How to Twitter Chat and Join Twitter Communities with Michelle Garrett

A smiling woman in a green shirt.

With all the changes happening over at Twitter in the past year, it can be difficult to know whether or not it’s the right social media platform to use for your business. I’ll start by sharing that I do have a sincere love for Twitter, though I’m worried about its future. I joined in September of 2008; so my relationship with the platform has been consistent for almost 15 years.

It’s the place where I do the most direct connecting with my network, instead of simply scrolling and consuming content. Heck, if you want to be active on Twitter, you really need to learn how to Twitter chat in a way that builds connection, because spamming the platform with your sales and services will get you absolutely nowhere.

Do I have a clue of what’s in store for Twitter in 2023 (and beyond)? Absolutely not.

Will I stay on Twitter as all these changes keep taking place? I honestly don’t know. It’s going to really depend on whether or not the changes made still align with my personal and professional values.

But I do hope that the spirit of what Twitter has been in the past 17 years continues somehow, and I think it can be an incredible business tool if used correctly, at least the Twitter that exists as of the time these show notes are published.

In this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast, writer and PR expert Michelle Garrett joins us to talk all about how she’s built her community on Twitter with the help of Chats, Spaces, and Twitter Communities. You’ll learn how to grow your network and why it’s so important to show up as a human first and a business second, regardless of what social media platform you use.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here is what Michelle and Erin want you to know about how to Twitter chat and join Twitter communities

  • How Twitter allows you to create a social atmosphere where you can show up both personally and professionally
  • Why using Twitter as a “water cooler” can help you feel more connected as a business owner
  • Why Twitter is a great place for journalists, PR professionals, and content creators
  • How to deal with trolls, internet bullies, or random Twitter users that you don’t mesh with
  • How to clean up your feed to see more of what you want to see on the platform
  • How to use Twitter to do research on people before hiring them, aligning your business with theirs, or offering them your services
  • Finding chats and spaces and Twitter communities
  • Learning how to Twitter chat authentically to grow your network

Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episode:

Michelle and Erin’s predictions for social media in 2023:

Michelle really isn’t sure what will happen, but as a planner, she definitely thinks that people who use the platform to nurture their communities should make a contingency plan.

Erin thinks that with all the changes to Twitter, people are going to be headed off the platform and into different social platforms — LinkedIn specifically. And also, she thinks that certain communities, like the Twitter literary community, will suffer much more than other communities if Twitter fails as the way they connect on the platform won’t be easy to replicate elsewhere.

quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about how to Twitter chat and the benefits of tweeting from Michelle and Erin

  • “I feel like that is the most ‘me’ that I am on social media.” – Michelle Garrett

  • “If you want to do some research on people that you’re working with, there’s a lot that can be said, especially from a PR perspective, about using Twitter for research.” – Erin Ollila

  • “The biggest blessing of an online business…is access to people that I would have never in my entire life.” – Erin Ollila

  • “If Twitter doesn’t implode on itself, and it continues to show itself in the same format that it has in the past 10+ years, and you’re just getting started or you’re looking to come back to the listeners, I would absolutely recommend finding the chats, using the hashtags, and just see what ones come up.” – Erin Ollila

  • “I can’t say enough about how important it is to be positive and kind, and hopefully you draw that then to the chat. And it’s worked out just better than I could ever have hoped.” – Michelle Garrett

  • “The more I shared about myself, and the more I engaged, the more people engaged with me. It’s very genuine over there.” – Michelle Garrett

Focus on engagement when using Twitter.

There’s nothing wrong with tooting your horn, but if you’re only posting promotions, you’re not going to get the same benefits as the user who focuses on engagement and connection.

Now, let’s pretend that Twitter does implode on itself at any point in time…Michelle’s advice, aka homework assignment, works for any platform you decide to use. It doesn’t matter whether you use Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok or anything for that matter. Put in the effort to build connections and you’ll be rewarded for your work.

Meet this episodes guest expert on Talk Coy to Me

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant, writer, and speaker who helps B2B businesses create content, earn media coverage for their brands, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. She’s the founder and host of #FreelanceChat on Twitter, a co-host of #PRLunchHour on Twitter Spaces, and a frequent speaker on public relations. Michelle was named among the top ten most influential PR professionals.

