I have no idea what to do with Twitter. Wouldn’t know a hashtag from a hash brown, but as an author who is trying to market a book about cancer survival, I was told I need to use it. So every time I post a blog on my Facebook page or website, I feel pressured to “tweet” the link, because that’s what savvy, social media people do, including one not so tech-savvy person in a very high position. I mean if our esteemed senior citizen President with his small hands can figure this out why can’t I?
So, I continue to make awkward attempts to use this 21st century marketing tool. I go to my Twitter account (which is a joke, because I created it years ago just to seem hip and never went near it again) and I post news about an upcoming book signing for All in My Head: How a Hypochondriac Beat Brain Cancer or a link to one of my website blogs. Somehow, I have three Twitter followers – one is my godson and the other two are total strangers. And no matter what I tweet, the number of followers never climbs.
So I decided to consult with a social media guru—my daughter Alli— to find out how to generate more followers. Frazzled with cooking supper and folding massive stacks of laundry for her three rambunctious boys, Alli said, “I don’t know, Ma, you have to ask people to follow you and use hashtags with names of groups that might be interested in your topic. I’m not really into Twitter.”
Just ask for followers? Okay, that sounded pretty simple. So the next time I tweeted a link to my blog, I added at the end. “Would you please follow me on Twitter?”
“Oh my God,” said my son, Jay when he saw it. “That’s not how you ask people to follow you,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. Just get off of there. It’s like you’re begging people to like you. You don’t know what you’re doing.”
Okay, the asking was out, but I decided to take Alli’s second piece of advice and add a hashtag for a group that might be interested in my book. I searched the keyboard (I’ve been touch typing for 40 years but still have to look at the keys to find the numbers and special characters) and typed in #cancer support.”
I checked my Twitter page (do they call it a page?) and expected a plethora of responses inquiring about my book or the topic of brain tumors in general. Nope. Not a single tweet or even one new follower. So, just when I decided to take my ball and go home, I received an honest-to-God bonafide tweet from someone else. And get this—the person’s handle (wait, that was for CB radios), the tweeter’s user name was “Mariefricker!”
Here’s what she had to say: “So, is Marie Fricker your real name because that’s my name and I don’t want you using it on Twitter if it isn’t yours.”
I wish the hell I knew how to respond to a tweet because I would have told this cheeky millennial off since I obviously had owned this name longer than she had. Apparently, I am an embarrassment to this alternative universe Mariefricker, who is a frequent and adept Twitter user and is horrified that people might attribute my awkward messages or cancer survival talk to her.
I could fight back. I could find out how to answer this person in her own tweet-ridden vernacular, but I won’t bother. I’m going back to Facebook, where I’m comfortable clicking “likes,” adding happy faces, posting the grandkids’ pictures, and sharing links to my website, which by the way is called mariefricker.com.
Yeah, that’s right, impostor Marie Fricker, that’s the name of my website, and I got rights to it so you can just go pound (make that #) sand.