Its been ages since I’ve written a blog. Life goes on. Days pass. Turn into weeks and before you know it, it’s six weeks and no blog.
School holidays, a fantastic island hopping trip to Greece and setting up a new business. And all the while, the book has bubbled away in the background. A couple of local articles about the book, a display in the Waterstones store in Warrington have been really exciting. Everything goes into social media and I think it is this that has kept my interest over the last few weeks.
For the first time I have found social media a force for good. I know it’s addictive, I’ve known that for many years, but now I am having more fun with it.
I’ve used social media for over a decade. In the last two places I have worked I have had people in my team who have been really passionate about it and I have always supported them to experiment with it. Like other things, I am largely aware of what we are doing and what we want to achieve but from the point of view of actually writing the content, I don’t really have he first clue what’s going on.
I always think social media should be off the cuff, reactive to what’s happening. I don’t like all this planning of posts, writing the content 4-6 weeks in advance and scheduling it all irrespective of what may be happening on any given day. I think the idea of ‘see it, post it’ always works best but am told that’s too difficult to manage.
From a personal point of view I have always used it in quite a negative way. I am your archetypal troll. On Facebook, I’m the one who rarely posts but makes the sarcastic snipey little comments. Not to everyone, I’m not one of those, but to a circle of specific friends, generally the lads I go to the match with, I can be quite cutting.
Twitter too. I’m generally what you would call negative. When I track back through tweets, they are generally quite negative or sarcastic takes in the story of the day. Many a time I have received a text from my wife telling me to remove this tweet or that…generally worried that a prospective employer might see it and affect my chances of getting a job somewhere.
It’s why after nearly 10 years, I have very few followers and if you took out the betting companies I would be virtually friendless. That doesn’t bother me really. I always see Twitter as talking to myself really, almost like a diary. The idea of getting likes and retweets was almost alien.
That’s until now. I am loving the social media since I have launched the book. It’s taken on a whole new meaning, brought the book to life almost. While sales are at best drippy, the social media is gaining momentum and that is a real buzz.
The thing I am coming to understand is the positive effect of social media. How people react in a positive genuine way to nice positive genuine tweets. How people can be so supportive, how they almost feel like they are involved in the momentum, the good will is sometimes overwhelming.
Twitter in particular. I absolutely adore Twitter at the moment and am learning the more I interact with it, the better and more fulfilling it becomes.
I started by just following people at random. Anyone who had LFC or 6 stars in their Twitter bio got a follow. (You wouldn’t believe how many people define themselves by their support for the club…it’s wonderful). It was a numbers game though. I follow people, they follow back. But there was a lack of interaction, a lack of feeling. The numbers grow very quickly, but you don’t feel like people are buying into what I am tweeting.
But over the past few weeks, I’ve had some great moments…and as I tweet them the likes and follows and retweets just seem to take a life of their own. I was worried that the tweets were a bit ‘look at me’ but I shouldn’t have been concerned. Others in the Twittersphere are genuinely interested and supportive.
A couple of weeks ago, my book being stocked in Waterstones and tweeting the picture got a huge positive response. Over 40 thousand impressions. Imagine that 40 thousand people getting to see a picture of my book. Hundreds of likes and retweets. I know in the grand scheme of things, 40k views isn’t huge, but I can assure you it’s a lot to me. And it’s so addictive to watch these responses come in.
I felt like people were genuinely happy for me, congratulating me, asking me questions. People happy for me. It’s a good feeling.
It’s a different side of social that I just haven’t seen or experienced before. From taking a negative view and getting no response and feeling quite isolated, I have changed to this positive view that people warm to and I really fell like I am supported and the book is doing well.
It tells me that despite all the Brexit driven division and bad feeling that we seem to be drowning in at the moment, fundamentally people are good and are looking for little rays of light to hang onto. If you don’t believe me, tweet a happy tweet, a genuinely happy tweet about Liverpool winning at Stamford Bridge today. A brilliant fighting resilient win. And see what response you get. See if people are as happy as you….i bet they are tonight!!
So if you’ve read this and have got a little warm feeling inside that you have helped another human being, go back and share or retweet or like or whatever…and let someone else in on the secret!!
If you want more little rays of light, I am on Facebook (LetsTalkAboutSix), Twitter @letstalkabout_6 and Instagram (letstalkaboutsixbook).
Have a good week.