Learn more about her on her website or connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

Here’s the transcript for episode 052 on how to Twitter chat with guest expert Michelle Garrett

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SUMMARY KEYWORDS How to twitter chat, twitter communities, social media platform, Twitter, hashtag, SPEAKERS Michelle Garrett, Erin Ollila Erin Ollila 00:04 Hey friends. Welcome to the top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello friends today we are back here with Michelle Garrett. She is a public relations consultant and writer. And what you might not know about Michelle is that her first client was the inventor of a flying machine. So what was that? Like? Were you doing PR for this client when you started? Michelle Garrett 00:44 Yeah, yeah, I was started my business out in the bay area out in Francisco near San Francisco. And he invented a personal flying machine called solo trek. And it actually did take off the grounds for about, I don’t know, 30 seconds, 60 seconds. We had international news coverage of that thing. I mean, and I was doing PR for him. And it was kind of like on a shoestring budget at that time, he was one of my very first clients. So Erin Ollila 01:11 that’s so cool. And it’s so interesting to like, I love that you said it took off for about like a total of 30 seconds. But, you know, it’s it goes back to show the importance of PR is actually getting eyes on what’s happening. You know, I think that’s a really good reminder, as we get started that, you know, PR is a constant. I think that’s kind of needed for some businesses, not necessarily an endpoint. Michelle Garrett 01:35 Oh, I definitely agree. And I think a lot of companies think like, like kind of as a, you know, after the fact, we need to clean up this mess we’ve made or, you know, we need to fix our reputation instead of paying attention to kind of building reputation along the way. So it’s kind of there for you if a misstep occurs or what have you. So Erin Ollila 01:52 so let’s just jump right into Twitter, which at this time is a big question mark of what the heck is happening over there. But it is a platform that has been around for so long, and has affected so many businesses. So I still really kind of want to cover it and talk about, you know, the evolution of your usage of Twitter, how it has changed within your business within other people’s businesses and how you use Twitter best. So just to kind of get us started. Can you tell us a little about your Twitter journey? Whether it’s what got you started on Twitter? Or what has changed in your Twitter usage over time? Michelle Garrett 02:30 Yes, I remember when I started, it was at a startup weekend event here in Columbus, where I live now. And it was 13 years ago. It’ll probably be I think it’s 14 in the spring. So I was on a startup team. And I was of course handling PR social media. And I had heard about Twitter. And I thought, well, you know, I have the team here for the weekend, you know, playing around, I’m gonna get on there. But at the time, I had no idea like how it worked, I didn’t understand it was kind of frustrated. It’s kind of like I don’t like this, the ad sides and the hashtags. And I was like, I had no like, really idea what I was doing. But over time, and it did take some time I grew to really enjoy using it. And for PR it’s been really important because that’s where reporters prefer to hang out. That’s their social media platform of choice. And so I think it’s been a benefit to my clients, and my work with my clients over the years, but I just really have loved it. And I I started going to chats. And I think that really got me into it. And I learned how to use the hashtags and they add sides. And so yeah, it’s definitely evolved over time Erin Ollila 03:39 in with the last guest that I had talked to we we talked about how Twitter is this semi mysterious social media platform for the fact that you can kind of show up as a wholehearted business owner or service provider, you know, professional, let’s say, because the use of list or the different types of activities and people you communicate with, can can take the like a big wide look at your how you live your life. For example, I follow the superintendent of my children’s schools on Twitter, the local weather on Twitter. At the same time I follow brands that I purchase from I follow people that I as a writer get quotes from I follow my clients to see what’s happening with their their social media usage. So do you feel that in the times you’ve used Twitter that you also have that perspective of being kind of like a quote unquote, whole life a holistic use of social media platform? Michelle Garrett 04:35 For me, it definitely is. I mean, I work at home by myself. And so it’s almost like, I mean, I don’t know if this is too dramatic, but a lifeline for me because you can get lonely. And I think you know, during the pandemic, a lot of people kind of turned to Twitter in that way kind of a water cooler type of experience. But for me, I mean, I don’t know the last I don’t know how many years I’ve been looking to With that way, and the pandemic, I mean, just made more people come over, I think to