I am not a social media diva. Far from it.
Social media is about the least favorite of all the writing-related things I do each week. I enjoy it so much that if I could afford to hire someone to manage social media for me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. That perk is one of the things I look forward to.
Some days more than others.
I’ve already shared why Facebook didn’t work for me.
One thing I didn’t say in that post was that I was so soured on social media that I was determined to never sign up for another account if it was the last thing I ever did.
For quite some time, I was resolute in that decision.
Then Danielle talked me into joining Twitter as the “ideal student” for her Twitter for rank beginners series. She was having so much fun, after all. What if I was missing something?
Early Days with Twitter
Like most new things, Twitter was fun at first. I followed Danielle’s series, implementing the lessons as she published them, and seeing early results.
Then, things plateaued. It seemed like nothing I tried worked. I was putting more and more time into it without seeing increased results.
I consulted with Danielle and other Twitter and social media experts, but just couldn’t break through the glass ceiling.
What’s worse, all this work was taking time from other work. Blogging, for example, with which I was very comfortable and successful. Novel writing, for another. Why was I putting all this time into something that seemed to be producing no fruit?
More than once, I thought about quitting. I mean, seriously thought about it. Once or twice, the cursor was hovering over the deactivate account link. Somehow, I couldn’t take that last step, though I really couldn’t see any reason to keep going.
Three Game Changers
Then three things happened that changed the way I did Twitter.
Number one was Danielle’s recommendation for a WordPress plugin called Tweetily. Tweetily posts old content on a pre-determined schedule. She set it to post every hour or so, but that schedule is very flexible. All it posted was the post titles, but it got those old posts in front of Twitter followers on a regular basis.
And she had results.
So I decided to try it. I had nothing to lose, after all, since I was debating whether or not to continue anyway. What harm could it do?
It turned out Tweetily locked me out of my own blog, but that problem was quickly resolved and I found another plugin that did work for me; Revive Old Post. I installed it on the old writing blog (Carrie Lynn Lewis Writing Well), scheduled it to post roughly every hour, and turned it loose. (Read about my experiences here).
And it, too, had results.
Even though old content was being published, it was still content that went out 24/7.
Number two was my discovery of a Twitter manager called ManageFlitter. ManageFlitter is similar to HootSuite but includes a few different tools (even with the free version). One of those is something called PowerPost, which allows me to see when my followers are the most active and to schedule posts for that time.
Unfortunately, the free version allows only one post every twelve hours, which didn’t do me much good. But I now knew when I had the highest traffic. I took that information to HootSuite and clustered posts within and around the window.
Within the window, I scheduled tweets every ten minutes. Leading up to and trailing off from that optimum time, I scheduled tweets every fifteen or twenty minutes.
The third thing was the decision to begin following more writing and writing-related blogs. I had more good content to to tweet. I tweeted each of the best posts at least twice during the optimum traffic period. Four tweets recommending other blogs, then one tweet promoting one of my posts.
The Net Result
It didn’t take long to begin seeing results. Slowly at first, then more quickly, Tweeps began following me. As I followed the best of the bloggers I was reading, they began following back. Pretty soon, I could see results in other areas, too. Engagement, favorites, retweets, and, yes, even click throughs to my blog.
Am I where I want to be with Twitter? No. But the good news is that I’m now headed in the right direction.
What’s the takeaway for you?
Not everything that’s recommended is necessary. Quite the contrary. Some things that work well for others will not work well (or work at all) for you. Frustrating as the period of trial and error is, it’s important to keep trying things until you find the combination that works for you.
Yes, it may mean finding a different form of social media.
But it may also mean implementing different tools and strategies until you find the combination that gets you off dead center with Twitter and gets you headed in the right direction.
If I can do it, anyone can do it.
What’s holding you back?