A Novice Looks at Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Fan Pages
“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words “engage,” “honestly,” or “marketplace.”
― Jeffrey Zeldman
If you want to throw your life completely off balance, immerse yourself in social media. That’s my initial assessment, after wading through these murky waters for the last two months.
I have had a blog and a personal Facebook page since 2008. Most of my friends and family are on Facebook. I like reading what’s going on with them and jumping in the conversation. I’ve also figured out a rhythm to my blogging schedule that doesn’t completely suck up my day. Combine the two, and I’ve allotted for every second of discretionary internet time.
But then came Twitter.
And The Scoop on Balance Facebook Fan Page.
All at the same time.
I didn’t plan to open three accounts at once. But when my lovely blog designer placed those cute social media icons in the corner of my header (if you are reading this through e-mail, you’ll have to click over to the blog to see them), she needed a place to link them. Honestly, I had neither read a tweet nor pinned a picture prior to that moment—wasn’t entirely sure what tweeting and pinning was!
I am now. And here are my preliminary thoughts (and by thoughts, I mean “questions”).
“Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite ‘The Iliad.’” – Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and journalist
I must be missing something. Everyone who is anyone is on Twitter and yet, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out the allure. For one, I cannot complete a thought in 140 characters. I end up using abbreviations for everything, and soon, my tweet is incoherent. Which may also explain why everyone ELSE’s tweets seem equally incoherent. I am Twitter-illiterate. Twitilliterate.
Also, I’m confused about “following” etiquette.
“On Twitter we get excited if someone follows us. In real life we get really scared and run away.” ~Unknown via @mozusa
Is there a “follow me and I’ll follow you back” policy? It seems like it. Many people on Twitter with large followings also follow tens of thousands of other people. Some people have the exact same number of followers and followees. (Unless you are famous. When you are famous, following etiquette doesn’t apply. You don’t have to follow anyone, dangit, because you are freaking LADY GAGA!)
How do you—the non-famous people—manage all that? I mean, if each of those 10,000 people you follow tweet just once a day, even if you simply SCROLL PAST the 10,000 tweets—don’t even read them!—it will take you close to 3 hours to scroll through your entire feed. (I did the math on this.)
Most people tweet multiple times a day, and link to things like blog posts or articles or You Tube videos they want you to click on. That’s a minimum of 9 hours a day, just scrolling past your tweets.
“When you’ve got 5 minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill 35 minutes – @mattcutts
Clearly, “follower” cannot mean “reader of my tweets.” It would be impossible.
So, what’s the point of tweeting? If most of the people who follow me are simply doing it as a courtesy because I follow them, why should I spend time crafting an abbreviated thought/tweet? Are we all just trying to build a following so we look cool and popular to other people on Twitter?
I struggle with motivation to get out there and tweet, honestly. I feel like I’m tweeting to no one. I’m just a twit.
This I find interesting: not only can you see the tweets of everyone you follow, but you can also see the conversations between those people and OTHER people. So, my question is, are you allowed to jump in and say something in these conversations? Is that rude? Or is it more rude that they are having this conversation in front of you (and 10,000 of their closest friends) and not including you ?
Feels a lot like when I was in high school and all the ultra-popular girls sat together at the other end of the lunch table. And they talked about the party last Saturday after the football game. The party I was not invited to because I was only kinda-popular, not ultra-popular. Close enough to the conversation for me to feel stupid and left out–not close enough to laugh and talk, too. #sigh
The hashtag #. When do you use it? Do I make up my own or is there some sort of Hashtag Library from which to choose?
Finally, a friend suggested I open an account with Hoot Suite (yay, another social media forum to navigate), to help me organize my feed. After several hours setting up yet another account, I have all my “streams” categorized. This is supposed to help me. Except it doesn’t. Now I just have a bunch of columns to look through, instead of one. #overwhelmed
So, in summation, I find myself scrolling through pages and pages of tweets in my feed, none of which are directed toward me, half of which are so abbreviated, I can’t de-code them, and the other half containing links to something I don’t have time to click on.
And maybe if I didn’t use words like “summation” I could express my thoughts in fewer characters. But, letter-count has never been an issue prior to this.