Twitter and use it in that way. So it’s become even more robust, more fun and more enjoyable, I get more out of it. But yes, I definitely use it kind of across the spectrum of my life. And there’s not really a day, very rarely when I’m not on there engaging with someone, even if I’m not posting anything about my business, or, you know, if it’s at the weekend, there’s a picture of my cat doing, you know, I’ll put it and people we chat, you know, we engage on there. So I have a true like, love for it. And that is not an exaggeration at all. Erin Ollila 05:37 Yeah, I’d have to agree. And you know, for it’s funny how you mentioned the pandemic in relation to this, because I hadn’t thought about that prior to this recording. But for for my personal Twitter usage, I have a personal account, which is somewhat personal slash business. And then I have a account for my literary agent, journal. And so for Spry the literary journal, it’s been we use it all the time we we post about when we have calls for submissions, we do a marketing campaign for every new issue that we have. So I’ve stayed very current on that, but I’ve used it as a tool and not a communication tool. Now, I think my usage dropped off before the pandemic, but recently, through the pandemic, have us come back on. So it is kind of, like you said, drawing you back, it will drawn me back and in regard to like, finding that community again, and just communicating that in a different way with a different group of people. Because, you know, in the other social media platforms, I think you’re kind of siloed into a small group, right? You don’t have like a spread access to people who aren’t in your little pond. Yet on Twitter, everything is visible to everyone. So if you’re, you know, communicating with one person, a complete stranger could jump in and join that conversation. I think that’s one of the beauties of the platform. For better or worse, though. Yeah, absolutely. For better or worse. Yeah. And I think it goes to say, too, for like people listening, and if they’re, you know, considering being on Twitter, or have gotten off Twitter, because they have they struggled with it, it’s also learning to manage your own mindset, your own reaction to what happens on Twitter, you know, you have to recognize that there are going to be people who you automatically mesh with who you want to get to know better, and then they’re going to be bullies or internet trolls that you have to just push out of the way and ignore Michelle Garrett 07:23 mute law unfold. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, all of the above sometimes, but I, honestly when people, you know, when I, when I do presentations on public relations, and how to do media relations, I always talked about Twitter. And every time there’ll be somebody who say, Well, isn’t Twitter just, you know, a cesspool of negativity? And you know, but I’m like, no, no, it does not have to be yes, it has a reputation of that sometimes. And we’ll see, you know, what happens, you know, going forward here, but, honestly, I mean, my Twitter has been very positive. And there are ways to manage that. If you find yourself, you know, seeing that stuff, you don’t have to engage in it or look at it. And if you kind of stay out of the fray out of that, you know, part of it. I don’t think it’s I mean, it’s very positive for me. Erin Ollila 08:07 I don’t know. Yeah, no, I agree with you. If if someone’s listening in, they’re like, Okay, well, what, what do I do? Like, I don’t have a very curated Twitter feed? Do you have any suggestions for them on how they can kind of clean it up a bit, so they can see what it is they want or enjoy versus the things that are negative and there, push them away? Michelle Garrett 08:27 I mean, it’s all about who you follow. And then you can you can make lists. I really don’t do a lot of curation with my feed, and I, but I have unfollowed the people who you can see what people like it’ll pop up in your feed, if you’re following someone, they like something. So that’s been very telling. And I will, if I see, you know, I’ll give people a chance. And sometimes I’ve heard people like hate, like things or whatever. And I’m like, when I know that’s, I don’t know about that, because we can see what you’re liking. And we don’t know why you’re like and it’s so but yeah, I will give people a chance. But if I see consistently their liking things that seem, you know, a little sketchy, I might just unfollow them then so and that usually takes care of it. I haven’t had a lot of trouble knock wood with people that are, you know, aggressively, you know, disagreeing, you know, course people, you know, have discussions on there, but usually it’s pretty respectful. So, Erin Ollila 09:24 yeah, I want to get into how you use Twitter. But before I do that, I want to stay here for one second, because I think it’s something we might not touch on. On the other two interviews that we’re doing. It’s using Twitter for research. Oddly enough today before our call, I was looking at someone who had asked me to be a guest on their podcast now. I love podcasting. I love having my own. I love being a guest. The one piece of trouble that I’ve struggled with as a podcast