Over the weekend, I reached 1,000 followers on Twitter. Now, if I were to say that I am ready to throw in the towel or call myself “lord” (I saw a self-proclaimed “lord of social media” today on Twitter) after reaching that landmark, I’d be lying. However, if I were to say it wasn’t kind of a time to think and reflect, I would also be lying. Even if 300 of my followers are spam bots, that still means that there are 700 people out there who have some interest (maybe) in what I’m saying. I take that very seriously, as you can tell. What do those Spartans x 2 + 100 want me to provide them? Am I doing it already?
Questions lead to questions
My brain is kind of like a game of dominoes. Or like a jar of Pringles. One question is never enough. What do I do now that my follower numbers (legit followers) are growing? What will I do when I end up befriending, truly, hundreds of people? What does this all mean for my professional life? What is the meaning of life?!? Okay, well, maybe not the last one. But I realized that when I set out on my Twitter & Blogging adventure, I didn’t really have a plan, despite all of my preaching that a plan is important. I didn’t think I’d ever get the hang of Twitter. I didn’t think I’d ever make it to 75 followers. Ever. To quote David Byrne of the Talking Heads, “Well, how did I get here?”
Once in a lifetime
Really, my journey to 1,000 followers has been one of the most purely fun experiences in my life. I have met so many amazing people it’s like, literally sick. Nauseating how lucky I’ve been. I’ve made friends. I’ve shared ideas and thoughts. I’ve been mentored. I’ve learned. I’ve even started to teach, just a little. When I stopped caring about numbers, I stopped worrying about what I would do when I got to a certain point. I just was having a ball. Soon, it became not a life and death activity to check my number of followers. I didn’t agonize anymore about why 3 people unfollowed me. I just started kinda doing my thing. And now I’m here. There’s my bit of wisdom for those of you who are new to Twitter. Enlightening, right?
Houston, we have a problem
Well, so here we are. I am following over 750 great people. I have received some extremely nice and flattering compliments on my blog. My responses in Twitter are increasing. People actually seem to care about what I say a bit more. And that’s all awesome, right?
At the end of the week, when I turn the light off in my office and head out the door, I could, I suppose, hand in a report noting some of the really fun conversations I had that week. As far as that silly little “new business” or what’s it called…”money?” Well, those columns would be uh, empty.
BUT I have learned an awful lot about how companies can use Social Media to prospect and how to nurture leads, and I have started applying some of that knowledge here and there in my own work in Social Media.
Did I mention I haven’t made a dime?
What is the definition of Social Media success?
If we lived in an Austen Powers kind of world, I would not be having this riddle inside an enigma problem. Of course I would call my Social Media experience a success. I made friends, baby, yeah! I shared ideas…very garoovay. Sadly though, we live in a Dr. Evil/Number Two kind of world. Companies still run on money. Cars still run on dirty fuels. Rain falling from the sky is probably about as acidic as whatever that is moving around in my tummy. A Social Media Karma ticket is definitely not going to impress a CEO, a President, or the bean counters.
So Social Media success is really about making money, right? When you can buy something based on your Social Media experience, you’ve made it.
Except that best practice in Social Media begs you not to come out with a strong sell message, and by the way, content (or is it information) are the new currency.
So…if you write a lot of good stuff you’re a success? Who defines that? Is it like Mario Brothers, where you defeat a dragon and then can move on to the next level?
Should I stay or should I go?
One of the greatest players ever to grace the gridiron was James Brown, a Cleveland Brown. Fulfilling Cleveland’s unique ability to seem cursed, Brown decided to retire at the height of his career. How did he know that he was at his height? How did he hear that voice say, “This is as good as it gets?” I always wonder about that.
I am in a bit of a cobweb because I can’t really tell if I’m playing this game the right way. My mushy hippie heart says, “Yeah man, like woah, you’re like, sharing your feelings and like, your knowledge, man.” My desire to succeed professionally and to help our agency is screaming, “The song doesn’t say “friendships make the world go ’round.”
How do I know what to do next? If I’m doing this wrong, I don’t want to expand more of the same. If I’m doing it right, why is this blog post happening?
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my last hope.