This semester has given me the opportunity to not only try new techniques and tools in the world of social media, but to also reflect on the merits and success of each. Here are some of my findings.
Followers and Klout Score
Before the class began in January, I hardly used my Twitter at all. I opened my account in November of 2011, used it throughout both high school and my first year of college, and then completely forgot about it. Somehow, I managed to have 236 followers at the start of the semester – many of whom I suspect just hadn’t deleted me from high school or freshman year. By the end of this semester, I’d brought my follower count up to 286.
That’s 50 more followers!
A percent change of 21.1. Not too shabby!
What interested me most was that not all of these new followers were classmates trying to help me out. There were a fair amount of social media experts and workers in the field of technical communications. That just goes to show the power of carefully chosen hashtags.
I also saw a Klout score increase from 29 at the beginning of the semester to 50 at the end. However, this change might not have come from just my activity on Twitter. Under the “measure” section of the Klout website, Twitter is responsible for 9% of my score, Facebook for 18%, and Instagram for 75%. I have a very active Instagram audience with whom I interact a lot and a very active Facebook audience with whom I interact with very little. I usually see far less engagement on Twitter.
What worked & What Didn’t | Growing My Social Media Influence
To discuss which strategies worked and which fell flat, I’m going to call on my top ten tweets from the semester.
I have not presented them in the order that Twitter did, because Twitter ranks the Tweets by impressions. I feel that link clicks, media expansions, etc. will mean more than impressions at a publication.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) April 10, 2017
This Tweet was a part of our Instagram filter test day. It was one of the first warm Spring days in Syracuse, and we were given the opportunity to head outside and take some photos. I have two theories as to why this Tweet did so well, earning 388 impressions, 5 likes and 34 engagements. The first is that it was a beautiful day. Everyone was either outside or wanted to be outside, and people were ready to spread the love for being outside. It was timely. Second, my audience is comprised mostly of personal friends of mine. So, a photo of me is something that they would be more likely to interact with.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) April 3, 2017
This one also did well in the like-department, earning a grand total of seven likes. It had 351 impressions and 30 engagements. It was part of our experiment trying to hop onto an existing hashtag – in this case, #MondayMotivation. I think it did well because there was media to interact with, and a great pun in said media.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) January 25, 2017
This Tweet earned 426 impressions and 23 engagements. This, like my other top Tweets, has a media attachment. Media richness theory holds that more engaging content, like photos, gifs, videos, etc. will resonate more with an audience, so I am not surprised that many of these photo-Tweets did well. This one required people to expand the photo to get a better look at what the sign said.
My favorite podcasts: Dear Hank and John, TED Radio Hour, Stuff You Missed in History Class. Suggestions, anyone? #MAG500Spring17
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) February 6, 2017
This Tweet, while it wasn’t specifically for this class, earned 565 impressions and 15 engagements. It didn’t have any photos or videos to accompany it, but it did strike a chord with my fellow podcast-listening followers, one of whom replied to my call to action. It also got picked up by the TED Radio Hour social team, who liked it.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) January 19, 2017
This Tweet that I sent at the beginning of the semester got 325 impressions and 16 engagements, including a reply and 5 likes. I think what worked best on this one was its excitement, timeliness, and that it was one of my first Tweets in a long time.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) April 9, 2017
This Tweet earned 255 impressions and 14 engagements. I suspect that it did not earn as many impressions because of the timing that I posted it – it was almost midnight on a Saturday, and my followers were probably not on Twitter at the time. However, I owe the engagements to the 360 photo – those who clicked on it probably wanted to check out what a 360 photo would look like.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) January 20, 2017
This Tweet was part of our #FollowFriday exercise, which happened to fall on Inauguration Day. Two of the accounts that I tagged in it liked it, and one of them followed me afterwards. (The other was already following me, and the DO did not interact with it at all.)
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) February 11, 2017
Our Twitter Collage assignment worked well for me, too. I got 294 impressions and 12 engagements on this one. Two people liked it, too, and one of them seems to have found it via hashtag (he is a travel photographer). Media richness theory holds true again – people love photos!
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) April 9, 2017
The panorama exercise earned me 263 impressions and 10 engagements. It was a beautiful day, and people probably were happy to interact with media celebrating the weather. I think it would have done better had I picked a time other than Sunday afternoon.
— Bethany Bourgault (@BethBourgault) April 4, 2017
Last but certainly not least was the paid Twitter Ads campaign. This Tweet earned 3 likes, 236 impressions and 17 engagements when I first posted it. However, after I put $5 toward promoting it, it got 914 impressions and 62 engagements.
914 impressions and 62 engagements.
One more time for the people in the back: 914 impressions and 62 engagements, all because I put money toward promoting it. Apparently, if you want your Tweets to stand out, throw some ad dollars at them and watch the magic happen.
Some things I noticed that didn’t work were poor timing choices (posting a Tweet when no one was online, for example, or promoting a meme about finals week when it wasn’t finals week yet) and not having any call to action or media in my tweets. When I announced things like dance events or live-Tweeted campus speakers, I earned very little engagement because the general body of followers I’ve accumulated can’t relate to things hyper-specific like that.
I’ve learned that targeting content is key, and being mindful of every facet of the Tweet will pay off in the end.