guest, your host, let’s say is not knowing enough about people, like before I commit to wanting to either like use my voice on their platform or bring them on to mine, through the pandemic, I really started to take a look at what my personal values are as a human and as a business owner. And I personally decided to bring my personal values into my business. So I want to work with people who have the same beliefs that I have, or within a spectrum here, right, like, we don’t have to agree on the same thing. I just want some fundamental core things. And I think you can see that sometimes on social media platforms, but you can’t see it on things like podcasting, unless you look at who their former guests are, and someone stands out as being someone you wouldn’t necessarily agree with. So to bring the site the story, and really quick, I went on Twitter to see if I could find this person that had invited me on their show. And I looked at their likes. And we can just say that there were some things I did not like at all about their likes. But I had already looked at a few other social media platforms, just very quick glances Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and that person looked like a wonderful fit. So I find that you can see a lot more on Twitter, maybe it’s from what we talked about before of bringing, like your whole life into the Twitter usage. But I think that’s a quick example, if you want to do some, like research on people that you’re working with, there’s a lot that can be said, especially from a PR perspective about using Twitter for research. So is there anything else that kind of stands out to you that like an average professional could use Twitter for when it came to researching things? Michelle Garrett 11:27 I mean, when I go in there to do research, I wish that there were more tools, I guess, that they would offer to help you do the research because you you can do some research, but I usually use a hashtag or a couple of, you know, maybe I’ll use somebody’s handle and a hashtag to see, I want to see if they engaged in freelance chat, for example. So I’ll put their handle and slash tag or hashtag freelance chat up there. And see if they’ve ever been to the chat or like, if they want to be a guest, you know, they were, you know, engaged with us at all, or they want to come into the community. That’s one way I use it. And then of course, I use it to see if we’re going to do any, we’re gonna try to jump on any trending topics for a client like a newsjacking, in a good way, not in a way that some people do it. But I might go in and see, you know, what reporters are writing about that day, or what particular part of a story they’re focused on? Is there something we can add to the discussion, something like that? Erin Ollila 12:25 Yeah, I love that. And something that popped into my mind, while you’re talking was also using it as a research tool to get closer direct access to people you may not have had access to, you know, for example, if you wanted to email someone at a company, but you didn’t have their email. So you might want to try to go into the DMS or see if they’ve shared their, their email throughout their messages that they’ve shared. I wasn’t thinking about that. But I do that myself sometimes will the writing where, for example, if I maybe put out a harrow query, and people responded, but they might not have shared something, or they’re not responding to my email, and I have a time sensitive deadline, I might just hop on Twitter and say, Sorry to be a nudge here. But yeah, I would like to include you. Michelle Garrett 13:09 Some people have opened DM, some reporters have opened DMS and some from reporters will put their email in there too. So that’s helpful. And I do advise, you know, when I give a presentation, I do talk about that too, because usually reporters will keep their Twitter information up to date right away, when they make a change. A lot of them are moving around, of course, or being laid off. Unfortunately, they will make that change if you’re using a media database that might lag months behind. And so it’s very valuable, in a lot of ways for what I do for sure. Erin Ollila 13:41 Yeah. So previously, let’s just jump right into how you use Twitter because I find it fascinating and I really appreciate it myself as a Twitter user, you run multiple Twitter chats I’m am I correct on that? Or or? Michelle Garrett 13:54 face that I closed on Friday with two other PR professionals? And then I do have a chat. That’s just straight Twitter chat. Erin Ollila 14:04 Yeah. Can you tell me about them how the idea came to be to be able to start doing it and then how it’s evolved over time? Michelle Garrett 14:12 Yes, well, freelance shot is turned for in September. Very proud of it for you know, baking it because in the beginning, it was like four or five people that I made promise to show up. I’m like, if I do this, that you guys have to come because it’s gonna take, it’s not like you just start and then the next day, there’s 20 people, you know, it’s very, it can be kind of slow in the beginning, and it can be discouraging, because you don’t want to just be there talking to yourself. So you know, Nothing’s worse than