Twittering is easy peasy; it is not the big scary socializing site I had built it up to be. Once I joined, but a few short weeks ago, I was hooked. I’ve got 450+ followers, have connected with interesting moms with similar interests and get linked to great writing and sites on a regular basis. Despite what a positive experience I’ve had, I do find myself wondering my purpose on Twitter.
When I joined Facebook I was looking to reconnect with old friends from grammar school, high school and college. As old friends get new jobs, grow their families, move across the globe – Facebook has been a great way to stay current. Later I discovered lots of folks from my day job were on there and I started “friending” them; a nice way to get a more personal look at people I only wave at occasionally. More recently, when I landed the Latina gig, I found Facebook to be a good tool for getting my friends to check out my writing. Nothing confusing about Facebook – connect with people I know.
When Twitter came along I ignored it for as long as I could. I didn’t think I could be bothered with one more thing to keep track of and update. Besides, I didn’t have a brand, I was just a mom, right? Well, soon I started seeing that anyone who is anyone in social media and anyone who wasn’t really anyone was on Twitter so I thought to myself – maybe I judged it too soon. I’m no one special and lots of other regular janes are doing it, why not add another to the mix? And really, isn’t that the same road I took to blogging? So I joined the Twitterverse.
Now I’ve got 466 followers and a mild addiction to Tweeting throughout the day. My husband even jokes about it which, once the hubs makes cool jokes about it, means that I’m seriously spending way too much time on the computer. So I’ve been analyzing why I’m on Twitter. I joined to join, to not be left out. Now, though, why do I stay in it?
Here’s what I’ve figured out so far. Life Facebook, where I share a bit about my life and my friends share about theirs, it’s got to be a two way street. You’re not friending someone who isn’t giving you a little glimpse into their own lives. I give, you give; I get, you get.
For Twitter to really be of value, it’s also got to be a two way street. Right now I’m gaining a lot, learning from folks willing to share their knowledge and resources. They aren’t greedy with what they know and genuinely want to see others succeed. I’m discovering new mom bloggers and mompreneurs who are really inspiring. And if they’re on Twitter, they’re most likely very open and honest and willing to lend a hand in any way possible. So, as you can see, I’m gaining tons here. But what am I giving back to the community?
This is the part I’m trying to figure out. Compared to all the other interesting folks I follow on Twitter, I feel like my simple tweets of “Just read class #1 of Hypnobabies” or “Playing with DD & new bunny rabbit” aren’t really adding any value to anyone else’s day. I help out where I can if I see a tweet looking for information or links to something I happen to be knowledgeable about. But I wonder – is that enough?
I’m coming out of the fog of Twitter newbie-ness, which I liken to the first few days of college where everything is awesome and exciting and so cool. I need to really start approaching Twitter as more than just a learning tool. As a blogger, I have to figure out how to:
- Add value to the community.
- Gain a worthwhile following (not in quantity but quality).
- Convert followers into readers.
Stay tuned, I’ve got some posts coming up where I’ll take a closer look at how exactly I’ll approach doing each of these things. I’ll also be reaching out to some of the social media experts I follow to pick their brains for how to best go about achieving the things I’ve mentioned. Taking Twitter to the next level…up, up and away! (Sorry I couldn’t help myself!)