Adventures with a Smart Phone and Social Media

It’s been very interesting watching my husband Peter learn to use his smart phone. I gave him his first upgrade from a plain cell phone about 14 months ago. He had come to the conclusion that I didn’t have the time to post photos for him for clients to review. He was right.

So when the holidays were over, Peter was struggling with the alien technology. There were so many times he wanted to throw the phone against the wall. Large fingers on small keys, screens going dark in mid thought and misspellings tortured him. For someone who had never learned to use a traditional computer or send an email, the phone was a giant leap for mankind.

Over the past year, he mastered sending photos and discovered Facebook. It was liberating for me as I set up his personal email account and relinquished control of his page. Within only a few months, I chuckled as I saw him hunkered over the cell phone, scrolling through posts, sharing a few with others, reading jokes, and watching videos. I commiserated as he complained about people posting too many times in a day about nothing at all while quietly relieved that I didn’t need to read them anymore.

Like everyone else I suppose, Peter enjoys receiving photos and posts about himself and the projects he does. Last week, we happened to look up his IMDB account as well. His ranking numbers were down so I mentioned that they were somehow tied to social media activity, i.e., Facebook. With that, Peter was on a mission to see if he could improve his rank by using posts. He wrote three posts in rapid succession.

“Whoa.” I said. Facebook has an algorithm. If you post too many times in one day, it will suppress the number of people who receive your posts. It’s better to wait a day or two. So Peter waited and quite by accident, someone send him a message about his page on his book, “Tombstone: The Guns and Gear.” He had an opportunity to ask people to like his page and he did. “Likes” began pouring in. Whoa. That was awesome.

So when we sat down this weekend, we went back to IMDB to see if there had been any change in his rankings. He was really enthusiastic when he saw that his numbers were up over 1600 points. Perhaps if he asked for likes on his other book page, “The Fringe of Hollywood: The Art of Making a Western,” something similar would happen next week. It’s still not simple. It took a bit to figure out how to ask for likes on the book, but he eventually figured it out. His request went out and many more likes arrived in return.

Peter is seeing the power of social media first hand, but he still needs to learn the best ways to post. From my vantage point trying to build an audience using social media, we face the same questions every day. What posts interest an audience? What posts help build the brand? Why do people take action on some posts and ignore others entirely?

Neither of us will know that answers to these questions overnight, but we are curious enough to keep trying to understand it. We look forward to seeing future results.

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