that. Because I’ve been like a guest host chats and they don’t have anybody there and you’re just like, Okay, you’re you like somebody you know, gauge and so it takes a little time to get it off the ground. And I started the chat because I had an in person, Meetup group for a while for freelancers here where I’m at now. I had a great group out in the bay area. When I started my business. It wasn’t based on Twitter. at all, but it was a group of freelancers that got together and like once a month, and we shared resources and leads, and you know, just I mean, like, it wasn’t a leads group, you know, I mean, like, we made referrals to each other, we were supportive of each other. So I wanted that when I came back to the Midwest in Columbus, and there just wasn’t anything. So I tried to start one, it kind of went for a while over a year or so. But it just was never really what exactly what I wanted. We had people that would come that were testing the waters to start their own business. They weren’t really freelancing. Not I mean, not to say that, you know, it’s not okay to have those people there. But you know, what I mean? Like, I wanted people who work for themselves who were like deliberate career freelancers to talk to, and we have real business problems. And who do we ask, who do we trust for advice? And so that’s how the chat got started. And I had been going to a couple of chats. And I really use that to help inform how to set up the chat how to do the questions, should we have a guest, that kind of thing? So that’s a little bit about the chat. Erin Ollila 15:58 Yeah. And as someone who has come to the chat before, not as much as I’d like to, but someone who has come to the chat, I find it really nice, because in some ways, I’ve had the opportunity to ask questions that I wouldn’t necessarily even be in my radar at that moment. But that had been lingering in my brain that like, Oh, I must find out the answer to this. And then I was like, oh, that’s what they’re talking about today. Great, right. Like it’s, it just came to me. And that’s what as a as a chat visitor, I will say is so nice sometimes to have the the ever changing different types of guests that come the different types of conversations you have, but they’re all centrally geared toward one thing, and in this case, being a freelancer. And in addition to the content, I would also say it’s the same thing I mentioned earlier about like people you meet people that you just zero clue. I will say the biggest blessing of an online business that anything anything can top this is access to people that I would have never in my entire life met if it weren’t for something online, right, like you and I would have never met were different. I mean, I know that you said I think you said you were in Ohio now. But like I’m in Massachusetts, I’ve only ever lived in mass Rhode Island and Virginia. Right. So unless you were vacationing and those thoughts are I was vacationing where you were. And we happen to just be to kind strangers chatting at a local like pharmacy to pick up like a soda, right like, and I don’t know if we would have gotten that far enough in the conversation to want to continue the communication. So it’s just so nice that, like you mentioned, you post a picture of your cat, which seems like not something you’re going to do in a professional social media platform. But you’ve built relationships with these people. And even the ones that you’re just meeting, it’s, you’re communicating on a level that I am a human, and I’m showing up. Now, this is the brand of my business. And as a marketer, I’m not trying to make fun of branding or personal branding. But when it comes to being on social media, it’s such a weird place with personal branding, which is I think the beauty of Twitter, right? Like you post the picture of the cat, the next day, you show up and you’re like here, here’s what we’re talking about in freelance chat today. Here’s this professional eyebrow, and I curated this for you. So I guess I would say you know if Twitter doesn’t implode on itself, and it continues to show itself in the same format that it has in the past 10 years, and you’re just getting started or you’re looking to come back to the listeners, I would absolutely recommend finding the chats, go in the hashtags, typing the chat even and just see what ones come up. Right. If there’s any that is somewhat related to what you’re doing personally or professionally, test it out. I’ve been to so many chats that were not that good. But I’ve also been to some that were so good that like I set reminders in my calendar to actually show up because I couldn’t mentally remember on my own. So what do you do when it comes to content for your chat? Like I’m always so curious how people plan their approach to things and especially with the chat, which is a such a different content tool than blogs, case studies, things like that. How do you decide who the guests will be the conversations you’ll have? Well, Michelle Garrett 19:01 a different a number of different ways I do research, I look to see you know who’s in this space that might be, you know, interesting to have on and we’ve had some some guests that you know, a lot of freelancers