I’m Boring On Twitter… (and Other Things I’ve Learned About Life On the Line)


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Suddenly my Twitter following is growing. Don’t ask me why; I really couldn’t tell you. We’re not talking big numbers here; this is peanuts in the world of social media numbers. I’m boring on Twitter; I don’t really understand how it works. In fact, I’m terrible at all the things you’re told to do, to be successful on social media, but Twitter has especially stumped me; the learning curve can be dumbfounding–– or, involves things I’m just not wired for.

I’m still figuring out #hashtags–– and I assure you, it is a talent that others have mastered! I’m not good at re-tweeting, and until recently, I rarely followed anyone, even if they followed me first… unless I “knew them.” Let me be clear: my intentions are good. I feel badly when someone I don’t know follows me, and I don’t return the favor, but up until recently, I dealt with Twitter like so much of my life and my blog: I aim for authenticity and honest intention. Hence, I reasoned: why would I follow someone I don’t know? The people I followed were those whose blogs I read, or people I knew face to face. That’s a limited list. Is it any wonder that I had well under a hundred followers for ages? I have the same approach with blogging: I follow the people who I will actually read. I just feel too guilty if I follow someone and then don’t make the effort to read their work. So I do read. It’s hard with folks who post daily, but I make an effort with anyone I’ve “followed.”

There were a few noticeable things that helped me improve my visibility (say from 60 followers to my current humble 578) on Twitter. I wrote a blog post about the Surprise Skype Baby Shower I threw for my daughter, who, lives in Israel. I felt disconnected from her pregnancy and all that was happening, so I put together a full-blown shower and surprised her on Skype. I arranged to Skype with her, on a specific day and time. Then, I had foods she liked, decorations to cheer her up (balloons, flowers, colorful flags), and a room full of people who love her. They each brought a gift, and got a one-on-one moment via Skype and the computer screen, to tell my girl why they picked their gift, and wish her well. It was a huge success, in that it accomplished exactly what I wanted to do: connect with my daughter and that special period in her life.

Social media was the furthest thing from my mind, however, other than the fact that I was grateful to Skype technology. I tweeted my blog post, as I always do, and amazing things happened: Skype liked the Tweet, and Re-Tweeted it. They connected with me; I connected with them. They sent me adorable “swag” for my new grandchild, and made me feel good about that Tweet and blog post. Then, big guys at Skype liked and re-tweeted, and a whole bunch of people started looking at my measly Twitter page. Pow! I literally stumbled into it in my usual clueless way, and a few more people started following me. I didn’t follow most of them back, because I was still pretty ignorant about all of this. It’s a learning curve.

Being named a BlogHer Voices of the Year 2015 (VOTY’15) garnered some attention for my writing, and the post that the BlogHer and SheKnows’ Goddesses chose, On My Father’s Birthday, A Letter to The Man Who Killed Him. It brought in readers, and readers take a look at your Facebook page and your Twitter profile. At BlogHer’15, I attended any session on analytics that I could find, and figured a few things out… like, that there were analytics to follow. Yeah, I didn’t know that. Super helpful talks, and I came away understanding a little bit more about how this whole Tweet thing works.

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Then I discovered #ThinkBIGSundayWithMarsha, hosted by entrepreneur Marsha Wright. I was in Israel for much of August, helping my daughter with her new baby (and new love of my life), and somehow I stumbled on the Twitter site. Each Sunday, Ms. Wright hosts Tweets from all over the world. The Tweets must be positive or inspirational; you can’t be selling something or diverting to another site, and she urges folks to connect. That’s how I got hooked. I love that it’s an entire day of positivity. I read those Tweets and actually feel my own insecurities melt a little. I feel empowered by the encouraging Tweets/words of others, and I love the connections that are made as we read each other’s Twitter posts. My understanding of Twitter changed completely. I found myself following back, as others followed me. I wanted to re-Tweet, because we were a positivity movement each Sunday.

