Have you heard about Cumbria Hour? (or to give it its real name, #CumbriaHour)
It’s a networking event on Twitter, mainly for businesses, taking place every Monday evening between 7pm – 8pm. #CumbriaHour was started by Michelle Masters in September last year, after seeing how other regions had successfully used hashtags on Twitter to group related discussions during set times. The difference with #CumbriaHour is that we usually have a topic to start conversations, but we aren’t strict, people can just come and chat, to interact and ask questions and get advice about all sorts of things, as well as share events and news etc.
I’ve taken part in various guises since shortly after it started back in September last year, mostly for @CumbriaBEN while working for CREA. I also created the #Cumbriahour blog which is used mostly for sharing and recording the different topics.
Last Monday’s topic was : ” What do you want to gain from Social Media? Ask us all questions to help you achieve it!”
As you can imagine it was a fairly busy hour, and I volunteered to try and boil it down to some sort of juicy essence. This has been quite a task, and not everyone may agree with how I’ve done it! The summary is a pdf document which can be downloaded by right-clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. I’ve included the on-topic tweets, removed all #cumbriahour tags and tried to group the tweets into subjects. These start with general social media, then moving into the different platforms. Posts have been kept in time order.
One very notable exception in the discussions was Facebook – it was hardly talked about at all! I wonder why? Perhaps it’s difficult to talk about Facebook in phrases of fewer than 140 characters. Maybe it’s not worth talking about (I doubt that). Has everything already been said? Is it so obvious that no questions are required? Is no-one on Twitter interested in Facebook? Not sure.
It was interesting how much blogging was talked about – and how it can be effective in influencing your appearance in Google searches. Google+ is also something that splits opinion – those who love it say it’s vital and those who can’t get into it perhaps don’t see the point. My opinion is that we will have to wait another few months before we can tell whether it is important. It’s been very slow to take off.
Pinterest, Youtube, and Foursquare also featured.
Pinterest is excellent for any business with very visual product – examples might be photographers, artists, designers, but also hotels, local events venues and anyone who wants to show a different aspect to their interests. It might be that you want to show your local environment, tourist attractions or favourite charities.
Youtube is obviously another visual opportunity, for sharing video tours of your premises, showing product demonstrations or for audio commentaries. For obvious reasons, it can be expensive to achieve good quality presence for some projects, e.g. hotel tours.
Foursquare enables businesses to record their physical location, it works well on Twitter and is similar to the “check in” option on Facebook. Users can use it to search for local premises so it can be important if you are for example a shop or restaurant.
The interaction between various components of Social Media remains fascinating to me – how certain combinations can be effective and others fall by the wayside. We are all still learning! I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Oh and join in! Will we “see” you next Monday?