Squiggle exclusive: Old men in hats take to Twitter

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landcare media training

Home, home on the range.

Once again our canine mascot and mentor Squiggle barks the hard barks (AKA asks the hard questions) of a standout marketer. Answering the questions – Yonie Tiljak, community coordinator with the Heytesbury District Landcare Network, the force behind  @HytsbryLandcare

When did you take to Twitter and why?

I took to Twitter in March this year after my interest was caught at a workshop led by your Mayor, Brett de Hoedt as part of the Landcare Facilitator program. Before that I was a major Twitter sceptic.


How big is your Twitter pack now?

My Twitter pack is now hovering around the 1050 mark, yesterday it was 1055 today it is 1049. Some come some go but generally more coming of late.


How many dog owners among them?

Being an owner of 3 dogs myself I find I’m pretty intuitive at judging dog people by their profile pictures, I would say by the number of dogs, cattle and outdoorsy looking types in the profile pictures we’d be sitting on around the 500 dog owners mark.


Close to half – well that’s a start. Anyhoo…how’d you get that rapid growth?

I took home tips from the workshop, read a free book on Kindle called “how to grow your twitter following” and just hit it hard really. I followed everyone I could find who was in to Landcare or Environment and I then followed their followers. Once a week I would go through and unfollow any who hadn’t followed me back, if they looked interesting though I then refollowed them. I pretty much became a Twitter pest. But I also backed that up with lots of interesting tweets, photos and retweets to keep people interested and thanked people for following and retweeting me. After a while I also found out the other use for # tags and started participating in Twitter chats, in particular #agchatoz which connected me with more like minded Tweeters.


social media environment groups

Outdoors, on the job, online, on message.

What do you tweet about?

I tweet about Landcare, local rural life, the environment and what it is like working for Landcare and being a part of a small community. I also tell off the occasional politician and thank our corporate sponsors for their support.


Were their some naysayers who thought that Twitter for a group like yours was a waste of energy?

Yes, in fact I was one of them but I will try anything once! There are some even more stubborn sceptics out there, I often get asked how much time a day I put towards it and my response is it is always on in the background, no different to my emails and my phone.


Any specific benefits from all this Twitter activity?

I won a bottle of wine at the National Landcare Conference for one of 2 best Tweets of the conference, Score! Also work bought me an iPad so I can Tweet in the field! But in all seriousness I have also made some really good contacts through Twitter including other Landcare Networks and Groups, Landholders both local and afar and businesses and other not for profits who are now showing interest in collaborating with us on projects.


How many hours do you spend on Twitter? In human hours please.

Some days 0 some days 3 (#agchatoz generally takes around 3 hours) an average daily time would be around half an hour to an hour of actual direct Twitter use but as I said it is always on in the background.


Got one Twitter secret to share?

Well you put it in to words but it is true, never miss an opportunity! Always check the trending list and if a relevant # tag is on it use it! Multiple times! If you are at an event and they have a # tag use it! Multiple times! Don’t forget to follow @hytsbrylandcare! See, don’t miss any opportunity!


Finally – cat videos are big on the internet. Do you agree that this is a waste of bandwidth?

Yes! Cats are one of the biggest threats to our native birds and small mammals! I don’t need them wasting my already measly internet allowance.

A poignant way to finish. Thankyou Yonie.

Read Squiggle’s previous interview which featured James Beckford Saunders.


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