Social Media in general, and Twitter in particular, changed for me with that connection. I started thinking of things to post on Sundays. I started getting followers, seemingly out of the blue. Thrill of thrills and mystery of mysteries: LeBron James started following me. Hello? Very strange, but it gave me a boost in my sons’ eyes. Wink-wink, nod-nod. I went from mom who blogs to cool… for about ten minutes. Recently, I’ve found that a lot of very big Twitter folks have followed me. It’s interesting to read their profiles and guess how they even noticed me? I follow back now, nearly every time. I can’t imagine why they pick me, or how. I’m still pretty clueless, and frankly, I’m still quite boring, but I return the favor.

I started blogging regularly for Huffington Post one year ago, and I notice a distinct spike in followers whenever I post there. I’m not talking the kind of spike that real social media gurus would notice. As I noted, I’m only at 578 followers right now on Twitter, but I still get a little thrill with each notification. I am rarely re-Tweeted, because my content is not thrilling. I Tweet my blog posts; I try to be more mindful of re-Tweeting things I see that impact me. I continue to write blog posts, whether for HuffPo or my own blog, Tales From the Motherland, that mean something to me. I write about what sincerely interests me or moves me. I try to write without filters; I aim for authenticity in anything I write, and I write to connect. Facebook is personal too, and I suppose that’s why Twitter took me so long. It’s harder to connect, harder to be filter-free and authentic, in 140 characters. I’m in awe of the folks who master it and find a way to influence people in so few words. I am not a woman of few words; I suppose it’s another reason I continue to flounder in the Twitter world.

Ultimately, I’ve learned that I have to step outside some of my boxes, and my comfort zones, to participate on Twitter. I have to stretch. But there you go: stretching, stepping outside boxes, challenging ourselves is how we grow. When we reach out, there are others who get it and connect back. I no longer feel defensive saying to my family or friends, that I have on-line friends. I have made connections through my blog, Facebook and surprisingly, Twitter, who are very real and special to me. I may still be boring on Twitter, but I’m thinking outside the box these days, and learning to embrace new adventures.

Do you like social media? Do you “get” it? Share your Twitter handle and I’ll follow back. Handle? See, what I mean?   

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

 Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2015  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit; plagiarism sucks!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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34 Responses to I’m Boring On Twitter… (and Other Things I’ve Learned About Life On the Line)

  1. I hear ya. I’m kinda boring on Twitter, too. Actually, I’m liking it less and less these days. Especially now that they removed the share counter from digital content.

    Like

    • Ok, so you lost me at “removed,” James; yes, I’m that lame! I had no idea that there was a share counter or that it was removed… in fact, I don’t even know what those things are. So, it appears you are much less boring or lame than me! But, I’m mighty honored that you stopped by to commiserate. One of the best things that came out of BlogHer, was running into you and Julie Tarney. Love the connection, and building on that. Thanks for taking the time; it’s much appreciated!

      Like

  2. Psychobabble says:

    You had me at LeBron.

    Like

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    Twitter can be a strange place, but it can also be a wonderful place. I enjoy it far more than Facebook. I’ve met some wonderful people there, and I look forward to their humor and insights.

    LeBron James? Wow, my sons would be impressed. I’M impressed. We were just at the Cavs game Saturday night where LeBron scored the winning basket with barely one second left in the game. So cool to be there for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We lived in Chicago for 7 years, mainly while Michael Jordan was king. It was such an amazing time to follow bb. I’ve never been a big fan, but watching it live is really cool! My boys were impressed… for about a hot second, then I was just mom, who blogs again. 😉 I have NO idea why he followed, and of course, when I asked, got no answer. Funny how that is… someone manages the Twitter stuff and randomly hit follow; it’s the only explanation I come up with!

