Tweetups to promotes events, causes

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WALLA WALLA — A new series of tweetups starting this month will help spread the word about Walla Walla happenings — 140 characters at a time.

Social media neophytes and crackerjacks alike are invited to take part in the face-to-face gatherings in which participants Tweet their way through their interactions.

The new #wallatalk series is designed as a “social media mixer” meant to serve as an introduction among participants and build awareness of social media while promoting local events and causes at the same time.

The first hourlong tweetup will take place Feb. 25 at 8 a.m. at the downtown Walla Walla Starbucks, where the guest nonprofit organization will be J.U.G.S. (Just Us Girls Sharing). Just ahead of that organization’s annual Pink Ball, the event is designed to bring awareness of and raise funds for cancer patients.

More than a dozen people have already indicated an intention to attend, said Michael Mettler of Achieva Marketing.

Mettler’s agency is working with the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Walla Walla Foundation on the events, which were inspired by similar tweetups in other communities.

“I think for a lot of people things like Twitter either don’t make sense or seem daunting or seem like a waste of time,” Mettler said.

The events can serve as a learning opportunity for attendees to see the benefits of Twitter, Facebook and other online tools.

“The more active we get people the easier it is to promote things that are happening in the community,” he said.

The idea is that those in attendance will have a chance to meet and post comments using the #wallatalk hashtag, said Chamber Director of Member Services Betsy Hadden. Anyone who wants to look back on conversations can do so using the hashtag.

Hadden has attended tweetups in Spokane and Tri-Cities and discovered she not only built her network by 25 or so people at each event, but also was able to build her posts around the common interest that served as the backbone of the event.

Other tweetups have taken place in Walla Walla before — largely centered on the wine industry and tasting events.

However #wallatalk is designed as an ongoing event the fourth Monday of every month. A different nonprofit or cause will be embraced. For the second tweetup, for instance, organizers will focus on the annual downtown Walla Walla cleanup efforts.

The casual events will be attended by representatives of the various causes, who can share updates on their organizations and efforts. In this case the host business will also offer an incentive for those who want to donate. Those who contribute to J.U.G.S. during the tweetup will receive a free house coffee.

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