Interview with Lisa Lange, President Riverside Toastmasters Club on using Twitter for your club.

Could you please explain for those people who genuinely have no idea about Twitter, how you use it, how set it up and what followers/ following means (ie not stalking!)

Twitter is a communication tool used for quick, to the point messaging.  You have 140 characters in which to get your message across.

To set up Twitter all you need is a valid email address.  Visit for easy to follow steps in setting up your account.

You don’t need to be at your PC/Laptop to access Twitter (although there are great desktop tools for when you are).  There’s many mobile apps to make ‘Tweeting’ more convenient and these are generally as user friendly as sms.  Once your account is set up you can ‘find people’ to follow and people can ‘follow’ you.  Following is similar to choosing friends on Facebook and once you’re following someone all of their Tweets will appear on your timeline (page), likewise if someone chooses to follow you then you appear on their timeline.

Twitter has some privacy options that can be selected in the setup process and you don’t have to let everyone see what you’re Tweeting about. In fact if you’d like to keep you whole timeline private (just between you and some select followers) then that is possible too.  Just remember that anything you put out there (anywhere on the internet) is there forever.

How has Twitter worked for you as a networking tool?

Twitter has been an easy way to keep in touch with business contacts on a casual basis.  Instead of having to physically go out and have a meeting with people I can maintain contact on a regular basis at a time that suits me.  When working if I come across an interesting article that might be of interest to my Twitter friends I can post it easily and get an instant response.  This will often prompt discussions (more interaction) strengthening those relationships. Although Social Networking can’t ever replace the benefits of building relationships face to face it certainly helps enhance and strengthen those relationships and works well as part of an overall marketing plan.

How have you set it up and used it?

It’s important to remember that nobody is going to want to keep following you if all you are doing is trying to sell them something. You should share some of your personality so people can get to know more about you as a person – with “business” stuff thrown in every so often. Always remember though that what you put out there stays there forever! A friend of mine once told me that she would never put anything on a social networking site that she wouldn’t want her mother to see. Likewise I’m always conscious of personal safety and refrain from using the names of family members or giving out too many details of future plans etc.

How did you manage to tap in to your network and develop strong business leads?

Being genuine and open to helping other people (not just what’s in it for me) has proven to give great results in all types of networking. When completing a job for some Twitter clients or contacts I’ve often received immediate online recommendations that have led to new contacts and more business. Being able to offer my services and spot an opportunity in conversations was invaluable. I’ve recently sold my business and client base but still have many strong contacts through the “Twitterverse” that will be of benefit to me no matter what my future endeavours are.

I’m hoping to replicate the success of using Twitter for business/networking purposes and build similar connections for our Toastmasters Club.  It’s not just about attracting new members it’s building a support network and sharing information with like-minded people.

Any further information?

When I forwarded our new Twitter info to the club I attached this article that answers a lot of Twitter questions for those unfamiliar with it:

Will you keep in touch on progress?

Will definitely let you know how we go and I’d be very interested to hear success stories/tips from other clubs also.  I’ve used Twitter in business and found it to be a fantastic networking tool while managing to get some strong business leads as well.  Hoping this rubs off for our club.

Charlie Starrett
District 69 Lieutenant-Governor Marketing 2010-11