I have to begin this post but sharing how difficult it is to have a whole other career while you are trying to make your way in this vast and confusing new world of social media. While I wasn’t completely in the dark when I began this journey six months ago, what I did know is somewhat laughable to me now. I impressed only myself that I actually did know what the social media icons on my blog page stood for. But I had no clue how to productively and efficiently do anything with them. They looked pretty. They looked important. They made it seem as if I knew what I was doing.
I jumped in headfirst and did all the things newbies do— too much, too fast, too chaotic and generally ineffective. I read a lot (I have insomnia so I have time. You can check out a recent blog post for more info on that subject) and I’ve gotten some coaching. Still, it’s a mammoth undertaking with new tools turning up at record speed. I applaud you, in fact I’m giving a standing ovation at this very moment to the people who I recognize and experience as truly mastering it.
In my first month out I was composing tweets and posts at all hours of the night and morning. I was also reading and commenting on the posts of others. I was trying to learn the etiquette while also faking some amount of mastery. In my first two months out there, I wrote 6-8 blog posts per week. I tweeted at least 10 times per day and on some days as many as 20 times. I did hours of research during my off hours (between 1-3 a.m.). It didn’t take long at all before my head felt like a lotto machine and I was spitting out my thoughts in 140 characters or less.
My life became a series of tweets, pins and posts!
Just as I was beginning to feel like a can of alphabet soup, I came down with a strange virus—I have my suspicions that I had just run out of characters and needed a new alphabet. I couldn’t turn my head off for a minute – fitting in tweets between clients and making lists of potentially awesome blog posts. While all very interesting, I was burning out quickly.
I want every bit of content to be meaningful and I REALLY read people’s tweets and blog posts. I’m not interested in building a following of people who have no interest in getting to know me as well. I rarely self-promote and never, ever thank a new twitter follower with a sales pitch of my own. I quickly learned that I detested this and vowed never to do it. I haven’t!
It’s incredibly overwhelming at times to try and wade through the infinite amounts of information and conflicting data that’s out there. I’m never quite sure what I’m supposed to do or learn. I haven’t enough skill or clue (yet) about the timing of posts, how to maximize SEO or really the whole analytic thing. I still can’t keep up with the twitter chats —my fingers just can’t fly across the keyboard the way other people’s seem to. Some days I really want to join in but I know I’m not ready. And I continuously ask myself where I am going with this? I still don’t know.
I’ve gotten more measured in my tweets and posts, scaled the tweets down to a more manageable amount. I aim to write three good blog posts each week and thus far I’m able to do that without a lot of stress. I want to thank the bloggers out there for their great posts and to my followers who freely share information and tips. This, I am learning is what I love most—people do want to share what they know.
And just as I was beginning to feel as if things were getting under control—I discovered Pinterest! It’s a right brained, creative type person’s greatest dream and biggest nightmare. I’m now armed with a lot more information and six months of experience behind me. I’m hoping that my loyal followers will stage an intervention if they see me going pin crazy.
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