Growing Influence: Charting Growth on Twitter over the Semester

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I started off with a small twitter following, and over the course of the semester, I saw growth in both my follower count and general impressions. I’ll put a caveat in here: while it may not seem like my impressions grew over the semester based on the tweet’s I’m embedding here, a lot of my growth came from my football coverage this season. Since the tweets were not for this class, they are not included here.

For the time period of August 29 to November 28, I began with 178 followers and ended with 214 followers. That’s a growth of about 20 percent.

Ironically enough, my #NHsmc post with the highest impressions was the first one I posted for this class.

This post had 1,470 impressions and 214 total engagements, which comes out to an 8.5 percent engagement rate. This one, like my other more successful posts in the class, had photos or some other kind of rich media attached to the post. Each post with rich media, I found, had a higher engagement rate than tweets with just plain text media.

Videos, in particular, were also high-engagement posts.

This video post had the second highest engagement rate out of my #NHsmc posts with 18.2 percent (574 impressions, 104 engagements). I noticed, however, that videos like this one, received high engagement but were less likely to be shared around, as shown by the lower number of impressions.

Another trend I noticed with my posts was that posts related to Syracuse Football or CitrusTV, the station I work for, received more engagement than posts not relating to sports.

This post just contained a photo, had 419 impressions, but 78 engagements, which comes out to a #NHsmc-high 18.7 percent impression rate.

This #followfriday post was shared a few times by the people on the list via likes, retweets and quote tweets. I tagged the three analysts in the photo as part of the tweet as well. I also noticed that when I tagged organizations or people in a post, posts had a higher engagement rate, even if the impressions were not as high, because they were being shared around the same circle of people rather than several, more broad circles.

Posts that did not tag as many individuals received higher impression numbers, but lower engagement, like my posts for the #NHsmc Viral Content Challenge.

(1,129 Impressions, 40 Engagements, 3.5 percent engagement rate – promoted tweet)

(856 impressions, 45 engagements, 5.3 percent engagement rate)

These two received the highest impression numbers of the five posts, and were posted at times where Syracuse Football would be a more hot-button topic. This, I believe, helped the impression numbers, because people were searching for SU Football-related content, but since it wasn’t rankings or score information, they didn’t click through on the link.

Quote tweets also did well on the impressions front while being in the middle-to-low range in the engagement-rate metric.

(NOTE: #NHsmc was reply-tweeted into this within the time-requirement as to keep the original post more professional. This was approved by Professor Grygiel and Jun. 741 Impressions, 32 Engagements, 4.3 percent Engagement Rate)

(442 Impressions, 9 Engagements, 2.0 percent Engagement Rate)

(506 Impressions, 9 Engagements, 1.8 percent engagement rate)

Posts where I quote-tweeted a more widely-followed account like ESPN clearly did better than posts where I retweeted myself. Noticing this, I realize my posts should attempt to appeal to a slightly wider audience, not just the niche-sports and reporter community. Quoting posts that were timely was also important. When I quoted the ESPN post, people were still talking about Dino’s speech, but when I quoted the NHL on NBC post, it was a day after the Gritty memes had gone around, and its time had passed.

The last two posts I’d like to introduce are more personal ones, and they also received high engagement. The first is my introduction tweet to Professor Grygiel that tied together information about me and the game I covered that weekend.

(955 Impressions, 227 Media Views, 21 Engagements, 2.2 percent Engagement Rate)

The second is my one non-#NHsmc tweet used for this assignment, combining a family tie and covering football.

(1,155 Impressions, 213 Engagements, 18.5 percent Engagement Rate)

While both posts tried to tell you a little more about me, the first one did it in a more general sense with a commonly-known show, The Office. It did not get as much engagement as the second one, where I shared a more personal photo and opened up more to show a more real side to myself.

Overall, I think the posts where I showed a more personable side, rather than a reporter-esque side, performed the best. Outside of this class, I see that in my other tweets as well. Judging my own content and growth this semester, I think that the more that you represent your true self on the platform, the more people will engage with you and share your content.

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