Today I give you the first in a series of interviews with organised people. I feel there’s a lot we can learn from each other, and I look forward to getting to know my friends and colleagues a little better. My first interview is with Kirsty Wilson, whom I connected with on Twitter, and found we were connected in many other ways as well. That’s the beauty of social networking. Let’s hear what Kirsty has to say…
Kirsty, how long have you been using Twitter, and what are the benefits to you?
I joined Twitter during December 2008 when my brother went on a trip to Iceland. He’s on Twitter and by following him, it allowed me to follow his trip and see photos he’d up loaded to Twitter via Twitpic. I had known about Twitter through a number of forums I belong to but its potential was still only being digested.
The benefits I have learnt in just 3 months is the access to meet other people in business with a similar mindset. The sharing of information and experiences. The sense of community is amazing. I’ve also been reviewing my website statistics and the traffic has doubled, as has the number of visitors ‘Saving to Favourites’. More visitors are also viewing ‘My Services’ next after the ‘Home’ page. Prior to Twitter it was the ‘About Us’ page. So quite a swing to what is being viewed.
I know you’re a mum and run your own Business Support Services/Virtual Assistance business. How do you find time in your busy day for Twitter?
I try to be fairly disciplined and allocate Tweeting time. A good way to monitor your time is to use TweetDeck. It eventually exceeds a limit. A good time to stop! I generally Tweet in the morning for 10-15mins. A quick catch-up, “good mornings” and make a couple of posts. I will then Tweet at night after the children have gone to bed and the length of time will depend on who from my circle of ‘Followers’ is on, as to how long I am on for. I also try to Tweet with a focus and objective or a lot of time can be wasted.
I’ve heard some people say it’s addictive. How do you “keep it under control”? Do you have any tricks for keeping your life and business in balance?
Yes, I agree that it could become addictive. If I had more time in my day, I suspect I’d use it for Tweeting! It’s the amazing connections that can be made and the opportunities it presents. There are a lot of Tweeters that try to sell you stuff or have a huge Following and I don’t connect with them unless they are a guru in their field, i.e. Mari Smith, Problogger or Unmarketing. I know there will never be any interaction with someone that’s managing 10,000 plus Followers or someone from America with a Twitter ID as ‘cashonline’. The balance isn’t there if the family aren’t happy or certain aspects of your family and social life become drastically affected. This hasn’t been the case for me but you must be disciplined and have a focus for each Tweeting session. I am fairly prepared the night before with certain posts I want to make for the next day and have these already written saved in my Outlook Calendar.
You have a lot of followers, and in turn you’re following a lot of other Tweeple. How do you keep track of them all? Can you recommend any tools to help?
Once a week I use FriendOrFollow to determine which of the ‘Following’ have not reciprocated the ‘Follow’. My experience is many of the SEOs and others with a large following, will add you to build their numbers and once they have you on board, they will ‘Unfollow’ you. This is known as the ‘Follow/Unfollow syndrome’. Using ‘Friend or Follow’ you can determine the ones you’re following but have either dropped off or not returned the Follow. If I really want to make a connection with them, I give them a second chance and ‘Unfollow’ them just to ‘Follow’ them again. They get a notification that I am now following them. If they don’t reciprocate, I ‘Unfollow’. With the numbers I’m now reaching, I’m fairly particular about who I ‘Follow’.
The process to ‘Unfollow’ someone can be tedious. Not an easy task using the web interface if you have a large volume following. I use TweetDeck and in conjunction with the results from FriendOrFollow I’ll search for a person’s Twitter ID in TweetDeck and once located, select ‘Unfollow’. I’ve culled many this week!
Where can people hear more of your Twitter wisdom?
I suggest they join Twitter and follow me at www.twitter.com/kirsty_wilson and they can ask questions and see how it’s all done. If they’ve had no exposure to Twitter and really don’t know what it’s all about, an interesting site to check out is Twitterfall, where they can see the current stream of activity.
What about if someone needs a really good VA (Virtual Assistant)?
The VA industry is expanding quite rapidly especially now with Web 2.0 and Social Media. I’m part of a large global network of VAs and many have quite different specialities. Some specialise in legal work, bookkeeping, IT & Shopping Carts etc. It really depends on the type of assistance and support that’s required.
I provide both onsite business support and virtual assistance. My business, Interim Business Solutions business support services has a strong focus on systems & procedures, as I have a strong Quality Assurance background. The VA services I offer can vary from procedure manuals, job descriptions, business plans, PowerPoint presentations, reports, research, formatting documents and most jobs of an administrative nature.