probably follow and know about. I also will ask the community, or the folks that come to the chat, you know, what are they interested in hearing about and I get ideas that way. Now I usually get these used to be harder, people didn’t really come forward as much. But now I think people are more. You know, I every time I ask I get 10 ideas, you know, so maybe we’ve just covered it and they didn’t know where’s that but but still like, I definitely consider all of that. And then, you know, a lot of times people that come to the chat make good guests for the chat because they understand how it works. And so and they a lot of them have a perspective on rates or perspective on insurance for your freelance business or whatever it might be. And so they can kind of speak to that and then of course the whole community will contribute. That’s how we set the questions up so that everybody can ward them so people can answer everybody can can answer if they want to. So that it’s not just the guest or Ipsen as we don’t have a guest sometimes, you know, it’s just it just just is the community answering. And you don’t have to have an answer for every question to be there or to get something out of it. I can’t believe how warm and welcoming and supportive that community is. They’re not territorial. I know sometimes in freelancing, you can have that I’ve experienced it a few times myself. And I just, you know, I can’t say enough about, you know, how important it is to be positive and kind of hopefully you draw that then to the chat. And it’s just, I mean, it’s worked out just better than I could ever have hoped, the kind Erin Ollila 20:38 of a sidestep but very related to this. And I think this is going to be a two part question. Do you have any advice for someone who might want to be a guest on a chat like this slash? How do you think that helps people’s visibility when it comes to like growing their Twitter following? Or does it and maybe it does not? Michelle Garrett 20:57 Well, I mean, in the beginning, when I was getting used to Twitter and getting finding my way around the chats really helped me just feel more interested in Twitter, like it made it more fun, because I got to know people and the chats were really a big part of that, like Content Marketing World, same world chat. We used to have Reagan’s PR dailies to have a chat, it’s not around anymore, but we would have put you know, that’s how I learned to use means and how I learned to use GIFs. And how I mean, I learned I learned that stuff from those people at those chats. And it made it fun. I mean, I think that was one thing about Twitter that was different for me, is that, you know, like, I feel like I have to post on LinkedIn, because I work with me to be clients. But Twitter is something I want to do. And so I’m more apt to engage and be over there. And the more I shared about myself, and the more I engaged, the more people engaged with me, and I just, it’s very genuine over there. I feel like I feel like that is the most me that I am on social media. On Facebook, I’m connected to my relatives who want to see pictures of my kids or like, you know, and on LinkedIn, it’s a whole different I mean, who knows, but, but like Twitter is pretty close to me. I mean, Erin Ollila 22:08 100% agree here, I’ve especially doing some of these interviews, and where I think I’m really only at the beginning point of these interviews. So I’m really excited to see how it evolves. But listening to the questions I asked or like the things I agree with, I realized I kind of have my own persona, in different places, right. That’s what I meant about in a sense of like you showing up in a certain way, Facebook exact same. It’s my college friends, my friends from when I lived in Virginia, my family members and I show up there to see people’s families that I love to communicate with people, I don’t see that our friends Instagram, for me is kind of I thought it would be a great cool business tool that I would show up. But in fact, really, it’s not. It’s more of the like a you mentioned that like your cat on Twitter, for example. That’s where I find myself doing, I’m communicating with people that I like business friends that I like, not using it for any. So it’s kind of like the Facebook. But for business. That’s my personal tool. And Instagram is my professional personal tool. LinkedIn, I haven’t found my way, like you mentioned, I do think and this is a big guess, I think there’s going to be a mass amount of people leave Twitter and start to participate in LinkedIn. And I think in hope that in that happening, it’s going to bring a lot more creativity to LinkedIn, and maybe a little bit more personality and change how people communicate on LinkedIn. So I kind of have a lot of hope for LinkedIn in the next year. But yeah, sorry, I’m going on a tangent, I’m basically agreeing with everything that you just said that. Twitter, I think is where you can find out the most about me with what I like with who I follow with who I chat with, with what I retweet. And I’m okay with that. I’m very curious, though, of how that will change in the future, based on who’s running Twitter and how Twitter itself changes. So let’s just kind of jump into that