22 Foot Airstream

Social Media Lessons

Richard Charpentier National Monuments of the Southwest, Notes from Rich, Tech Tips Leave a Comment

Why is my twitter feed a ghost town?

Why is my twitter feed a ghost town?

Weeks ago when I decided to launch our Kickstarter campaign for my book idea I had no concept about how much I was going to learn about “Social Media.”  Over the course of the past few weeks I have gone from having a vague idea about what Twitter is all about to understanding Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and all the rest.  And I’ve come to a conclusion.

It’s downright exhausting!  No wonder companies have folks dedicated to watching Twitter and the rest.  A person could make a full time job out of navigating all these information streams.  And you know what?  People do make a full time job out of it.

The day that the Kickstarter launched I received half a dozen tweets and e-mails from companies that help you get your project out there.  And as we’ve worked into the project, more individuals and groups have contacted me.  For X amount of dollars they’ll help get your campaign more visible.  They’ll help train you in the mysterious ways of social media.  And they’ll get your message in front of tens of thousands of potential backers.

Even with all of that, you’re still going to be working hard.  Since we’ve finally wrapped up with the cross country travel all we’ve been doing is following social media feeds, putting our message out there, and following further.  If we’re not out in the field gathering information for the first four chapters of the book (yup, working on 4 right now) we’re in front of the computer.  And we all know that I love tech.  But wow, this is a little overwhelming at times.  Last night at 7 pm I just had to stop.  I was honestly tweeted and tumbled out!

Do you want to grow your followers on social media?  I'm not the guy to ask....

Do you want to grow your followers on social media? I’m not the guy to ask….

It feels kind of “spammy”

Twitter, one of the primary ways folks get their messages out for these types of projects, is amazingly painful at times.  There is a constant stream of information hitting the site.  So when you post something targeted at lets say “#Airstream #RV #Travel #Adventure #Outdoors with amazing #Photography opportunities,” you have a very short window of getting someone’s attention.  That quoted section is an example of one of our tweets that we then ad the link to our Kickstarter project to.  The hash tags (#) are things people search on, or watch feeds on.  So our message in this example was going to people interested in Airstreams, RV’s, Travel, Adventure, Outdoors, and Photography.  But when the message goes out it doesn’t sit in their inbox.  Nope, it’s on a live feed.

What does that mean?  If you don’t send your message out at the time people who are interested in your subjects are online, they most likely will never see your tweet.  Because by the time they get on your message will be hundreds of messages down on the board.  So, what do you have to do?

POST A LOT!  I mean really post a ton!  And that feels a little spammy to me.  But hey, anyone who sees your message 9 times out of 10 doesn’t know about the 50 other messages you sent over the course of the day.  So they’re likely to miss the spammy feel that you get.

Alone in the social media desert?  Me too, let's be friends!

Alone in the social media desert? Me too, let’s be friends!

What’s up with people who have hundreds of thousands of followers?

Often times, people buy followers.  You can do that.  They don’t really follow you.  They’re just numbers to make you look like an authority on something.  I’ve actually watched many new accounts pop up in the past few weeks while we’ve been working on our campaign, and these new accounts get 13,000 followers in a week while I’m still sub-500.  Since I’m not trying to come off as an expert on Twitter, I don’t worry about how many followers I have…….

I need to get my message to those who do have followers.  One “re-tweet” from a person who has 100K followers could make the difference in whether or not the RV’ers Guide to the National Monuments gets backed.  Crazy, right?

The tools are out there

As I’ve been on this learning journey I’ve discovered many other services as well.  The guys with the big following and influence aren’t sitting on these threads all day.  They use programs to fill up content for a while, and then the posts are automatically sent at a time they picked.  Also, many don’t even write their own stuff.  They use content generators and post about whatever, just to keep their information streaming.  And what does that mean?

Today you’re going to see a ton of posts about “Improving Smashing Magazine’s Performance: A Case Study http://buff.ly/1lR7dRd.”  It’s one of the suggested posts I could put in my buffer.

I’m using a website called “Buffer.”  I learned about it on this social media immersion.  You pre-write posts, and then they get posted at the times you specify.  If you want to keep your name out there, and maybe have someone “Follow” you, posting a lot is good.  And if you don’t have enough to say?  These services have pre-written stuff for you to post, even if it isn’t relevant to the people you want to reach.  In my Buffer account right now there are 25 suggested posts available to me.  What are they about?

  • Email Design Workflow
  • Google Web Fonts
  • Why Amazon has no profits
  • Bill Gates has a big idea
  • Proofreading check list…..

The list goes on.  The posts aren’t relevant to the people I want to reach.  They’re designed to reach people who are searching on hot topics.  We have “Google, Amazon, Bill Gates,” big names that are searched on often.  And if I happen to put one of these posts out at the right time?  5 new followers just like that!

Beyond Buffer there are several other services.  All doing the same thing.  And somehow, through all of this stuff tweeting away all day and night, people find some content that satisfies their needs.  Pretty zany, but true as well.

5 followers is a good start.

5 followers is a good start.

Going Viral

The hope (in our case) is that our project gets seen by someone with a huge following, they spam our message out, and boom, our project gets backed.  It could happen.  That whole Potato Salad thing started when information about the joke Kickstarter went Viral.  $55,000 on a $10 fundraiser joke.  It went viral and everyone kept repeating it, and suddenly the most expensive potato salad ever came to pass.  I will say this, the videos are funny.  I was entertained.

In the case of our book project?  We’re down to 5 days.  We actually do need to go viral, but my videos aren’t funny, they’re serious.  Am I funny sometimes?  Sure, especially when I hit my head on the awning bar on the Airstream, that’s just hilarious.  Should I make a video of me making Potato Salad at the Airstream?  I can’t have real mayonnaise, so it will have to be Vegenase.

Want to help us reach more people in the next 5 days?  Click below.  It’s free, and I know that people who read this site love free stuff.  We need 50 folks in total to back this social media blast post.  If we get 50 by Friday several hundred thousand people will see one of our messages.  Just click on the title “Create a New RV Guidebook” and it will set you up to support us getting a message out.  And don’t worry, it’s not a link to contribute money.  But if you want to contribute you can click here!

P.S.  In the time it took to write and finish this post I’ve had my personal Twitter feed up watching information from only those who I “follow”  And in the time it took to write this 224 messages have crossed my feed.  Did I read them?  Nope, I was here writing.

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