      I’m still working on figuring Twitter out… I am distinctly clueless about it. But I agree, Carrie, the more I use it, the more I like it! Thanks for the feedback, and ongoing support. It means a lot! xox

      Like

  4. I don’t tweet much but I have a lot of fun on Twitter. I’ve ditched Facebook.

    Like

  5. jgroeber says:

    Oh, another something-something I can learn from you. Tweeter! (Or is it Twooter? Twutter? I’m not even throwing an A in there… ever.) Ha!
    I love your chutzpah (is it now Twutz-pah) in every manner of life, from picking beans in Massachusetts to holding your grandbaby in Israel. You get it done, sister. And I will carry this little bit of social media inspiration with me, so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not that you learned anything… I realized after I hit publish, that I didn’t actually discuss much about what I’ve learned! See, clueless my dear, but oh how glad I am that it’s brought you and some other very fine people into my life! You will be on all future stops in MA… as long as I’m welcome. xox

      Like

  6. Hi, Dawn. My address on Twitter is Suzanne Joshi @PaSusan2 Good piece as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  7. I hear ya, too. I tweet once in a blue moon. I love to tweet when I watch Super Soul Sunday, but I haven’t watched in a while. When I Instagram photos, I always share them to Facebook and Twitter. My blog posts go out on Twitter as well. But I rarely check Twitter or randomly tweet. What fun to have a bunch more followers! Kudos to you!!

    Bam! Just followed you (under my real name).

    Like

  8. Oh my, Twitter is a mystery to me. 😀 I think I have 6 followers (family members that I forced to follow me 😛 ).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’re way ahead of me. I don’t Tweet, though have been advised to have a twitter account. I just don’t like all those pings on my phone all day long. Congrats on your SM successes!

    Like

    • Lisa, you don’t have to get the pings on your phone… this I know. You can silence them, and just look when you want. You determine what pings, in your notifications. I could see you being very good at Twitter. It’s always been a challenge for me, but yes, you hear that you must have it… and then what? Right? Thanks for your feedback.

      Like

  10. I’m in the same boat. I’ve noticed that my twitter following is growing rapidly (and to me I’m going huh?) and yet I can’t figure twitter out to save my life… maybe it’s because I’m ‘old’. Some days I wonder if twitter is really for the generation younger than me… and I’m really not THAT old. I don’t think…

    Like

    • Exactly! That’s what I keep thinking, Astrid. Maybe you can teach an old dog a new trick, but it doesn’t mean the dog understands what they’re doing! I really am THAT old. 😉

      Welcome to Tales From the Motherland. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. hbksloss says:

    I wish there was a short but clarifying article (or blog post!) on hashtags. I just don’t get it! Years ago, when I was a marketing consultant, I attended a wonderful workshop on social media strategies. The trainer said that we should absolutely accept any and all FB friend requests. I did. And then I did the same on LinkedIn and for awhile I followed back anyone who followed me on twitter. Now I still mostly accept all FB requests (some exceptions of course), I barely pay any attention to LinkedIn and I tweet/retweet most blog pieces I read, but don’t automatically follow someone on twitter just because they follow me. It doesn’t always make sense, and I’m not 100% consistent, but there is intention behind my actions. And at the end of the day sometimes that is enough.

    Like

    • I tend to think that intention is more important than most things, Heidi. I know my intentions are good, even if I’m a bit clueless with social media! I’m definitely MUCH more careful about FB requests. If anything, I wish I’d been more careful about accepting each request, initially, as it’s the place I tend to post my personal stuff. I’d prefer to keep some things separate… while I post less with Twitter. It’s a slippery slope for sure! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback.

      Like

  12. sara says:

    Twitter has different rules to other social media…it is much more impersonal than, say, fb. I use it to share all the awesome things I read and watch, both for my own reference and for other’s interest. I don’t have that many followers either, but the ones I have are all my own, not bought! I could definitely use #s better, but oh well 😊
    As for blogging integrity…well, I hear you. I literally don’t have time to read everyone’s blog anymore, so I read when I can, like now!

    Like

    • Sara, I’m learning that Twitter is not as impersonal as it originally seemed to me! I have not, nor do I anticipate, buying followers; I don’t see the point. However, I remain perplexed as to why certain people follow me at all! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment; it’s always appreciated!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Mike Lince says:

    I am even less Twitter-prone than you, Dawn. However, I followed you on Twitter if for no other reason than to add to your numbers. :0 – Mike, aka @globalexplorer2

    Like

  14. Pingback: And A Gratitude Miracle Happened! | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

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