for a second. Do you think that Twitter is going to survive this big change of 2022? And if so, how do you think it will change? Michelle Garrett 24:12 I don’t think anybody knows for sure. I have been saying goodbye since late in the day on Thursday. Last week, when you know all the really big news came out about people leaving that were important to security and so forth. I follow follow Kara Swisher who’s interviewed Ilan a number of times she’s my go to she shares Casey Newton I wrote his name down to so I wouldn’t forget who seems to be writing a lot of great stuff about internally what’s going on over there and he’s interviewing people that have left and gotten fired. That was a story today. That was up there about the person I got fired for saying something negative about Elon, so, you know, so much for free speech, I guess. But anyway, we’ll see what happens. I’m very nervous and I am definitely Ivan ever send out as many LinkedIn connections in my life as I have this past weekend? And you know, you can’t I mean, this is not you know, this is just the way it is I have over 30,000 followers out there not say I’m close friends with all of them, but like, there’s no way I’m going to be able to migrate that to somewhere else. Even if we go to LinkedIn, even if we start over completely somewhere else, I’m not really going to go to Mastodon at this point, I don’t think that’s going to be the same thing from what I’m hearing. So we’ll just have to see what happens. But, you know, trying to definitely hold on to the, you know, the the people that are near and dearest and, you know, really add a lot to my day, personally, professionally, and so forth. So I don’t know if I answered your question, but Erin Ollila 25:39 no, you did. And I think that in some ways, I mean, I like to guess like, yeah, and honestly, especially in this exact moment, we are again, just to repeat this, we’re recording in November of 2022. This is not going potentially, it’s not going to go live until January of 2023. So, so much could change since so much has changed in just weeks time. But you know, I think that for what I see, the one thing I can say that I’m pretty confident of is I think that it’s going to affect certain communities, a lot more than it affects others like this, all of these changes and upheavals. You know, I’m, like I mentioned earlier, I’m in the literary community as well. And the literary community is very present on Twitter, very present, and very lovely to and I know that sounds so silly, but I don’t see anywhere else on any other social media platforms, the community building the like encouragement, the, the PR for your peers, that I see in Twitter’s literary community. And I just think I cannot wrap my brain around a way that that can get replicated anywhere right now. So I’m saying this is an example of I think some communities are going to very much suffer through this. And I don’t know if they will survive or how they will adjust. I think other people are going to in even if they are regular Twitter users, I just think other maybe industries, different types of professionals are going to be able to pick up you’re going to have the people on Mastodon, you’re going to have the people who joined substack groups, you’re going to have the LinkedIn transfers. But I guess if I’m going to jump in with my opinion, it’s going to be certain communities will be fine. And other communities are going to have a major upheaval in how they communicate with each other. And I not that I want to see it happen. I’m just so curious on on what will happen, because I can’t really wrap my marketers brain around. What will happen like, it’s one that I always say marketing. And I know this is not specifically a marketing thing. But I always say marketing is like a science hypothesis. We do our constants, we test and we just learn, well, coming from that perspective of like just watching something kind of light on fire. It’s like, what is going to happen here? Like from my scientific perspective, I am like, no, it’s like being a scientist in one field and jumping into a completely different field with no tools and education and being like, I don’t know, I have no clue. Yeah, I think it’s just going to be interesting. I think we kind of have to just watch and see what happens. Michelle Garrett 28:11 Some people don’t seem to be worried at all. And I think they’re like looking at those of us who are reading curves, which there’s tweets, and they don’t maybe they’re not reading the same thing we are. But I mean, I think there’s definitely a real concern here like a real reason to worry and to be making plans, contingency plans. If you, for example, do have a community that you you know, that role revolves around Twitter, because I just don’t know, it’s never good to put, you know, to put your eggs in the social media basket, which I know. And I thought about that, as I was getting ready, you know, to talk to you I was like, Well, you know, how do you answer the question? Like, why did you why did you go all in on Twitter? Well, it was because I really loved it. It wasn’t like I sat out and playing like I’m gonna do you know, I mean, I do have a presence. Other places. I have a