Personal Influence and Growth Analysis

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Part 1: Influence

I’m proud enough to admit this whole Twitter thing might not be my cup of tea… at least not right away. I started the semester (8/29) with 84 followers and to date have accumulated a whopping 4 followers to get me to 88! While this growth of 4.76% isn’t astronomical by any means, I can technically say I ended up positive!

In reflection on the last few months, I think the biggest and most important takeaway I have, with regards to gaining some traction on the platform, is the consistency of use. Twitter is extremely fast-paced with content that is here today, gone tomorrow. In order to establish a follower base, you need to be active and stay active; your followers will notice and react in one way or another. If you aren’t active or have spurts of active or inactiveness, your followers might notice/get annoyed and unfollow you. I think that’s where I went wrong. I approached Twitter solely as a social media platform for school; I tweeted when I had to and was inactive when we moved onto other platforms. My follower base, consisting of old high school and college friends mostly, probably noticed this and didn’t think I was worth a follow. In retrospect, I understand. What I needed to do was continue to tweet, regardless of their being an assignment, to show my dedication to the platform in a consistent manner.

I also think the constant (and in isolation) use of #NHsmc gave away to my followers that my tweeting was strictly academic and not personal. Twitter is a personal platform that lets users express their unique voice and tonality, and I, unfortunately, didn’t establish that sufficiently.

I think what I did do well was utilize hashtags and mentions in my tweets. My poll about The Office characters comes to mind, in which I not only used relevant hashtags but specifically mentioned the corresponding handles of the actors/actresses involved.

As you can see, this poll got a significant amount of engagement (by my standards), which I credit to the hashtag and mentioning of the actors and The Office handle.

Lastly, I think a technique I would like to adopt for future use of Twitter is establishing a voice and tone. With such a limited amount of characters to illustrate an idea, you have to be clear, concise, and succinct. I think having a predetermined tone and voice will help establish consistency and predictability among current and prospective followers. Me personally, I consider myself to be pretty comical…I like to consider myself funny at least. I think to stay in a comedic, sarcastic, maybe witty lane would align well with my personality and help gain some traction among other users who share similar characteristics. That’s not to say every Tweet would try and be funny. I would certainly show some diversity in my expression on Twitter, but for the most part, sticking to one voice and seeing its level of effectiveness could help establish a foundation.

Part 2: Execution

Here are my top 10 social media posts:

For Instagram, this was my top post with 18 likes:

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I believe this Instagram post had the most likes of all because, well, it’s a goat. We’ve talked a lot about the popularity of animals on social media, and goats always seem at the forefront of the discussion. Using the hashtag #goats might have helped my post get some likes, but it wasn’t a huge contributor. I tried to think about what this photo represented when I was posting and remembered that Chester (all our goats have names) likes to stick his head under the door when he hears a commotion, even when it’s not about him. It seemed fitting of that caption.

Additionally, a lot of followers from my personal account have thought this account was a replacement and have started liking content from this account. For that reason, the majority of my Instagram likes are classmates, friends, and family.

On Twitter, here were my 10 most popular Tweets:

This Tweet had 379 impressions and 1 engagement:

I think the above tweet was most popular because it was during a relevant sports time – Lester had just had a great pitching performance – and my relevant hashtags and reposting of the tweet put itself in front of the Cub’s audience. I definitely should have used #Cubs,  #Baseball, #MLB, and mentioned the MLB, Cubs, and Redsox accounts for even more baseball fan engagement. A missed opportunity for some easy impressions, but a lesson for the future nonetheless.

 

This Tweet had 316 impressions, 308 engagements, and 173 votes in the poll:

Based on Twitter analytics, the above tweet was second on the most popular list because of its impressions, but I would argue that all-encompassing, it was the most popular tweet. It had a significant amount of engagement, voting, and impressions. By far the Tweet I am most proud of! I definite

 

This Tweet had 272 impressions and 4 engagements:

Again, Gucci and the BOF are prominent accounts in their respective genre of fashion. People who follow this type of content would likely search by the hashtag #Gucci if they are interested in content specific to the brand. This Tweet might have resulted in that search. Had I not used #Gucci, or just mentioned the BOF tweet, this would not have gotten as many impressions I don’t think. I also should have hashtagged #StreetWear and #BOF to potentially put this Tweet in front of those specific audiences. I need to work on dissecting the content of my Tweet in the future to find additional entry points to a new follower base.

