What My Most Popular Tweet Taught Me About Celebrating Small Wins

It didn’t go viral, but it sparked engagement & taught me something, too

Photo by Carol Magalhães on Unsplash

Over the weekend, I realized I had gotten quite close to hitting 200 followers on Medium. This felt like an exciting milestone, so I fired off a quick tweet about how close I was:

Screengrab by the author, of her own tweet

I’ll be honest — I don’t think I’m very good at Twitter. If brevity is the soul of wit, well… let’s just agree to disagree on that point. Most of my overly-lengthy tweets vanish off into the void, and I consider it a good day if a Tweet gets 2–5 likes.

So, when notifications kept popping up for this one, I was surprised and intrigued. What made this tweet different from the literally thousands that went off without so much as a peep?

Throughout the day and into the next morning, the tweet sparked several new followers on Twitter and on Medium, prompting me to update my new Twitter friends when I passed the 200 mark.

Screengrab by the author, of her own tweet

As the notifications slowed down, I began to consider what about this tweet made it different from so many of the others.

In essence, I think it breaks down to two key things:

  1. The relatability of celebrating small wins
  2. Vulnerability and honesty resonate with people

Celebrating Small Wins

You hear a lot about the big wins, especially in articles with advice about how to succeed as a writer. Followers and earnings in the thousands are not uncommon metrics to indicate success and celebration.

Of course, those milestones are awesome, and should absolutely be celebrated! If this applies to you, congratulations!

But for most of us, those numbers and figures are so massive, they don’t feel realistic for our own projects and aspirations. A few people in the replies thanked me for drawing attention to celebrating smaller wins, citing their own modest but growing follower counts.

My little tweet about nearly hitting 200 followers was relatable to folks like me who are just starting out and building their online presence. It isn’t a huge number of followers, but it’s a new height for me, personally. And why shouldn’t we celebrate about that?

We’ve all been beginners at some point, and sometimes we forget to take stock of how far we’ve come as we continue to push for further success.

Remembering to be proud and excited about smaller wins is a good reminder for us all, in writing and in life.

I celebrated my 200th follower, and I’ll celebrate every other small milestone as I hit them. We all should. It’s part of the journey.

Get Vulnerable and Be Authentic

In the spirit of authenticity, I feel a bit gross referring to myself as “authentic.” It seems like such a buzz word, one often pandered by the actually-less-than-honest, and yet…

I think the unfiltered vulnerability in my tweet is part of what caused people to stop and respond to it.

In my questioning of whether it’s cool to mention my followers or not, I reveal the type of fears and insecurities lurking within us all.

I expect most of us dedicate some amount of mental energy to wondering what parts of ourselves, our hopes, and our dreams we should allow into the world, and what we feel compelled to hide for fear of judgement.

Who hasn’t sent a tweet into the interwebs only to delete it within a few minutes, second-guessing whether you should put that particular thought out into the world? Maybe it’s just me (I do have social anxiety), but it seems like we all doubt ourselves from time to time.

As a result, it’s comforting to be reminded that we’re all actually just humans running around trying to do our best.

Seeing messages like this in your feed helps remind you it’s okay not to get it right all the time. I know I hit “like” on these kinds of messages on social media all the time, because it feels nice to feel seen, if only for a moment.

Final Thoughts

The small success of my tweet, much like the small success it celebrates, is not a massive milestone compared to many success stories.

And yet, it felt good to receive replies and responses from other human beings in the world. After all, what is social media if not a space for connection?

I’m grateful for every like and response that prompted me to consider what set this tweet apart from the norm. Maybe one day I’ll be celebrating those big, seemingly impossible milestones, and maybe not.

But I hope I never forget to celebrate the small wins. I hope you won’t forget, either.

Have a small win to celebrate? Let me know in the responses — I’d love to celebrate with you!

Pittsburgh-based writer & wearer of many metaphorical hats. Making words about self, health, books, travel, and more! She/her.

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