I want to introduce you to Bill Jelen (a.k.a. MrExcel) and the Excel guru?who co-authored Excel for Marketing Managers with me. 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Excel and guess what the Roman numeral for 40 is — YUP — it’s “XL”!?
So, MrExcel is writing a cool new book with the best 40 Excel Tips of all time!!! He wants it to be full color, illustrated and all out awesome. To make that happen, he decided to crowd-fund it. This is the story of how he reached his goal in 17 hours — and how he’s going to exceed it using this amazing Twitter hack and Excel. You’ll learn how to use Twitter to reach out to your ideal audience and engage with them.
I am trying to build some buzz and excitement for the MrExcel XL book. I have 8000 followers on Twitter, but when you tweet, obviously not everyone notices your tweet. I needed a way to engage with those Twitter followers.
For $25, I found a service (TwexList.com) who provided an amazing spreadsheet of my twitter followers. They somehow collect a lot of profile information about each follower and put it on a row in an Excel spreadsheet. Date Created. # of Tweets. Last Tweet. Language. Time Zone!. Their 140 character profile description.
?8000 people is a lot of people. But I used some Excel magic to isolate all of the people who included the word “Excel” in their Twitter profile. That lead me to 671 people who are passionate enough about Excel to self-identify and include it in the Twitter profile.
I sorted those 671 Twitter followers by time zone and found the people where it was between 8AM and 9AM on Friday Jan 2. Also using Excel, I concatenated a message that started with their username. When your Tweet begins with @Someone, only you and that person, and people who are following both you and @Someone will see the tweet.
From about 8PM on Thursday until 2PM on Friday, I sent 671 tweets, always coordinating the tweet to arrive between 8AM and 10AM on Friday where that person lived.
Each tweet was customized to that person…
@ExcelByJoe What #Excel tip would *you* include in All Time Greatest Excel Tips? http://mrx.cl/xlbook40
The process of sending tweets was:
Select the next cell in Excel
Ctrl+C to copy
Ctrl+Tab to switch to Hootsuite
Click in the new tweet
Ctrl+V to paste
Ctrl+Tab back to Excel
I could do 6 a minute. In the biggest time zone, it might have taken 10 minutes. It was better than scheduling tweets (limited to one per 5 minutes).
In some cases, I picked up a contributor on Indiegogo. Not many. But the response was beautiful.
After sending the tweets, I would collect the responses from the last hour in Hootsuite. Those were copied to an Excel spreadsheet (user name and tweet) and I would either reply, retweet or quote tweet the tip to the rest of my readers. A lot of tips were ones I would already include in the book, but I picked up a lot of new tips as well.
Get this… at the end of Friday… I had 66 favorite excel tips from people who are somewhat passionate about Excel. This might increase on Monday when more people get back to work.
These 66 tips (plus the ones I had already identified) become the voting pool once the Indiegogo campaign ends.
I was sort of worried that Twitter would eventually ask me to slow down. But possibly because the Tweets were sent to individuals, or because every tweet was different, I never hit the limits in Twitter.