‘Twitter is like word of mouth on speed’

Inside Track: Samantha Kelly, Tweeting Goddess, on how companies can use Twitter to best advantage

Samantha Kelly creates a buzz around brands, which she calls it #Twittermagic! She focuses on the active influencers in each industry and aims to connect the right people with each other. Kelly runs Twitter accounts and campaigns for businesses that don't have time to keep their social-media presence active.

What sets your business apart from the competition?
I like to be online when I'm online, so I don't schedule tweets. Brands make a huge mistake when using social media. They think it's an advertising platform, but it isn't. It's all about people and how you make them feel and building relationships online, and then taking them offline.

People buy from people. If you offer great content, share your knowledge, are entertaining and assist others, people will naturally want to share your tips etc and do your marketing for you. Remember, Twitter is like word of mouth on speed. Instead of someone telling 10 people, they could be telling hundreds.

What was the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Surround yourself with good people who understand what you do and why you do it. I also love the quote "Why spend your whole life trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out".


What's the biggest mistake you've made in business?
Undervaluing what I do. If you don't put a price on what you do, that is what you are valued at by others. I've learned over the years that gathering a network of influencers and a community is of huge value to others. Ted Rubin, a huge influencer to me, always says, "Network gives you reach, community gives you power".

And your major success to date?
That would be bringing the online relationships I have built into an offline setting. I've created communities online on Twitter such as #irishbizparty, #womensinspire and also the Social Media Summit, which attracted international influencers and business owners. This is important, as it nurtures business relationships and, instead of handshakes at networking events and conferences, it generates hugs.

Who do you most admire in business and why?
It takes courage, determination and endless positivity to run a business. I admire the tenacity of the small business owner who makes the leap into running their own business. It takes courage to make the decision in the first place.

Based on your experience in the downturn, are banks open for business to SMEs?
I feel they are if you already have money! Every SME should get a start-up loan regardless, even if it's just €2,000 to get a laptop, phone and marketing. Every SME should have a chance to get marketing and PR as standard. Why should the big brands with the big budgets have a bigger profile only because of their huge marketing budget? Overdrafts should be more readily available.

What one piece of advice would you give to the Government to help stimulate the economy?
Give SMEs more of a voice. Have an actual entrepreneur in every Local Enterprise Office in the State . . . They understand the challenges that start-ups and SMEs face. I feel start -ups should get at least one year free membership of professional networks if they cost over €50 a month for membership.

What's been the biggest challenge you have had to face?
Reminding myself that I am good enough. Also remembering your 'why' . . . Why are you doing this? For most of us, it's to give our children and families better opportunities and a better life than before.

How do you see the short-term future for your business?
I've got some speaking moments coming up and I have been moving more into marketing in general lately also. Video is becoming huge on social media, so I've been practising that. I will be developing an online course, so anyone can do it from the comfort of their homes.

What's your business worth and would you sell it?
I have no idea how much it's worth, but I know that, since I've been verified by Twitter, my value has risen. Also my Women's Inspire Network has over 4,000 members on Facebook, so that will be worth something in the future. No, I wouldn't sell it. I love what I do.