I’m a big fan of social media, mainly Facebook. I have a MySpace page too, but I use Facebook more often because it seems to be more user-friendly, has cleaner layouts, and is more widely used by my family and friends.
But I saw absolutely no point in joining Twitter, as it just seemed to be just one more thing to keep track of. I was completely resistant to joining the “micro-blogging platform”, as I saw no use for it. Really, I thought, I spend way too much time online as it is. Why would I want yet another distraction?
However, after joining Associated Content and seeing the AC Twitter Challenge, I felt I had nothing to lose by seeing if Twitter could in fact help me promote my online content. Below is the story of my experience as a new AC Contributor stepping into “The Twitterverse”.
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 1
I caved to Twitter pressure (thanks, AC) and joined the site on September 23. The first thing I did was to follow people I found interesting (Oprah and Ellen); people I know who are already on Twitter (my brother who has yet to return the favor); and sites pertaining to AC (@AC_Travel and @acnews). I also signed up for the auto-post function, whereby Associated Content posts directly to Twitter upon publishing your article. Using Twitter seemed easy enough, save for the plethora of new terms and symbols I had to learn.
One thing I did get frustrated with is that when you click on the support link to learn all the ins and outs of Twitter (which I still haven’t), my web browser took me to a new page but I couldn’t go back to the Twitter home page. The only way around that was to open a new window and type in the twitter address again.
After an hour or so, I gave up and came to the conclusion that I was a bona fide Twidiot. Also, as a sticker for proper English grammar, the amount of #s, @, and other acronyms was really starting to annoy me. I just didn’t get it, and went back to Facebook to soothe my social media soul.
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 3
After a day’s break, I decided to see what material there was on Associated Content to help me with the Twitter Challenge. The next hour found me dabbling around AC trying to see how I can build more contacts and get more followers.
I also noticed that the auto-post function wasn’t working properly. To date, none of my articles have posted automatically to Twitter. Rather than writing an email to AC Support, I made my first foray into the Associated Content Forums to see if anyone else was having the same problem.
Halleluiah. I am not the only one. This is just an observation, but there are at least three Associated Content forums dating back to May 2009 regarding problems with auto posting articles to Twitter. In fact, other contributors said they have reported the problem to AC Support to no avail. It seems the problem is not a high priority for the AC tech team. This is definitely frustrating and leaves one feeling defeated. What is the point of joining Twitter if you have to manually add everything yourself?
I did find a forum started by AC contributor Randy Inman where numerous people listed their Twitter usernames for others to follow. I added everyone I could find in the forum, hoping that these people would follow me in return.
There are also some really great tips on using both Twitter and Associated Content in the forums. I never would have gone into the forums otherwise. So signing up for Twitter is actually helping me learn my way around Associated Content. Bonus!
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 6
Autopost is still not working and having to paste the URLs for my articles into Twitter is getting even more frustrating. However, I have noticed that some of the contacts I added on Day 3 have started to follow me as well. I still haven’t noticed any increases in my page views, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.
Then I see the Randy Inman’s tweet to add something called an #AC hash to my tweets. Apparently this helps identify your articles to other Associated Content contributors. Who knew? Now we’re getting somewhere.
I resent every single one of my previous tweets with the #AC hash tag and kept my fingers crossed. Maybe now I’ll get more page views.
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 13
More cutting and pasting of article URLs. Ugh. This is really starting to irk me, but I am committed to seeing this challenge through.
There’s been a slight increase in my page views, and I’m not sure if this is due to Twitter or not. I did notice something called a RT or retweet where Twitterers @elizawynn and @mightyminimoose have forwarded my articles in their own tweets. Excellent. Now how do I repay the favor? I can’t figure out how to do this, so I literally copy and paste some of their tweets into mine and send them off. I feel like a cyber-dinosaur learning how to use a mouse for the first time.
One thing I did discover today is just how awesome the Associated Content community is after I see a tweet regarding an AC contributor Amy Browne, who needed help after suffering a heart attack. The AC community quickly mobilized to send her donations, medication, prayers, well-wishes, and page view love. I’ve never seen anything like it. (Amy is now home and resting. You can read more about her story here.) I never would have seen something like this in the forum, but Twitter grabbed my attention. At the moment, I am very glad I decided to join Associated Content.
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 15
I am officially over using cut and paste. I don’t think I’ve ever hated the CTRL+C and CTRL+V functions quite as much before. If I could take those command functions and burn them at some kind of cyber stake, I would. The curse words coming out of my mouth in two different languages would put a sailor to shame.
Eventually I break down and go into the annoying Twitter Support pages to learn how to retweet more easily. From what I gather, the only thing I can do to retweet easier is to use an application called TweetDeck. Anything has to be better than cutting and pasting, so I go and download the application. Ahhhh, relief. Using TweetDeck I can simply push a button to send my RTs. Grasshopper is learning.
But I still have a gripe. TweetDeck is a cool application, but seriously, why do I need to download another program just to use Twitter more effectively? Can’t the folks at Twitter figure this out? Why can’t I just click a “retweet” button in Twitter just like I can click a “share” button in Facebook? It’s more irritating than having a sunburn in unmentionable places(don’t ask).
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 17
I see that Randy Inman included me in something called #FollowFriday. Not sure what this is, I send him a direct message to ask. He tells me “it is simply a way to tell other people to follow someone we like. More of a compliment than anything, but some will follow them.”
Cool. Thanks for the compliment, Randy! Randy also helped me understand a couple of more things in Twitterverse. It’s nice to have a Twittermentor.
I don’t know what it is, but it seems that now that I’m on Randy’s radar, I’ve gained a lot more followers and a lot more page views. In fact, I’ve risen from Clout 1 to Clout 3 on Associated Content in four short days, all because of Twitter.
AC Twitter Challenge: Day 22
I’ve spent the last couple of days tweeting and retweeting to my heart’s content. It takes time to promote and cross-promote articles, but I find that it’s worth it. As of today, I am following 107 people and have 67 followers. The majority of those Twitterers are AC Contributors. I am also more than three fourths of the way to reaching Clout 4 on Associated Content. This is only after a month of joining AC. While Twitter takes up a lot of my time, I don’t think I would have advanced this quickly on AC if it hadn’t been for the network I’ve been able to establish using this platform.
As of now, I’m looking into other Twitter applications (Hootsuite being one of them) and have even started use Twitter to promote my content on other websites. If nothing else, Twitter has helped me get to know the AC Community much better, and I’m glad I joined the AC Twitter Challenge. I still like Facebook better, but it’s more for family and friends. Twitter is now my lifeline to all things AC.
Thanks to the following Twitterers who have really welcomed me with open arms and retweeted my articles like mad. I promise I’ve already added you to my follow list and will send the RT love back your way.
For all you newbies out there, it really is worth it to join Twitter to promote your online content, especially if you are member of Associated Content. The community support has been nothing short of fantastic. I promise to do my part by following any AC Contributor who follows me. My Twitter ID is @gcnwrite.
Happy Tweeting, everyone!