Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

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Beyond the Billboards: Twitter and SOCIAL Media

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BillboardI’m driving down the road listening to a friend chatter. Being ADD, my thought processes go something like this.

“My daughter’s friend wasn’t in town at the time and she had locked herself …” Samsung 400 on November 12 at Texas Motor Speedway “… so she trotted over to the next door neighbor’s house. He’s the one that has been so creepy, lately, but she …” Your favorite hospital has a heart: Baylor Medical Heart Center … “so he wasn’t any help at all. She called me and I suggested she contact her brother. He’s only an hour away, but …” Bicardi Rum. Only the best.

This is just the way a person who is easily distracted lives. Truth is, most of the time I don’t even realize I’ve read every billboard that I’ve passed until I come across one and go, “huh?”

I find the same type of situation with Twitter. I notice that my feed fills with constant pleas to “visit my blog” or “buy my book.” I would say that the ads are sprinkled among regular posts, but finding those regular posts is often hard.

Maybe I’m not online at the right times?

Birds on wiresI think the magic of Twitter is the engagement. Social media is SOCIAL first. I’ve heard Twitter likened to a virtual cocktail party, only without the liquor. I find it more like a variety show on TV. Different folks making jokes and a WHOLE LOT OF COMMERCIALS!

I like it when I find a question that someone actually wants answered. And I really like it when someone shares something goofy. Things that happened to them. Not just a clever one-liner.

I’m not trying to be critical. It takes effort to make friends – even online ones. I’ve met folks that I feel totally comfortable with and look forward to meeting in person. I’ve also met a few that I just don’t get a vibe from. Same as anywhere.

But I don’t get the chance to really meet a person if all they tweet is ads for their book or blog or the clever things other people say.

I’m not talking about retweets. (They’re not only fun, they give me insight to what other people like.) I’m talking about having a cache of famous or poignant quotes and posting them through the day via some scheduling program. And I’m not bashing scheduling programs either. I’ll post about scheduling at another time.

But I have come up with a few don’ts for Twitter. Most of these I’ve learned the hard way, though, so I’m not judging.

vincente

1.  Don’t hog the feed. Every tweet you make goes out to all of your followers. I saw a person just today who posted a new quote every minute for twenty-five minutes. At least there was a variety. Oh and this wasn’t a situation with Twitter chats. Another topic for another time.

2.  Don’t waste words. If a quote or scripture or song phrase is incredibly meaningful to you, by all means share it. But would you walk around at a party saying nothing but Shakespearean quotes or sharing Emerson poetry? I can picture that. But I wouldn’t want to be that gal!

3.  Don’t constantly post nothing but ads. I don’t unfollow much, but I did unfollow two people fairly early on. One was an author who did nothing but post – every hour at least – about her book. Same post. And when I looked on her profile, I found it was all she ever tweeted. Easy fix there. I unfollowed one other. An extremely busy and popular blog guru that posted every minute about her blog or her group or her group’s blog or her friend or her friend’s blog … I got tired of seeing nothing but her picture on my feed.

So there are my negatives, but I don’t like to live in the lower half of the glass so here are some suggestions for beefing up your Twitterness. (And no I’m not there yet. This is just what I like to see and what I notice others respond to.)

  1. Do tweet fun and funny moments. Pictures are great for this, too. A number of people will be able to empathize with the silliness of life.
  2. Do reply to other folk’s stories. That’s how you find commonalities and strike up friendships – even online ones.
  3. Do retweet. It doesn’t take much effort and it brings so much joy to the tweeter. Also, make sure you say thank you to anyone who retweets your post!
  4. Do tweet your blogs or books, and even schedule them with a few quotes thrown in. Just make sure it isn’t the only thing people ever see of you.

Your turn: What Tweeting practice have you found that your REALLY like? 

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

10 thoughts on “Beyond the Billboards: Twitter and SOCIAL Media

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  4. Excellent post, Marji! Totally agree!

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  5. Finally remembered my Twitter password and you made it to Facebook too, lol. Nice post. Good points. Thanks, Marji 🙂

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  6. Great tips Marji. Im retweeting this. Lol

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