I find that thinking about social media backwards helps a lot.
The primary use of Twitter is tweeting. Most people believe they could sit in one place and tweet all day and that will build them a following. When they realize that their tweets aren’t being seen by anyone, they decide to incorporate #hashtags into their tweets. When this doesn’t work and it doesn’t build followers, they find that possibly the best strategy to building a following is to follow as many people as possible in the hopes that those people would follow-back. And, then when they realize that Twitter isn’t just about numbers and who could say the most wittiest line in the hopes to launch their tweet up to the top trending list, they finally buckle down and they decide to leave someone a comment. This isn’t just any comment they leave. This isn’t just the obscure ‘hit-and-run’ comment such as ‘nice,’ ‘good job,’ or a triumvirate of emojis. The comment that they leave is an actual sincere comment. Only then does the amateur mindset of Twitter being a place to gain followers turn into an actual interactive social network.
Once someone leaves their first sincere comment, they end up leaving more and more comments, they end up replying to people who comment back to them. Suddenly, after leaving their first sincere comment, the new Twitter user finally understands that #hashtags aren’t marketing tools, their online lounges where people are talking about the same topic. People build friends, they see the same usernames over and over, people start to become regulars, and like a popular corner bar, everyone knows your name.
This probably doesn’t need to be said. It probably should be common sense to most. But, for so many people, it is not. In fact, many people are still wondering why they’re putting so much time and effort into twitter and not seeing results. I got a message on Instagram asking me for a follow back and telling me that I should like her posts. I see my followers rise up in numbers only to dwindle down several days later. Are these people only searching for someone to follow them back? Probably. Are these people the type of people who are paying for software that will follow large masses of people and then unfollow them after a week? That could be the case. There are many that see the numbers and they focus on the need to bolster up their statistics. The tragedy is that some of these people who play the numbers game on Twitter are actual artists, actual entrepreneurs, and, pretty much, actual people. A lot of them are authors. They want to be accepted by the masses and form large readerships. After days or possibly months of following large numbers of people and not getting the wanted results, these people have to deal with the anxiety that comes with rejection. And, that’s terrible.
I don’t have a large following on Twitter. It’s actually extremely small, standing tall at 22 followers after two days. However, I will say that I’ve met some great people on Twitter. I’ve been making great use of the direct message interface. I actually introduced my book to one user and they actually said that they would review it. And, given how much minimal effort and time that I’ve put into Twitter, that to me is a win.
Following people in the hopes that they would follow back, that takes effort and time. Sooner or later, it begins to feel like a full-time job.
Sitting around after writing, reading, or doing actual marketing in a #hashtag, reading updates on how everyone’s day is on #amwriting, that’s typically what time off looks like. It’s enjoyable.Read my latest book, 'The Day Sex Robots Said No.' For exclusive updates, subscribe to my mailing list.