At the ripe old age of 3 or 4 months (in Twitter time), I decided that I had learned enough to start a chat of my own. Attending #blogchat had opened my mind to everything that was possible on Twitter. I had met tons of great people, I had gotten hooked on other chats, and I was pretty certain that enough people knew me that I’d be able to get my own chat off the ground. I called the chat #twit4biz (I think), and the idea was to talk about how you were using Twitter for business. I thought it was a pretty fertile area of conversation. I was planning on having chats on everything from your “voice” to the avatar choice (your logo or your face?).
I tried to do the chat for 3 or 4 weeks, and my only attendees each time were the lovely Linda Machado and Lisa Alexander. I so appreciated them coming, but it just didn’t seem like anyone else was interested in what we were saying. So, I decided to call the chat off.
I was horrifically confused and disappointed. I had gotten so many nice comments from people. I had gotten good feedback on the idea. I had gotten coaching from people I really respected. Where had I gone wrong?
I could have used that as an excuse to just leave the world of Twitter altogether. I could have told myself, “Ah, you’re not really doing well here. Just forget it.” But in the world of Social Media, as in life, you can’t let a single defeat or a single disappointment derail you.
Engagement, like batting, is a game of percentages
The very greatest hitters in baseball get a hit 4 out of every 10 at-bats. That’s at-bats, not all of the pitches they are seeing. They fail 6 times out of 10. And that’s the very very best. The good hitters may only get a hit 3 out of every 10 at-bats. You can be a professional baseball player and get a hit just 2 at-bats out of 10. Just ask the Cleveland Indians.
It’s the same sort of deal with Social Media. If you have 10 followers and 2 click a link to your post, you’re doing really really well. If you have thousands of followers and 3% click something you’ve tweeted out, you’re doing pretty darned amazing.
When you are first getting started with your blog or on Twitter or on Facebook, it’s easy to get discouraged, because you tend to feel like you are failing a lot more than you’re succeeding. You need to keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. If you write a post and you don’t get any comments, try to remember what it takes for someone to comment. They need to see your post, read it, digest it, and then take the time to leave a comment for you. If you have just a few followers on Twitter or a few subscribers, there might not be 1 person on that particular day who can make all of that come together.
Try again tomorrow.
If you send out a tweet and you get retweeted just once, consider that maybe, percentage-wise, that’s really good. Don’t let the disappointment knock you out. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
It really does get better
A couple of months after I started and ended my first chat, I met up with Stan Smith. Together, we got people interested in #tweetdiner, and that chat and community are still developing and growing six months later.
There was a super long period of time last Summer when I couldn’t get 75 followers on Twitter. I’d get up to 67, then inexplicably plummet back down to 48, then back up to 65. It drove me nuts. It was disappointing. But things got better.
I won’t say that the only thing in your way is you. In Social Media, there is way too much riding on luck, fate, and serendipity. But disappointment can definitely get in your way. It can make you tweet things that you don’t really mean. It can make you blog in ways you don’t really want to blog.
So don’t let yourself feel too disappointed for too long, ok? Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. It’ll get better. I promise.
This is post #22 in The Engagement Series. If you liked this post, feel free to check out the other posts to see what we’ve been talking about!
Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lizevans