I Think I’ve Just Unlocked The Secret To Success On Social Media


Do you see that?

No, not the three adorable girls (Zoe and two of her friends). I’m talking about the numbers at the bottom of the photo.

689. 1075.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, let me explain.

What appears to be a recycle sign is the number of times this photo tweet has been re-tweeted. The star represents the number of times it has been favorited. (Similar to “liking” something on Facebook.)

Last Wednesday night, instead of a  party for her 11th birthday in October, I took Zoe and two of her friends to the Washington State Fair for a concert featuring:

Coco Jones





 And Cody Simpson

Once we got seated we noticed that on the big screen they were showing tweets from the audience with the hashtag #WAfairlive. They announced that one of those tweets would win upgraded seats to the second row.

About 20 minutes before the concert began I tweeted the above picture of the girls with the required hashtag, and tagged Cody Simpson in the tweet as well.

Not too long after, the picture came up on the big screen and the girls squealed at the decibel and frequency reserved solely for hyped up preteen girls.

“Do it again!” They said excitedly.

So I tweeted another picture, and once again it made it up on the big screen. Once again they shrieked and giggled.


“Please upgrade our seats!”

But this time I noticed something. The original tweet was getting favorited and re-tweeted surprisingly fast. I wondered briefly if people at the concert were re-tweeting everything with the hashtag.

As the numbers began to tick up, I thought maybe it was like all of my fake spam subscribers; While I wish it were legitimate, there’s no way 2700 real people subscribe to my blog, and real people certainly don’t leave comments like “If you bring into play them, be specified not to get too hot them. Particular you build this tool in a poorly lit spot for your dog’s comfort.”

I figured my tweet had some trigger phrase that set all the spammer twitter accounts off.

Then I started realizing that most of the people re-tweeting had Twitter handles like “Mrs.CodySimpson2002” or “JustinBieberpleasefollowme.”

The Cody Simpson Fan Club had come across my tweet somehow and it was going nuts.

For perspective, my previous most successful tweet was a photo I took on my way down to the Seahawks Super Bowl Championship parade that bore a moderate resemblance (if you’re drunk and squinting) to the Seahawks logo.

49 re-tweets, 60 favorites. And a few mean spirited haters.

Other than that, my  re-tweet/favorite average is… zero. Most things I tweet go out into the social media netherworld, never to be spoken of again.

I spend a few hours a week writing my blog. Some weeks more, some less. But I usually put time, thought and effort into writing. After a year and a half of posting this blog on various social media outlets, I have 392 likes on my Facebook page with an average of 25 subscribers actually seeing my posts. Prior to the “Tweet heard round the tween world,” I had about 400 Twitter followers. Now I have 454. 54 in a week may not sound like a lot, until you consider that the 400 had been accumulated over the course of 5 years!

In addition, I am embarrassed to admit, my (self-named) job title for my husband’s company is Social Media Director. (I made myself a director because I felt like it and no one was going to challenge me. “Facebook Addict” didn’t seem quite professional enough for my business cards.) This is my job, and until last week, I couldn’t figure out how to get any traction.

When I got home after the concert, I discovered what had set off the frenzy. In my email inbox:




Take a gander at the number at the bottom of the email. He re-tweeted that photo to his nearly 7 million followers.

Now I’m no dummy. When I see something’s working, even unintentionally, I’m going to pay attention and see if I can replicate it. I’m still trying to figure out how to make this social media thing work for me , and this experience has taught me a couple really valuable lessons. (If you are using number of minor twitter followers as a benchmark of value)

And now I shall pass my newfound wisdom on to you. You’re welcome.

Here, in no particular order, is a primer for what I have determined are the keys to Twitter success in 5 easy steps:

1. Scope out the celebrities that have millions of followers who are so obsessed with them that they are willing to re-tweet anything re-tweeted by the celebrity. Even if it’s in Chinese. Even if it’s as simple as “Hi.”

2. Look for stars who have yet to get too big for their proverbial britches (I say proverbial, because with the saggy pants that are popular these days, the only way they’ll get too big for their literal britches is if they up their daily caloric content by 2000%.) If they appreciate their fans, they are more likely to re-tweet anything complimentary or positive.

3. Tag at least one of these people in EVERY single tweet you make. Tweeting about the pot roast you had last night?

“That was some great pot roast I had last night. @Mileycyrus #MileyCyrusisbetterthanpotroast.”

4. Download the concert schedule of the acts most popular with the Disney set. Tweet with hashtags that give the impression you are actually attending the concert.


“Looking forward to seeing @_________________ in concert tonight at ______________. He/She is my favorite! #ILOVEYOU #PLEASEFOLLOWME”

Of course, it must be in 140 characters or less. I’m too lazy to count it out.

5. Sit back and wait for the tweeny-bopper followers to come flooding in.

Of course, once you have thousands of 6th graders following you, you’ll have to adjust all of your tweets going forward. No more mention of global events or political intrigue. No using words like “inflation” “amalgam” or “pandemic.”

I would also recommend using a peace sign and a duck face in every photo you tweet out.


May this information be as helpful to you, as it has been for me.









2 thoughts on “I Think I’ve Just Unlocked The Secret To Success On Social Media”

  1. Hi Kate-I was researching my great great grandparents (John and Mary Leitch Robertson) for my father and found an article about them and their daughter Katie’s wedding, which led me to her son, John Robertson Quinn and your post about him on Veteran’s Day. The post was great and the photos you have are amazing. My grandfather and John Quinn were first cousins, but since my grandfather was the youngest of 11 kids (and about 24 years younger than John) there was almost a generation between them, so I don’t know if they ever met. Anyway, ‘hi’ from a cousin in DC 🙂

    1. Well hello cousin! I’m so glad you found me and my post! I’m actually going down to Bakersfield next week for the annual Quinn family meeting. If there is any info I can gather for you, please let me know. Also, anything that you have about John and Mary would be greatly appreciated. Send me an email at katherinebristol.kj@gmail.com

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