First off, I have no affiliation with Quickest Fox Marketing. However, after a couple of moths of benefiting from their famous County Hours on Twitter, I thought it would be no harm to express some gratitude.
Daddy, Whats a ‘County Hour’?
As the kid in the old Cadbury ad wondered what a Euro was, you too may be wondering what a County Hour is. A County Hour takes place on Twitter. It has a host and a county. For 60 minutes, the host is the Ceann Comhairle and tweets to all participants with the designated hash tags (more on them anon) for that hour. So for example, every Wednesday from 8pm-9pm is Wicklow Hour. It is a chance for all SME’s in Wicklow to tweet to each other and get their business into the limelight. To take part, all you need to do is send your tweet and include the designated hash tags (I’m getting to them). Once you do this, the host of the hour (the person running the @WicklowHour twitter account) will re-tweet your tweet and hey presto, you are now in the conversation.
There are usually two hashtags that you must include in your tweet. The first is the name of the hour that you are participating in. So for Wicklow Hour, the hashtag is #WicklowHour, for Dublin Hour, the hashtag is #DublinHour and so on. The second hashtag depends on if the hour is sponsored or not. So, in the not too distant future, when Booking Hawk gets a marketing budget, we will sponsor a county hour. For that hour the hashtags will be #CountyNameHour and #BookingHawk. This will then give us more exposure to everyone in the chat. Who knows, if there are enough participants in the chat, #BookingHawk might even start to trend nationally, which will drive more people to BookingHawk.com to see what the fuss is about.
3 Reasons To Get Involved
Now that you know what a county hour is all about, here are 3 reasons to get involved.
1. Make New Friends
I have not been tweeting in county hours for long, but even so, I now consider myself a twitter pal (Twal??) of some business owners around the country that I have never met in person. For example, early on I noticed an account named The Brand Geeks (@thebrandgeeks). Without any hard selling on either of our parts, we learned some more about each other businesses. So much so that The Brand Geeks referred BookingHawk.com‘s latest client, Healing For Well-being. Healing For Well-being is run by Olivia and is primarily based in Kerry. There is no way I would have ever met Olivia had it not been that The Brand Geeks were mutual Twals (that might be a thing now).Apart from the referral, I hope that BookingHawk.com’s latest feature will be of use to The Brand Geeks. But that’s for another day.
2. Learn Some Twitter Etiquette
When I first set up the Twitter account for Booking Hawk, I was hard selling the face clean off myself. Why wouldn’t I? I have a great product and the world should know and care about it! Wrong. Although Booking Hawk is a superb system for taking commission free on line bookings for your business ( That’s for you Google!), hard selling it on Twitter is like trying to have a conversation with Larry Gogan by shouting at the radio. Yes, it will keep you occupied, but poor auld Larry is never going to take any notice of you. From observing other accounts taking part in County Hours, and in particular @blocalcard (blocalcard.com), I learned that having a two-way civilised chat with other accounts is much more productive. Both from the point of view of letting it be known what your brand/business does and also, learning what other businesses/brands are all about. It helps that @blocalcard is a great idea which helps promote Irish business (I would never have known that but for county hours), but more important is that they have a great image and brand on Twitter. If they are that sound on an internet full of angry Journal.ie commentators, they must be twice as sound in real life.
3. Win Prizes!
Long ago, someone famously said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. They obviously lived in a time long before County Hours. For you see, any county hour with a sponsor usually has a prize put up by that sponsor. At the end of the hour, the host (eg, the @WicklowHour account) creates a raffle comprising of all the twitter accounts that participated in the county hour. The host then draws a winner. Booking Hawk has had the privilege of winning two such draws. The first was back in October when we participated in @WicklowHour. That particular hour was being sponsored by @TheBridgeTavWW – where none other than the bauld Conor McGregor steps out. The prize, lunch for 4 in The Bridge Tavern. I can tell you that not only was this a free lunch, it was a damn fine free lunch. Then, as if to hammer the point home to our prehistoric oracle chum (him of the no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch), a couple of weeks ago I was participating in @GalwayHour. That evening, Fahey Financial Solutions (@FaheyFinancial) were the sponsor and dinner for two with a bottle of wine in The Ardilaun was the prize. I have yet to enjoy the voucher, but I can tell from the high-class look of the Fahey Financial Solutions stationary that it was delivered in, it is going to be a thing of beauty.
So there you have it, 3 reasons to get involved in County Hours. If they can prove an age old saying like ‘no such thing as a free lunch’ wrong, what’s next? Was Rome actually built in a day? Is there a bird somewhere that can fly on one wing? It would be foolish to say either with any degree of certainty.
If you know someone that would benefit from online booking, please let me know about them. I will send you a two paragraph email for you to forward to your friend so it couldn’t be less hassle for you to help a couple of Irish businesses to grow! As a thank you, I will help you out with some advice on your website / SEO / Tech Support.
Hi, my name is Niall Smith and I am the Founder and CEO of BookingHawk.com. I am an experienced software engineer and have worked with companies like AOL, Guidewire, Deloitte and SAP. I am a graduate of The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme. I live in Dublin, Ireland with my wife. I love to meet other founders and learn from as many people as possible.