Can you help me love Twitter? I really want to love Twitter. What’s the secret? Oh, and if you want to follow me on Twitter (ha! With a lead-in like that, who wouldn’t?), click here.
I think every female I know is on Pinterest. And the 2 who are not, will be joining tomorrow. It’s crazy. For the men who read this blog (and the 2 aforementioned women), Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where you can collect things like recipes or decorating ideas. It’s a cool concept and has proven to be helpful to me, because I never know the best way to bookmark something I find on the web. Pre-Pinterest, I either printed it out on real paper (remember paper???) or filed it in an unknown place on my desktop, never to be found again. Now, I have things organized in one place on Pinterest. That’s cool.
The two things I hear a lot regarding Pinterest is “It’s addicting” and “It makes me feel inadequate.” I haven’t found either of those things to be true. For me, it’s a lot like flipping through a magazine. No addiction. No feelings of inadequacy. But, truth-be-told, I haven’t spent enough time scrolling through other people’s boards to become addicted. I guess you could call me an Occasional Pinner. Only Pin on the weekends.
This is making less and less sense as I write.
I did have a chance to create a few cool boards—I’ve posted some of my favorite recipes there, as well as some kitchen remodel ideas and some stuff on balance. But, honestly, I haven’t ventured out into other people’s boards much. Maybe that’s where the addiction and inadequacy takes place? Is that like the bad part of Pinterest Town?
Help me out: I feel like everyone on Pinterest knows what they are doing except me. What do I need to know about Pinterest to make it work for me? What do you love about it and why is every woman in the world addicted? Or feeling inadequate? (I don’t actually want to feel inadequate because I’m getting that from Twitter, thankyouverymuch, but I’m curious as to how it happens.) You can follow me on Pinterest here.
Facebook Fan Pages:
To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment. — Jane Austen
I get Facebook. I like Facebook. I use Facebook daily. Therefore, I wasn’t the least bit intimidated to create a Facebook Fan Page, until I created a Facebook Fan page.
It’s different than normal Facebook. For example, I don’t have “friends” on a Fan Page, I have “Likes.” And I have to “invite” people to “Like” me—how awkward is that? Literally…”WILL YOU LIKE ME?” This question is not for the socially insecure.
And I can only invite them once. So, if I send my “friend” a request that says “Will you like my page?” and my “friend” ignores me…I know about it. It’s weird. And a little painful.
And the “liking”– it’s not a mutual thing. You can “Like” me, but I don’t have to like you back.
Also, my page has graphs and charts describing my “reach” and telling me how many people are “talking about me.” I can see the exact number of people who saw my post (but didn’t “like” it.) Middle school anyone?
I’m never quite sure—is it bad to write the same status for my personal page AND my fan page? Am I a total loser and kinda-unpopular if I also use that status as a tweet? What if I link to a blog post where I expand on the thought of the status/tweet? And then pin that blog post to Pinterest?
If you follow me on all my social media venues, will you hate me when you see the exact same idea come across your computer five different times?
And when, exactly, am I supposed to do my laundry and vacuum?
Do you have a Facebook Fan Page for your blog or your business? What do I need to know to make this experience more meaningful to my “Likers”? You can “Like” The Scoop on Balance on Facebook by clicking here.
Here are a few answers, from a fellow novice…
The whole Twitter thing…when I did it briefly…
– I used TweetDeck and found it very user-friendly
– NO, do not follow everyone who follows you (Michael Hyatt has a great post about this and about how that damages your Klout score…whatever the heck that is)
– there are some hashtags that trend (kinda like a blog meme), but mostly people make stuff up
– Hello, I’m one of the two women you mentioned. I waste so much time on Facebook that I don’t have time for a new online hobby.
Facebook Fan Page…
– When (ha!) I post, my blog links automatically to both my personal and fan pages. (Thank-you, Networked Blogs.) It also goes on Twitter, apparently. (I thought I quit Twitter, but those posts are still going up. I dunno how!)
– If I think a comment will interest my friends/family as well as my ‘fans,’ I post it on both feeds. This is rare. I have a couple friends who post the exact same thing on FB, FB fan, and Twit. It annoys me. They have different purposes (though I can’t clearly define what those are), and shouldn’t be treated the same. And hashtags on FB are ridiculous. So are FB status posts that clearly show they were created in Twitter.
