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DIVING INTO SOCIAL MEDIA

July 22, 2015

I’m not a complete luddite. I’ve been on Yahoo groups since they first appeared on the net, done users groups when many had never heard of them and joined whatever that… Myspace… that’s it! Anyone remember that? I’m a regular user of Facebook as well. It’s not like I don’t participate. However, sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. Case in point, Twitter.

OVERHWELMING NUMBERS

I resisted Twitter for a long time because I just didn’t like the idea of talking in incomplete sentences and abbreviations. However, after attending the social media sessions at the latest 2015 Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, I realized it would do me good to take the plunge. Still I resisted all the way from April until June before I joined. When I did, not only did it open up a new world of opportunity, it opened up a world of overwhelming numbers!

Aaagh!

I followed and followed, but as a double-edged sword, a lot of people have followed me. As a result, I now get an overwhelming number of messages every hour, not just day, and sometimes by the minute!

When I originally wrote this last Saturday night, I followed 500+ people and had 300+ followers. Today as I do a final edit, Tuesday, I now follow 759 people and have 396 followers. Some I’ve blocked, the usual porn girls wanting a good time, a few with foreign writing that looked suspicious, or those that simply annoyed me (politics), while others are right what I’m looking for.

The thing is, at this point, I’m a little lost what to do with all the info. Geez, I’ve only been on less than a month!

DON’T KNOW THE ETIQUETTE

I started small, thanking the one or two people who followed me by tweeting them back. However, when I started getting them in the tens and hundreds, what to do?

Others send me thanks for following, but how do you do it en-masse?

Several, maybe more than several have re-tweeted several of my tweets. I find that a great honor, but how do I return the favor? I even asked them but never received an answer message (or tweet) back. Since Saturday, I accidentally stumbled across the retweet, like, follow and a few more buttons at the bottom of most of the tweets. Some don’t have those button. I never noticed them before. Maybe that’s why that one person never replied. “Hey, dumbass, look at the bottom of your screen.” Well, the message this person sent didn’t have those buttons, or options, or whatever you want to call them at the bottom of the message bubble, by the way.

Even though I’m a little less ignorant than a few days ago, at this point, I feel very awkward, and don’t want to alienate my budding audience.

MAKING TWEETS

So far, I’ve made around forty sixty-three tweets. Most have to do with my articles, or something to do with my writing. A few are just random things I felt like saying. I’ve been told by others either at the conference or just in general talk that you should tweet every day. If possible, store up a series of tweets so you can drop one every day so people don’t forget about you. Oh yeah? At this point, since I’m just starting out, I have a hard time seeing that as an issue since with my small footprint, I can’t tell who my followers really are (if they’re really paying attention) and who I’m following let alone who knows about me. When I can get over 2,500 tweets with only 759 follows 396 followees, how am I supposed to sift through that?

Okay, since I wrote that paragraph, I’ve been paying attention to the top of the pile, my direct messages and notifications. I AM getting direct feedback amongst all the thank you for following me’s. Anytime I participate in a discussion, I get feedback. Someone IS paying attention.

Folks, this isn’t all bad. Just taking some getting used to. I need to filter through all the flack. I can understand everyone else having to do the same thing.

One other note, I took Joan Stewart’s advice and make heavy use of hash tags (#) in my tweets. If you use Twitter, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

THE OTEHRS

I’ve not even talked about the other social media sites line Pinterest and the ones I can’t remember. I have an invite to join Pinterest but am still hesitant because it involves images and I’m not all that keen on using it. I’ve had others tell me it isn’t all that great for publicity anyway. We’ll see. As for the others, since I can’t even remember their names, well…

Happy writing!

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2015 1:33 pm

    Fred, great post – I recently started using Twitter and this is helpful for newbies like myself. I’ve been following your blog via RSS but didn’t know you had a Twitter account, other readers may be in the same boat. Have you considered adding a link in the sidebar or footer?

    • July 23, 2015 2:52 am

      Dave,

      First off, welcome to my site. Second, thanks for the kind comments! Also, that’s a great suggestion and I will post a link but I have to figure the best place to put it considering the limited scope of the “cheap” version of my WordPress web site. I have limited control. I may just have to put it on the Links page with all the other links. Maybe I’ll try to squeeze a box for my Twitter and Facebook links somewhere on the front page if I can. Great suggestion and now that I’m using more than just Facebook, new horizons… new possibilities!

      You rock!

      Fred

  2. July 25, 2015 4:16 pm

    Hello Fred…great post. I’m so sorry to be late in dropping by. Good for you getting active on Twitter. I have been on there a while and I have learned quite a bit. I probably know just enough to be dangerous. 🙂 A couple of tips, for one, don’t be overwhelmed and don’t feel you have to read everything that comes into your feed. When something catches your eye, you can RT or favorite it. You will find others will return the favor. Some, but not all. Don’t worry about thanking people for following or RT’ing. If you can, then do so, but it’s not a requirement. About hashtags, yes, they’re great, but use them wisely and sparingly. If you cram several in your tweet, it looks like spam and people are less likely to pay attention. Ideally, two hashtags per tweet is best. And, it’s a good idea to pick specific and relevant ones. Mix up the tweets, some social some business. And, lastly, (although I could go on and on…), something that is fun and can bring about good interaction is to look at the ‘trending’ tweets on the left side when you’re on Twitter. If one interests you, use it to tweet and engage. Hope this helps…Happy Tweeting! (I am going to look for and follow you)

    • July 29, 2015 1:50 am

      Alicia,

      Welcome to my site and thanks so much for the tips! Sorry for the late reply. Just got out of the hospital. All I had available was my cell, which is a primitive Wal-Mart basic phone, nothing fancy. In other words, I was completely isolated from the web. Now that I’m back I’m catching up and I so much appreciate the info on Twitter. I just plunged in blind and have been figuring things out bit by bit. That thing about the hash tags rings so true! I’ve noticed tweets with too many of them does look like span even when they’re not. Makes me want to reconsider even my profile. I’ve never even paid attention to the trending tweets on the left side so I’ll have to check them out. I haven’t seen my twitter account since I got out and I’m kind of dreading it right now but it’s next. Thanks for the kind reply. I just went to your site and followed you too.

      You rock!

      Fred

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