My Week as @Ireland Curator: Tips on Tweeting for Ireland

I’d been following the @Ireland account on Twitter for some time and in the back of my egotistical mind had the idea that I’d like to try curate it for a week and be the “voice of Ireland”. I’d seen a lot of curators talk about the same kinda ‘high-brow’ stuff and I fancied the idea of stirring things up a little and making it a bit cooler and a bit more ‘down to earth’. I had always assumed they just randomly asked/picked people for the job so when I found out there was an actual application process, I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a bash.

My pitch to them was that I wanted to talk about “Ireland’s secret county” Leitrim among other things. A good idea I thought and one which might give me a good chance of getting the gig. Still, I was a little surprised but delighted to be given the account in the end considering their curator picking criteria requires people they think have an interesting set of tweets and a good presence online. Always nice to be thought of as interesting!? I set about doing some research, asking the bosses what was allowed & what wasn’t and planning my topics for the week.


It ended up going pretty much as I expected…a great shop window for Leitrim, lots of replies to deal with, some great discussions, friendly chats, new friends, lots of trolls and attackers (none of which you’r allowed block!?) and a nice big scrap about Feminism half way through!? I knew there was a good chance I’d get into a fight during the week as I can be fairly opinionated but of all the things I could get into a fight about why and how the hell did it have to be Feminism!? That was left of field even for me.. After noticing a lot of the women replying to my general tweets seemed to have the word “Feminist” in their profile bios, I thought I’d mention that fact in a tweet and chaos ensued. It started off with me getting some polite warnings from feminists about being “dismissive” and flippant (I would say more clueless and naive!?) about feminism and after trying to back down and defend myself a bit, some bra burning, men hating, feminist troll types started attacking me personally and calling me names. It seemed that anything I said in reply was taken and used against me so I just ignored it all in the end and went to sleep.

The following morning I got a DM from the Ireland account bosses to be “Mindful of what I tweet and the language I use” which annoyed me a bit considering I hadn’t really broken any of their rules or said anything directly attacking anyone or anything? There was no help or advice from them mid argument when it would have been needed most perhaps? And no mention from them of any protection for the Ireland curator from the trolls and crazies on twitter which is something they need to address I think. Like most highly followed/trafficked twitter accounts, people will attack it for a bit of fun but it’s no fun if you’re a real person on the receiving end. There were times on there that I felt bullied.

People have asked me if your own personal twitter account gets more followers after you’ve curated Ireland and mine did a bit. Here’s some stats:

@Ireland Before: 15,257
@Ireland After: 15,361 (would have been more but I lost a few feminists!)

GAIN: 104

@ReverbStudios Before: 1,315
@ReverbStudios After: 1,340

GAIN: 25

@AboutLeitrim Before: 600
@AboutLeitrim After: 616

GAIN: 16

So some good gains in followers. All in all it was the perfect week, a bit of everything in the mix and a good experience. One which I’d recommend but read my tips below before you commit!

Tips for Ireland Curation

  • Prepare some topics beforehand,
  • Tweet as you normally would/be yourself,
  • Keep an eye on the news for topical stuff to discuss,
  • Reply to people (you’ll get lots of replies!),
  • Be personable,
  • Don’t try to change the world,
  • Don’t let it go to your head,
  • Don’t take it too seriously,
  • Engage other country accounts,
  • NB: Don’t engage with trolls/attackers,
  • Have fun,
  • Don’t talk about Feminism unless you’re a Feminist!

Here’s an archive of all my tweets during the week if you’re bored! Thursday night 13th June is where the feminism stuff happens!

@Ireland Curator – Leon Quinn


Social Media Account & Online Marketing Management

It seems that more and more businesses are happy to outsource management of their Social Media activities these days. I’ve always wondered how you might do that as a business, ie – how would a company outsider know what to write in posts and what to say in reply to queries etc. In short, how can someone outside your business know best how to represent it publicly?

Having talked to a few businesses who are doing it already I’ve realised it might be possible if the contracted company is briefed properly,  provided with the right content and the setup is regularly reviewed. Also, at times there can be a bit more to social networking than the average person can handle, for example, a lot of social media content these days is graphical or video based so those will need to be created or edited by a professional.

To that end if any of my clients feel they need help managing their Online Marketing/Social Media activities, I can help in the following areas:

  • Facebook, Twitter, youTube, Linkedin, etc account setup,
  • Copy Writing for the web (Re-write client content with SEO in mind),
  • Graphic Design (Facebook Logos, Cover Photos, Post Photos, etc..),
  • Video Screen Tutorials Recorded,
  • Facebook Ad Campaigns,
  • New Facebook Tabs,
  • Facebook Photo Albums,
  • Social Media mentoring.

Get in touch if you’d like to chat about any of this.


Do I Still Need a Website?

This was the question asked of me at the Leitrim Business Network ‘IT expert Q & A’ this week. I’d like to expand on my answer here.

It’s a valid and pretty common question and to be honest, not one I knew how to answer when people first started asking me. After all, you can probably reach a hell of a lot more people on the likes of Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter than your own freshly made website.

My simple answer is that you should have BOTH your own website and a presence on all the major social networking sites. The bigger footprint you have online the better. The only valid reason I can think of for not having your own site is if you have absolutely no budget, but many people still don’t realise the cost of web design has come right down these days.