website, I have a newsletter, I’m on LinkedIn, you know, I have other ways I do business and get referrals and all that. But I just have adored Twitter. And I’ve really the more time has gone on, the more ways I have used, used it and learn to use it and appreciate it. And so I mean, I just have every hope in the world. I’m certainly not hoping for the worst, but I’m also very realistic and practical. And I’m a planner. And Erin Ollila 29:23 so yeah, no, I think that’s a super point. We’re looking at Twitter. It hasn’t changed in the ways that other social media platforms have which is why I think it’s so easy to get lulled into that sense of security, right? Like, Facebook has evolved a jillion times since its inception. Right? There’s the groups there’s the marketplace, like all of these different changes to how one would use the platform. And in regard to Twitter, it is mainly just always been a communication tool, right? Like, yes, retweets were added from like a manual retweet to like, you know, like the one that you could just do a quote retweet. Little things like that, but you still use it the same. So I think that’s why it’s I, you know, it’s easy for you to just like, this is where I show up. It’s been well over a decade now. I mean, I don’t even remember how long I’ve been, I think I’ve been on at least since 2009. So it’s well over a decade of it being a constant in one specific way. So I think it’s a lot easier to just assume it will be like that. And even though you may have heard, like, people, the CEO changes, board changes now, you know, a business takeover. I just don’t think anyone assumed it would be such drastic changes immediately. So based on our whole conversation of showing up in the chats, you know, being authentic having your true self doing research, also preparing for the worst, what would you tell people who use Twitter or want to use Twitter to to do to move forward with their social media usage? Michelle Garrett 30:56 For me, everything changed when I focused on engagement, as opposed to just blasting out, okay, you know, this is what I’m working on, or whatever, I’m not saying you shouldn’t share what you’re working on, I think you absolutely should, and you need to toot your own horn on those things, too. And in a way, that’s not going to put everybody off, right. But, you know, for example, if you’re a business and all you’re ever posting about is oh, we have a sale, oh, we you know, have a discount, or we have a promotion or whatever, you know, that’s just not the way that you should use Twitter, I think it’s more about engaging, and somebody asked me this not too long ago, and it’s like being genuinely caring about the people that you’re, you know, connected to, they’re like, they had a new baby, they went on a cool trip, they got a new puppy, they had a bad day, whatever, you know, like you’re there for each other in any given day. And when I get on there, I know I’m going to have a little banter, a little conversation with someone. And it’s probably going to make me sometimes laugh out loud. I mean, I just, I just hope that it does not go away. Because I have a real I’ll have a grieving period if it’s gone, because it’s just so much it means so many things to me. And I, you know, I It’s very personal to me, in a way. So Erin Ollila 32:06 what I loved about your homework assignment for everyone is, it works. If Twitter still functioning if Twitter still active, it’s still a cool place to be come January 2023. That’s the best place to start. Worst case scenario, it’s a hot mess Express and people are like new, not new, not jumping on Twitter train. Great episode, Aaron, but definitely not doing it. It’s the perfect advice for using any other social media platform. So thank you for sharing that I think that people will enjoy wherever they show up if they put more in gaygent in on their side, versus expecting people to engage with them. So Michelle, Tell us quickly, we’re fingers crossed here. Twitter is okay. 2023 How would you people find you what are the names of your Twitter chat so they can jump right in and join the conversation? Michelle Garrett 32:56 Well, I am at P r is us not previous and then it’s hashtag freelance chat, you know, all one word, but the hashtag define us because people be like, how do I join the chat? Well, you come on Thursdays at noon, Eastern and you type in freelance chat, and we’ll be there. Or you can look at it at anytime using the hashtag. And then the lunch hour on spaces which spaces is of course, you know, less than two years old, right? But I jumped into that because somebody invited me to co host this space. That’s Friday at noon Eastern and that’s hashtag P our lunch hour and I co host that with Tanya McKenzie and Tamara Sykes. Erin Ollila 33:34 Thank you so much. All right. I will put that in the show notes. Everyone go find Michelle. And if you can’t find her on Twitter, go to LinkedIn because we know that’s where she’s going to start spending some time soon. All right, Michelle, thank you so much for being here today. And we will be back soon with our next guests. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends

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