Fat kid at the skate party
When it comes to Twitter and tweeting, I am not the virgin or the old auntie, but more like the fat kid at the skate party. I am all laced up, got my rental skates on, but I am playing Pac Man and air hockey in the back. Not feeling very confident about stepping into the rink with the experienced cool kids who are tweeting backwards, forwards and without clutching the wall and rails.
Meet the cool kid
This weekend in Amsterdam, I attended the Pan-European Social Media Training with guest speaker and Twitter rockstar Sam van Buuren (pictured here). He is that cool kid at the skate party with his own skates weaving dangerously fast around the Twitter rink on one skate and can stylishly squeak to a stop with that toe-brake thing.
Sam works online
In the Netherlands, Sam has become modestly famous because he owns, runs and has built a nearly free following with Nederland Werkt Online.nl (The Netherlands Works Online). Sam took us through his personal story of how he branded himself and in just two years, has become a wiz kid, guru, trainer and speaker on the internet’s most mysterious topic of social media.
(Editor's note: "I'd like to replace master/guru for 'reflective practitioner'. Suits me better," tweeted Sam after reading this published article.)
With awe and envy, we watched as Sam talked about books we wanted to live like The 4-hour Work Week. While the rest of Holland is pecking away in short-walled cubicles, Sam showed pictures of himself barefoot working with his lap Mac in a canal boat soaking up the sun and basking in life with his kids outside the office.
That Sam I am
Sam I am, not yet. How do we get there? Sam opened up his toolbox of Twitter tricks and asked us, “Who uses this, who knows about this, who does this?” Nobody. I shall share Sam’s collection and over the next few weeks, I will deploy some of these mysterious tricks. By mid-summer, I want to be skating to the beat of a different drummer with 1000 followers.
Unlocking Sam's Twitter Toolbox
Here’s what the cool kids use, plus a short explanation about the trick and I’ve ordered the top-10 list by ease and usefulness for the inexperienced Twitter user:
1. Tweet Adder: Adds followers with tutorials on how to do this, even Twitter newbies how-to videos.
2. When to Tweet: Tells you when to tweet to reach the most people who follow you.
3. Bit.ly: Helps you shorten, share, track and analyze the clicks on your links added to Twitter & Facebook.
4. Twitter Counter: Counts and charts your progress daily on the increase/decrease of followers.
5. Sleeping Time: Tells you when and how long people sleep based on their tweets.
6. Tweet Effect: Lets you see how loyal your followers are, see who leaves.
7. Nutshell Mail: Tracks your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts and sends important stuff in one mail.
8. Sprout Social: Organizes your social media in one place, create loyal followers.
9. Market Me Suite: Social media marketing dashboard for small businesses, uses the word “ethical” which is a plus.
10. Social Oomph: Makes you more productive with dozens of Twitter features, looks advanced, scary, and something for the experienced twit I hope to be 6 weeks from now.
www.samvanbuuren.nl, www.twitter.com/samvanbuuren, www.nederlandwerktonline.nl