By Evan Carmichael on March 31st, 2013
Bobby Umar was featured on our list of Top 100 Business Coaches to follow on Twitter – we asked him a few questions about Twitter, here is what he said:
1) How does your business benefit from using Twitter?
When I 1st joined twitter, it was because someone asked me “do you have a message? You must, given your business”. She was absolutely right. My business is about leadership, connection, and individual, team and organizational development. So I started tweeting about connection. Eventually, I started refining my message and further aligning it to my purpose and my mission. Pretty soon my business started to benefit from brand awareness, expertise development and referrals. Most importantly, twitter is a huge part of my personal brand.
2) Do you have some specific examples you can share with us?
Sure! There was a certain point on twitter where people started responding, sharing my tweets, and expressing how much they loved my stuff. This led to direct requests for me to share my message with them. One good example was autism Ontario who connected with me on twitter and then brought me in to do some leadership development training.
I’ve also used it as a tool to reach people, conferences, and organizations in a more open format and timely manner. Twitter is excellent for this and they got to speak at many other conferences, most recently with the CPPA.
3) What do you tweet and how often do you do it?
I tweet mostly about anything to do with my personal brand, because it is infused within both my professional and personal life. This includes leadership, connection, personal branding, networking, social media, inspiration and relationships. I also tweet personal messages, but only when I think it’s something of value add. Lastly, I happily retweet anything that gets my attention and I care for. Some days I tweet very little, usually on weekends. On Mondays however, that is when I host my weekly Tweetchat called “#PoCchat” or the Power of Connection chat, and I end up tweeting over 100 tweets on those days.
4) How has your Twitter strategy evolved?
My twitter strategy has evolved alongside my business strategy, individual purpose, and mission. My mission now is to inspire and develop leadership in Generation Y and to inspire, re-discover and develop leadership in Generation X. A big part of how I do that is through my social media messaging and content. Before I was sharing my message, but without the focus that is has now.
5) What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are trying to find the ROI in Twitter?
The most important thing you can do is determine your “Why” for being on Twitter. Think about what your message is, think about who you serve and think about what kind of ROI you want to get out of twitter. Sometimes he ROI is not necessarily dollar values or sales but rather engagement, awareness or impact.
The other thing I will say is that it takes time but the investment is eventually worth it. If all the coolest brands, inspirational leaders and innovative people and organizations are engaging and interacting on twitter then shouldn’t you be?
Bobby has over 20 years’ experience in leadership training and professional development through conferences, corporate events and numerous teaching positions.
With a background in brand marketing, engineering and the performing arts, Bobby draws on his diverse career to lead Raeallan, a transformational training and speaking company.
Bobby has run teambuilding activities, presented keynotes, and coached thousands of people across Canada. Major clients include TD Canada Trust, TELUS, Canadian Tire and Kraft, as well as McMaster, Ryerson and York universities.
Bobby brings an engaging presence, endless exuberance and dynamic people skills essential to developing and nurturing Raeallan participants.
Bobby has taught prep courses for the GMAT (the test required for entry into graduate-level business schools) for over 10 years, currently for Veritas and previously for Kaplan, both top-tier global test prep companies. In 2009, he was awarded the “Worldwide Instructor of the Year” for Veritas, out of 500+ instructors across 130 countries.
Bobby’s varied career has included serving as Program Manager and Faculty Head of Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Arts for McMaster University’s Shad Valley summer program for gifted high school youth. He has also worked in brand management for Tier-1 companies such as Kraft in Cheese Marketing and Unilever for Dove Masterbrand.
While working on the Campaign for Real Beauty, Bobby was Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, supporting organizations across Canada that fostered positive self-esteem in young women. During his time at Bombardier as an Aerospace Design Engineer, he founded and ran a musical theatre company, Markham Thespian Society, where he supervised a team of over 100 people.
Bobby is also a professional actor. He graduated from Second City’s renowned Advanced Conservatory Program, where he honed his improvisation, creative sketch writing and performance abilities. Afterwards, he joined a sketch comedy troupe called Fade to Brown (www.fadetobrown.com), serving as a producer, performer, writer, and stage director. Fade to Brown recently developed a TV pilot for OMNI television that aired three times in 2009.
During his Degroote (McMaster) MBA studies, Bobby was president of the MBA Association, received awards in case competitions, academics and leadership, and he graduated at the top of his class as a co-valedictorian. He is most proud of getting the students a healthcare plan and putting McMaster on the MBA map by organizing the first MBA Games team.
Most importantly, Bobby is a new dad. He loves to play ultimate frisbee and chess, predict the Oscars and remember the lyrics to every ’80s TV show theme song. He has never lost a thumb war, ever.
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