So I recently found myself trapped in Clubworkspace, a co-working space in the heart of Clerkenwell. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it’s these unexpected experiences which never cease to amaze me about how much can be learned.
As part of my role as Chief Harvester at Bloomnest (a community platform for parents to discover local events & services), part of my job is to define and drive forward the Social Media Strategy and as such have taken up residence in Clubworkspace free of charge, courtesy of Entrepreneur First. Being new to social media (as is everyone) I’ve been looking for useful tools for content generation and so began asking around. The benefits of co-working spaces quickly came to fruition as I was soon introduced to Hootsuite by a fellow member.
Around 8.30pm the office was shutting for the night, so I was asked by security to head home. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately!), after packing to leave, my key card failed to work. After a short ‘transition period’ between politely knocking – to screaming at the top of my voice, I soon came to the stark realisation that I was locked in.
Although my initial thoughts were driven by the hunger from fasting, I soon saw
clarity and realised the gift I had been given.
The world of Social Media was to become my playground.
Within minutes I had sparked a reaction – a ‘supportive’ friend posted an informative Bear Grylls video about the nutritional value of urine , others with a genuine sense of worry (@k8ethics) – and of course the inevitable ambulance watchers (@Indra_bala). My use of Twitter previously was merely as a spectator, helping me to keep
an ear close to the ground on the topics that interest me, but I had recently been recognised by Rajeeb Dey (@Rajdey) at a General Assembly event as ‘that guy off twitter’, so maybe I had engaged people more than I thought.
The tides were shifting.
Using hootsuite I tracked my interactions and noted my traffic spike more than ever before. I began tagging and engaging all of those involved and continued to receive messages from friends across the different social platformsjumping castle for sale. I also announced on facebook the best way to follow the unfolding events was to follow me on twitter and soon discovered a number of people from my existing network on facebook suddenly found me in addition to others outsiders who began discovering me just because my activity had increased. Not only this, but I had a whole host of suggested solutions sent
through – leading to some unintended comedy in my state of happy insanity.
Finally, my message online spread so far that despite it being nearly 11.30pm by this time, I received a message from the manager of Club Workspaces (@Hodgkinson_PRJ) with instructions on how to get out – concluding the event for the night with #itsalloverfolks before midnight was struck all to the disappointment of myself and my followers.
So what has this taught me?
1/ Content is key – if the quality of message is good, you can make a real impact
2/ Give people a real reason to follow you and to share your content
people directly and join in the conversation
4/ If the above 3 are done right, the reach on social media might just surprise you
5/ Never underestimate the benefits of co-working spaces
Interestingly, the following day I continued to receive messages and calls from friends regarding the posts the night before – which brings me to close on my final point. Social media (in my personal view) is a great platform as a touchpoint to begin a conversation – but for me, the real value of those engagements is trending when the interaction is #offline.