Members of our team were conducting a training focused on a tool we use called Schoology. The trainees included district professional learning representatives, instructional coaches, department coordinators, building instructional technology coordinators, and many others. I had a few moments at the beginning of our training to check in on Foursquare to say where I was and what I was doing at the time. I do this as I go to different buildings throughout the district. For one, it's fun. It also can serve as an informal record of support at the same time.
Presentation focused on @Schoology for coordinators, coaches, mentors, and building techs. #CCSDTech http://t.co/NUGqY00DcQ
— Jay Vean (@JayVeanCCSD) August 29, 2013A couple of minutes after that I snapped a picture and described a little more about our audience for the day. Tweets with media embedded/shared within them are just plain better.
CCSD instructional leadership learning how to integrate @Schoology into all the great things they already do. pic.twitter.com/2zl5B9YbWq
— Jay Vean (@JayVeanCCSD) August 29, 2013
Here's where the magic begins.
After another tweet or two I received a notification that one of my tweets had been retweeted by a user named Ryan Hwang.
I have been on Twitter a while and know there are many different reasons why someone would retweet something of mine. He/she could be a spammer or someone looking for a new followers/someone wanting to sell something to me or whatever. I decided to check his profile to make sure this was someone who was legit. Here's what I found out:
Not only was Ryan Hwang not a spammer, he was the founder and Chief Product Officer for the tool we were training people on!
Moments after that retweet I received an alert regarding my newest follower on Twitter:
Now we're having some fun.
Next was a tweet mentioning my colleagues and me (with the appropriate hashtag):
Awesome! We're excited to have you all on board. Good luck with the rest of your presentations. @JayVeanCCSD @Schoology #CCSDTech
— Ryan Hwang (@ryan_hwang) August 29, 2013
During the training I was sharing the Twitter details with my colleagues as well. My new follower, as well as knowing the company was following what we were doing live, kept me motivated to share more, while obviously staying engaged with our in-person audience at the same time.
Then, the official Schoology Twitter feed chimed in:
Loving the updates from the #ccsdtech training, thanks @nmezatechlearn @jayveanccsd @kellie80!
— Schoology (@Schoology) August 29, 2013After a little more "play-by-play" our training concluded. It was the least I could do to thank Ryan and Schoology for the unexpected surprise.
@Schoology Thanks for following our training sessions today! #CCSDTech @nmezatechlearn @kellie80
— Jay Vean (@JayVeanCCSD) August 30, 2013
Thinking about strategic mentions as tweets are created can be a powerful thing. I had obviously heard of Schoology before our training, but the name of Ryan Hwang meant nothing to me. I'm sure my name, initially, meant just as much to him. As he began to see some mentions from my account things took shape and before long there was excitement and motivation created. I would like to assume that he shared his side of this story with some of the colleagues around his office. I know I did.
UPDATE: This tweet came through the next afternoon.
@JayVeanCCSD @jcurran303 we had a great time reading your tweets yesterday! Glad to be a part of your #ccsdtech training :) cc @Schoology
— Jen Marie Robustelli (@jenastelli) August 30, 2013
Jen is Schoology's Community Manager, so it was confirmed that more people than Ryan were aware of our tweets and training. That's pretty powerful considering that we're in Colorado and Schoology is based in New York City.
These mentions and interactions are a way to share valuable information (about a tool that we use and love) while, simultaneously, creating potential social connections that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to happen without the use of a tool like Twitter.
Above all, while using Twitter in a meaningful way (and while you may not realize it at the time) the "right" people may playing much closer attention than you ever thought.
So, for obvious reasons, my passion for social media rolls on.