Of course, take anything I have to say with about 2,000 grains of salt. My last blog post was written months ago…
Seriously, though, Michael Hyatt has some really good posts about Twitter and FB fan and how they’re supposed to work. 🙂
Yeah, I read Michael Hyatt’s book Platform, and he devoted like 3 chapters to Twitter. He’s not a fan of Facebook (no pun intended). But he is a BIG fan of Twitter. I realize that this is perhaps because his entire family is on Twitter and he uses it as a substitute for text and e-mail with his family.
I heard Simple Mom (Tsh Oxenreider) in a webinar talk about social media, and she said she spends the most time where her readers are–which for her is Facebook and Pinterest, not Twitter.
Right now, I’m not really sure where my readers are–still looking around and trying to figure that out.
Thanks for the input. I always love when you chime in and totally miss your blog. So post something already, please.
I am going to tweet you my comments! 🙂
Oh Sandy, this is just another reason (as if I needed one) why I love you. I am completely clueless about this stuff, too. I’m on Twitter, but not really ON Twitter . . . know what I mean? I try, I really do, but I just hate it. And Pinterest? I get tired of it pretty quickly. Now my sister . . . she’s got over 2,000 followers on Pinterest. And she hasn’t even tried! She’s not into social media at all. Go figure.
I’m so happy to hear you are just as confused as I am. I always knew we were soul mates.
This is one of the best posts I have ever read. It is so true!
I do not Tweet or Pin. I think I have a Twitter account, but I can’t remember the password. Also, it seems like such a similar thing as Facebook…I never could get into it. And what you said about following and stuff? Nailed it…what on earth? I felt the same when I had an Instagram account briefly. I shut it down when some person started following me, and I had NO IDEA who it was. At All. And the picture liked or whatever was of my youngest daughter. It weirded me out. So, for the time being, that was the end of that.
Plus my phone takes REALLY AWFUL PICTURES. Even Instagram can’t make them good.
I have been on Pinterest twice. Again, it seems like shopping at Ross with triplets. I don’t even want to do it. Too much sorting. So, for now, I avoid it.
I have to confess, I love hashtags. I don’t use them (I don’t tweet, and I don’t think they actually serve a function on Facebook, other than to make a statement in a super abbreviated form that is like a mini-one-liner. I like that. I think in hashtags all the time too. It’s pretty funny, to me anyway. 🙂
I just love what you said about all of it here. Too, too funny!! I love your wit!
I think hashtags are funny, too. Even though I know they don’t serve the same purpose on FB as they do on Twitter, I always chuckle when I see someone use a witty one.
And thank you for the very generous compliment–So sweet. 🙂
Oh! And I’m so glad you mentioned Instagram–I actually had a blurb about that in my post and then deleted it. I don’t even know what that is, but I hear everyone talking about it. From what you just said, I don’t think I’ll be opening an account there any time soon.
Also, that quote from Jane Austen?! Unreal…I mean, I could hardly believe it. I really should have read that book already.
Would you respect me less if I told you I found that on Google and not actually in a Jane Austen book?????
No way, ha! Google is the bomb! 🙂 That is one web tool that I use REGULARLY!! 🙂
I have always really enjoyed Facebook, and try not to take offense when others criticize it. I don’t spend hours at a time – usually I scroll through my page in under 10 minutes. I will still always be fascinated that I can find my grade school friends that, until 3 years ago, I thought were gone forever since we moved when I was in 5th grade. To me, that is the appeal of Facebook – you can easily keep in touch with the friend that lives 15 minutes away that you still rarely see because of schedules, etc. to the long-lost “whatever happened to them” people from 20 years ago.
I love Pinterest, but truthfully I don’t spend much time there, and when I do, I normally pin something with the intent of reading it later. Later doesn’t happen much 😉
I am equally confused by Twitter and Instagram – I think my somewhat ADD brain wouldn’t be able to cope. By the time I check email, fb and blogs, it’s enough stimuli and info to sort through.
Hope that helps – now I need to sigh off the computer and work out!
Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is available on web?