Friday, March 27, 2015

Twitter is a Harsh Mistress

I try not to talk too much about my love-life here for the sake of their privacy and my ability to look moderately sane, but Twitter isn’t exactly a subtle being, and I know she loves to be talked about.

Yes, in my world, Twitter is a girl. I don’t know. It just seems right.

Over the last week I’ve been sick. I mean, really sick. It wasn’t all that painful, unique, or terrifying, but it was thorough. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Not to write, not to draw, not to sew, not to even play video games or find something remotely interesting on Netflix. It was completely unproductive, depressing, and boring.

For the first time in the last year, I didn’t bother with social media. No posts, no blogs, no comments or favorites or following. I just lied around, staring at the ceiling. I was so freaking tired I couldn’t move. It was the least active I’d ever been, even on trips where I lacked internet or a real computer.

Twitter forgot about me in my absence.

I actually didn’t think that being active every day had such an effect, but as I tried to ease back into it, I found all my work diminished drastically. My blog hits were 25% of what they typically have been for the last few months. My favorites and retweets down from twenty per post to five.

The hits weren’t so surprising as the topic of the blog wasn’t something especially click-baity, and I do have my lulls in people’s interaction with me. What is important isn’t that Twitter forgot about me, but rather that the amount of work I’d been putting in—the work that I didn’t see immediate results for—actually was effective.

Twitter and Facebook are the primary forms of advertising for my blog, and my blog is the primary identification of how many people are looking into me. It is, by far, my more successful medium. My website, where The Stories of the Wyrd and my web comic are, doesn’t have an easy means to track hits, and honestly, it’s far more enjoyable to me to not focus on how many people are actually reading and just have fun providing content.

In any case, I’ve always argued that you shouldn’t define successful marketing as being immediate and obvious rewards, but rather put out little seedlings to lure people in when you least expect it, such as having a content-filled Twitter account. My week away from the internet has proven to me that while your comments may seem ignored, your favorites garner nothing, you wouldn’t believe how much traffic you can get by just being friendly and letting people know you exist. Which, apparently, I don't when I'm dying.

(Also, don't post a comment about dying when you have a decent number of followers from Hungary. Apparently, they don't have sarcasm there. I swear I'll return the flowers.)