My Twitter fail (and Marie's win!)

Experimented upon!

Yesterday we were part of an experiment in collaboration, along with a group of senior executives and business owners as part of On-BRAND Partners‘ Executive Stretch er, thingy (programme? session? it was good, anyway!)

The exercise: brainstorm the bank of the future, in three separate groups, in three separate locations. We had On-BRAND’s internal forum to use for collaboration, as well as whatever else we could use.

“Whatever else we could use” for Marie and I meant Twitter. And yet we got very different results.

My results first, because they were appalling.

I tweeted the question: “In a collaboration exercise. Our question: if you run a small organisation, what do you need from a bank?”

I got three responses. And two of them were jokes!

Why?

Maybe Marie’s approach will give us a clue. She began by tweeting:

Hi Tweeps, I’m with a group of Executives, they’d like to ask you what would you like to see change in our banks?


She got around 30 replies! And to her credit, she kept both conversations going, online and off. How do you do that? Here’s what she did:

  • Summarised replies coming in (eg: @Twonetweet Banks making less profit and really care for customers is another hot topic being discussed now)
  • Asked clarifying questions
  • Gave context. At the beginning, she said she was with a group of executives. At the end, she said “Thanks everyone for your feedback. These guys are staggered by your real time responses :)”
  • She also didn’t mention that it was an experiment. The way you say something is often as important than what you say.

And they were. Marie’s demonstration of the power of collaboration over a distance was better than any two hour presentation. And my poor showing was proof that it’s not about the technology, it’s about who’s using it.

6 thoughts on “My Twitter fail (and Marie's win!)

  • Courtney Sit

    I wondered if you guys were at the same thing – but yes, Marie's question was definitely worded better!

    Reminds me that words are often misconstrued, especially online and its always how you say it as the human parts like tone, emphasis, mannerisms and expressions can not be taken into account!

    Reply
  • Lewis Bostock

    We tried the real-time Twitter demo at the Grow You Biz seminar in Christchurch. We received 10 Tweets and 2 RTweets.

    I tweeted:

    Here we are at Grow Your Biz Auckland! Do you think these peeps will be good at Social Media? http://bit.ly/Y0OyK

    However, when we tried the real-time Twitter demo a second time in Christchurch. We received little to no response.

    It's a gentle reminder that asking the same question over and over again results in lack of interest and boredom. Keeping content fresh is important.

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    So true about mannerisms and expressions! So even someone who's good at communicating online to one person or group, may struggle to communicate to another, different group of people online.

    I'm just thankful for the universal symbol of peace, which is: 😉

    Reply
  • Simon Young

    Good story Lewis! I find that people tend to dislike anything that remotely sounds like it's automated. People don't like robots (unless they're cute)

    Reply
  • jonathonhagger

    The technology for asking the question wasn't as relevant as what the question actually was.

    Technology (twitter) sped up the response time but the technology couldn't make up for the actual question – Simon.

    Reply
  • jonathonhagger

    The technology for asking the question wasn't as relevant as what the question actually was.

    Technology (twitter) sped up the response time but the technology couldn't make up for the actual question – Simon.

    Reply

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