I will readily admit to everyone that I am not Twitter savvy. When I first signed up, because everything I read on marketing kept touting Twitter, I was overwhelmed by it---and I still am. I was suddenly thrust into the world of tweets, retweets, and hashtags. What did I want to talk about and who did I even have to talk to? Never mind even trying to figure out how I was going to gain followers.
Then a revelation hit---be myself. I'm a friendly person with a ready smile, but that doesn't easily translate into twitter speak. I had to let my tweets speak for me. I tried my best to be helpful and cheery as I made connections. I wanted the people I was connecting with to see me as a person and not just as a name following an @ sign. Slowly I started gaining followers. Then my numbers started to jump and I am now at over 2,000. That may not be a big number to some, but to me it is magical!
I spent a massive amount of time RT and promoting other authors, their books, etc. I enjoyed it because I love helping others, which made me happy. In the process I made wonderful connections and friendships. It wasn't until later that I began to notice I didn't actually seem to have time to write anymore because I was always tied to my Twitter account. That wasn't good. I also received a comment from someone whose opinion I truly value. They had gone to my Twitter page to see what I have been up to lately only to be disappointed. Their comment? I had lost my "voice." They said my Twitter feed no longer showed who I was as a person or a writer, but instead was filled with retweets and promos of others. They said that they understood this was important, but so was representing myself as an author. Somehow I had gotten lost along the way.
That is when I decided to start a social experiment. I want my followers to know me and the issues I find important such as children's literacy. I needed to regain my own Twitter identity. Thus, I decided to introduce Thankful Thursdays. Each week I will dedicate the entire day to showcase and celebrate my followers. It is my way of saying thank you for following me and caring about me as a person, my books, and children's literacy. I will spend this time interacting and enjoying a bit of camaraderie. The other days of the week I will be focusing on actual content that they will hopefully find useful and beneficial. It will also get me back to writing. Of course, I am always willing to make changes along the way until I find a scenario that works.
I am calling this a social experiment because I do not know how Twitter will react to the changes I am about to implement. I hope it will prove successful. I look forward to seeing whether my numbers will dwindle or gain. The one thing I can guarantee, I will always strive to make a real connection with my followers.
Wishing you all the best,