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Twitter Lessons from a Lake Creature

Two years ago I was introduced to one of my favorite clients. Yes, it’s true, I have favorites. And this one, well, I think she’d be your favorite too. This client was none other than local superstar Minne the Lake Creature, who calls the Minneapolis lakes her home during the spring and summer months. Minne’s family over at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation hired me for social media consultation and that eventually led to my role as social media coach to the large friendly lake creature. I know what you must be thinking: Really? You got to coach the one and only Minne Lake Creature? Yes I did. It was a fabulous time. I helped Minne find her voice on Twitter, she learned the ins and outs of how the social platform works and became quite the celebrity. Her banter has been followed by, not only people in the Minneapolis area, but also around the world. I even helped Minne connect with a few long-lost family members such as the Loch Ness Monster. Minne got it. Twitter was a great fit. But with every good mentorship the goal is to bring them to independence. This year Minne went out on her own. Armed with all kinds of tips and tricks, she is swimming solo.

What did I teach her about using Twitter to advance her mission or cause?

  • Don’t pitch and don’t sell. Stop promoting as people will tune you out if the communication feels forced.
  • Talk with your community, not at them. Remember, approach social media like you would an in-person conversation. Focus on building that community and being a member, not just a door-to-door salesman.
  • Look for people that interest you, that fit your target market, and follow them. Once you follow them start a conversation and work to make that relationship flourish.
  • Spread your tweets out throughout the day. No one likes to get bombarded with tweets all at once.
  • Say thank you
  • Don’t just wait for the conversation to come to you, actively go out and message people yourself
  • Tweet relevent information that your followers will appreciate. In Minne’s case it was important that she share events and news about Minneapolis Parks, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and community events as well.
  • Be consistent. It’s not just about building a following, it’s about keeping the conversation going. Minne likes to disappear during the winter, but she still tried to check in once and a while over the cold months while she was vacationing in Florida.
  • Have a strategy. Know how to have fun, but also know the reasons behind what you’re doing.

Remember this is for the long term – not a short term venture.

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