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DIVING INTO SOCIAL MEDIA

December 21, 2022

            I originally posted this article in 2015. Much of it still applies today though when it comes to the numbers I stated back then, don’t even ask what they are today. I’ll elaborate and add things along the way.

            I’m not a complete luddite. I’ve been on Yahoo Groups (now pretty much defunct) since they first appeared on the net, done users groups when many had never heard of them and joined Myspace, another platform that’s gone bye bye. Anyone remember that? Today, I’m still a regular participant on Facebook. It’s not like I’m inactive on social media. 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 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 of that year 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 daily, and sometimes by the minute.

            When I originally wrote this article on a Saturday night in 2015, I followed 500+ people and had 300+ followers. A few days later on Tuesday, as I did a final edit, I had followed 759 people and had 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 that point, I was a little lost on what to do with all the info. Geez, I’d only been on less than a month!

Today I have no idea what the numbers are as I barely use the platform.

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 sent me thanks for following, but how would 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. I’d 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 buttons. 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.

            Even though I’m a little less ignorant than I was back then, today I feel very awkward, and don’t want to alienate my budding audience. Therefore since 2015 I’ve gradually lost interest in the platform. Now, with all the political controversy and censorship or lack of it, I just don’t want to add the grief anymore. Now, I post a tweet for my weekly articles and that’s about it. I don’t even check the stats anymore.

MAKING TWEETS

            At the time of this original article, I’d made around sixty-three tweets. Most had to do with my articles, or something to do with my writing. A few were 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 that point, since I’d just started out, I had a hard time seeing that as an issue since with my small footprint, I couldn’t tell who most of my followers really were (or if they really paid any attention) and who I’d followed, let alone who knows about me. When I got 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’d been paying attention to the top of the pile, my direct messages and notifications. I was getting direct feedback amongst all the thank you for following me’s. Anytime I participated in a discussion, I’d get feedback. Someone was paying attention.

            Folks, it wasn’t all bad. Just took some getting used to. I needed to filter through all the flack. I can relate to 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.

            Like I alluded to before, I am not a big participant anymore. It was just too much work.

THE OTHERS

            I’ve not even talked about the other social media sites line Pinterest (which I haven’t used in years) and the ones I can’t remember. I have had an invite to join Pinterest at one time, but never got around to doing much except posting a bunch of photos which is incomplete at this point, since my last entry in 2017. I’ve had others tell me it isn’t all that great for publicity anyway. As for the others, outside of Facebook, since I can’t even remember their names except Instagram and Tik Tok, well…

            Happy writing!

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