 

This Tweet had 251 impressions and 8 engagements:

I think the success of this tweet derived from the GIF I chose, as well as mentioning the Yankees and Redsox both by tagging and in hashtag form. The Redsox have their “Win, Dance, Repeat” tradition, and audiences that follow baseball, and the hashtags I used, would have understood that reference. Also, I think the GIF was fun and added some diversity to my timeline that hopefully, my followers enjoyed.

 

This Tweet got 243 impressions and 13 engagements:

With a significant number of both impressions and engagement, I would also argue this tweet be higher on the list of my most popular. I would guess that, again, my use of @Google, a very prominent company, and #Vermont, #Patriots, and a broad hashtag like #Football, allowed this level of popularity. It seems as though more generic and broad hashtags get more interaction, most likely because their potential audience is significantly larger. This is an approach I will definitely keep in mind for future Tweeting about more broad topics like football and national trends.

 

This Tweet had 192 impressions and 11 engagements:

I am relatively surprised that this Tweet appeared on the most popular list. My inexperience with Twitter was clearly showing, as I only used one specific and unrecognizable hashtag that people outside our class wouldn’t understand, and tagged @Jmgrygiel, our Professor. My only inference is that use of rich media attracted some people…? I can’t offer too much insight as to why this got the impressions it did.

 

This Tweet had 184 impressions and 5 engagements:

I’m a little surprised this Tweet didn’t get more impressions or engagements. Being in the craft beer audience, I know that we are very loyal and engaging with our favorite brewery’s social media channels. I search, like and DM my favorite VT breweries all the time and thought for sure this would get some retweets or likes from fellow craft beer snobs. I’m curious if my Tweet did, in fact, prompt any additional followers for the mentioned accounts. In the future, I think I would need to post and engage a bit more with those breweries to prove I am in that scene and hold some credibility to warrant additional engagement with organic content.

 

This Tweet had 180 impressions and 12 engagements:

Definitely the most likes of any Tweet I’ve gotten, with 5, all being from other students in the class. Not sure if it was because of the link I posted or the plea to be featured on the boar the next day – something my fellow classmates could relate too. I should have also included more hashtags, including #Poland. That might have gotten a bit more engagement/impressions from relevant audiences interested in the country. When Tweeting this, I wanted to be somewhat whimsical and also funny in hopes that Professor Grygiel would reward my upbeat attitude with a feature in class. Didn’t work…

 

This last Tweet had 176 impressions and 13 engagements:

Similar to my last Tweet, this one was relatable to the class audience…but also who doesn’t relate to Michael Scott? I wish I had mentioned The Office and/or used #TheOffice #MichaelScott to up my engagement/impressions. This is another Tweet from early on in the semester when I was still learning the ropes of Twitter. I wanted this to reach a broad audience, most likely The Office fans but forgot to take the necessary steps to ensure that. Rookie mistake.

 Final Takeaways:

  1. Rich media always attract more engagement. People like pics, GIFS, links, Re-posts…it’s more interactive it seems
  2. ALWAYS mention and use relevant hashtags when appropriate. Using the hashtag in place of the word can kill two birds with one stone, and mentions increase your chances that much more to get impressions/engagements altogether
  3.  When Tweeting, consider the audience. If it’s about beer, maybe be more direct, to the point, talk about flavors, and include any lingo that might be appreciated. If it’s about sports, tag players, maybe include some stats, don’t be afraid to rile up the competitors for some healthy banter.
  4. Diversity is important. While some people might follow you for specific or repetitive content, I think it’s good to show you can relate to a larger audience and have an opinion on another genre here and there. Being all over the place might be detrimental to your followers (I think where I might have gone wrong), but showing some change in interest might prove successful.
  5. Promote your other accounts. Twitter is HUGE, but so is Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook…and they all have different purposes. Utilize the functions of one platform to benefit the others. I could have pushed my LinkedIn more to appeal to the business side of Twitter, or maybe shared some of my Instagram pics of goats to get some followers over there. It’s all connected in one way or another at the end of the day…take advantage of it!

 

In theory, I really enjoy Twitter as a social media platform. I am constantly thinking of small tidbits of information I wish I could share with the world, or complaining about one thing or another in hopes someone else could relate…they usually don’t. I would love to be more active on Twitter, and Instagram again, but requires a decent about of attention and effort to make it worth it (in my opinion). Maybe someday I will find myself officially needing an outlet for my thoughts in 280 characters or less, but for now, I might have to accept my time with Twitter as a work in progress with plenty of room to grow.

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