by @PALifeMag.
PA Magazines & Resources
Per details above
Executive PA Mag
Host the longest running and most respected awards for PAs and EAs. Posts are links and retweets to PA news and articles.
Venue and Event Booking
Hire Space (UK’s leading venue marketplace – they have an amazing search facility whereby you set your criteria and they find the perfect venue – free to use for PAs too!)
Fuller’s Events (Free event planning from Fuller’s – portfolio of almost 400 pubs in London and the South East including historic listed buildings)
So, there’s my round up of useful Twitter addresses to follow plus some basics on Twitter – I do hope I’ve encouraged more of you to join the Twitter world with my informative article – Tweet me and let me know you’ve hatched your egg and I will happily follow you. Here’s to some informative, fun and inspirational Tweets!
Download the essential breakdown of PA Networks operating across the UK and Ireland here.
See Lindsay’s Q&A with office* show here.
This entry was posted by Adam Bradford on Thursday, September 10th, 2015 at 11:14 am and is filed under News.