What I would try to avoid is that old problem of having people think that you’re a business that can only afford a free web presence. It’s like having a fancy business card and a big ugly hotmail or yahoo email address on it. Nothing spells success and professionalism than a nice modern website. It can be just as much a mark of quality as a marketing tool.


Here’s a  breakdown:

Facebook Pages & Twitter profiles are pretty basic

All that’s on anyone’s Facebook Business page (unless they spend serious money on having Facebook apps developed) is a small ‘About’ section, a news feed and maybe some photos. Same with Twitter. A small bio section then just a list of posts. Is that really the only business presence you want people to see!?

With your own site, you can lay it out how you like and have content presented more logically. I like to think of Facebook & Twitter as a teaser for your company, like a fish hook that you dangle in the stream of people. You give them the basics of your company and have them click through to your proper website where you present them with your full, properly branded business information.


Facebook in particular are forever changing things around, whether it’s the size of banner images, logos or just the general rules on what you can and cannot do. With your own site you don’t have to be at their mercy, you control everything and always will.

The Future

Facebook wasn’t always popular and may not always be. What if you spend serious time and money cultivating followers and likers only for Mark Zuckerberg to get bored and sell the site to move onto something new? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.


My blueprint for a modern online business precence is as follows:

  • Create a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and any other Social Networking site that may be particularly relevant for your business, ie – if you sell visual products, maybe a youTube account too to show them off properly,
  • Make sure to properly fill out each site profile with your business info, service list, location and web address link,
  • Build an audience by spending some time connecting to new people on each site. Most of them make this pretty easy by suggesting friends based on your email contacts or location,
  • Build a standalone website with a modern web publishing system like WordPress,
  • Concentrate most of your efforts on your own website by regularly writing relevant news content/blogs,
  • Integrate your website with all your social networking sites to automatically send news posts through to them. is good for this and FREE. This way you can be active on a pile of sites at once, from one location without really having to be on them.
If you’re like me and sit in front of a computer all day, you’ll have that extra bit of time to go in an be active on the networking sites too. Interaction gets you noticed remembered and liked. Reading other peoples news also keeps you in the loop as to what’s going on and what the prevailing mood is which can be helpful.



Ireland IT Capital of the World with Twitter Move?

I write this on a day when it was announced that massively popular Social Networking site Twitter will be setting up an international base in Ireland. There had been murmurings that it might happen from months back but there was stiff competition from a number of other cities including London but Dublin has won out in the end probably because of it’s low corporation tax rate and possibly because of the existing presence of a number of very high profile companies here.

Ireland pretty much has a clean sweep of the top IT companies in the world now including Facebook, Google, Paypal, eBay, Linkedin, Microsoft, Intel, Yahoo, Zynga, IBM, Apple and HP – an incredible list and surely one that puts us firmly on the international business map.

Here’s hoping the government will now throw everything it has at IT support in Ireland from Education to Broadband infrastructure and guarantee we lose the twee image of Ireland and replace it with one of innovation, modernity, hi-tech and progression, leading us out of recession and showing the world how it’s done.

Ole, ole, ole..


How Do YOU Come Across Online?

Several online acquaintances were kind enough recently (I didn’t ask them!)  to offer me some super critical feedback on how they saw my Social Networking and Branding efforts online. From their ‘comfortable distances’ they pointed out the flaws in some of the things I say in my Twitter and Facebook feeds and advised me to desist from certain activities. Having relatively recently ‘found my voice’ and style so to speak through things like Twitter and Facebook among others, and feeling fairly confident that what I was saying on these sites was generally interesting, enlightening, funny or useful to my audience in some small way at least, I wasn’t too happy with this criticism and it came as a bit of a shock..

I can’t say for one second that it’s going to make me censor myself online and I hope to continue saying it like it is, calling people out, alerting people to good and bad service from companies, occasionally cursing when needed and calling a spade a spade but it at least made me aware that I should try imagine how I sound to others. With just a little ‘out of body’ thought, you might realise that the largely IT/Techy crowd on Twitter don’t necessarily want to hear about your cat or that family and friends on Facebook don’t want to be bombarded with businesses stuff. ‘Know your audience’ and tell them what they want or need to hear seems like apt advice.

My moral is basically this – think before you speak, brand yourself and your business as honestly and effectively as you can but if you feel something needs to be said, say it. And if you are being honest to yourself and your gut instinct then you should eventually gain the majority’s respect. The rest can fuck off!!


My Social Media Routes

I’m not sure I’m doing a great job lately answering the often asked question of how exactly to go about EASILY ‘publishing’ content on Social Media Networks so I’ve decided to try to visualise here how I personally do it and make it easier for others as well as myself to understand!

Essentialy I have 2 main sources of content, this Blog and Twitter. It’s rare that I would post content directly in any other network. From my blog, posts go out to all the other networks and indeed Twitter but I also microblog from Twitter directly. Doing things this way, ie – only creating content in 1 or 2 places max but routing that content to multiple different places, is a fantastic and efficient method of having an active precence on the main social networking sites without the hassle of manually going in and creating content on them all individually.

I find using a great help in routing my content but it relies on your main source having an RSS feed.

I believe these methods or routes are fairly common for most active networkers right now:

Social Media Routes