Data Visualization in Journalism

Data visualization has become cheaper and more applicable to fields other than science and math. Data visualization is no longer a pie chart or bar graph that roughly explains relationships and data sets. It is now at the level of sophistication where journalists and teachers use it to tell stories and immerse the viewer in the […]

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Do I Have Clout?


Klout’s 90 day tracker. You can see in September when class started picking up so did my score.

For the past 4 months I have been using Twitter more than I have in the past 4 years. At first I felt like I was blindly putting things on the Internet and I didn’t really see the point of Twitter. I liked to look at other people’s tweets and read the news but as far as contributing to the conversation I didn’t really feel like I had anything worth saying.  During my time exploring the platform and practicing the techniques that Newhouse Social Media Professor J. Grygiel my influence has grown substantially. But what’s even more exciting is I feel like I have created a space for myself.

I have raised my Klout score 10 (from 44 to 54) points in the last 90 days and gained 29 new followers! I thought I was doing pretty well in the social space but I am really happy with the direction my influence is going . I think that finding a voice and a tone has been the most beneficial to my influence. I now have this kind of fun, quirky, sarcastic tone that helps to make my tweets more engaging. I have noticed that people seem to like things on Twitter that are emotional in some way. They either make you think or they make you laugh.

The platform is two-fold: entertaining and informative. But there are some universals for both Twitter worlds, for example anything with rich media performs better. My top tweets show that video, photos and even emojis help content to perform well. However, not all of my tweets with photos or videos made my top ten tweets. I noticed that the content had to have appropriately entertaining or informative copy as well as the media. It wasn’t enough to just post a photo of a cat with copy that says “cat”.

Hashtags are extremely important.  I saw much better engagement and higher impressions on tweets that had more than one hashtag. The real winners, though were the tweets that featured hashtags that are relevant in culture and had an in real time feeling (like live tweeting at an event).

While I am proud of growing my influence and my followers, I wonder if having a concentrated group of people in the Newhouse Social Media class is really what helped me grow. We all want to help each other and many times we were live tweeting during class and were constantly liking and retweeting each other. My best tweets in terms of engagement were posted during class. I am curious to see how my influence and follower base changes after the class ends.

The breakdown of my platform usage
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Twitter has become a forum for people to voice their opinions and find communities of people who have similar beliefs. It is unlikely that a single tweet has much effect or that merely tweeting can change anything, but when hundreds of people rally around a single hashtag and share their experiences Twitter becomes a powerful […]

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Let’s Break the Internet

[pin_widget url=””] In an attempt to go viral I have created a card with some of the Internet’s favorite things, such as; cats, a Kardashian and Pizza. It’s not a secret that these things are popular, just last month (October) there were 75 news headlines worldwide dedicated to cats according to Google Trends. The “Break […]

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Girl Scouts, Cookies and Twitter

Girl Scouts take to Twitter to encourage downloads of their new mobile app.

We have all tried to find the nearest Girl Scout representative to get our cookie fix and been unsuccessful, resulting in less sales for the organization and sad consumers. Fortunately, that’s what the Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app takes care of. You put in your location and magically your phone spits out the nearest Girl Scout: probably pretty dangerous for us as consumers but genius for Girl Scouts USA. The organization famous for empowering young girls has found a way to encourage downloads of their app that links local Girl Scout chapters with potential cookie consumers. However, just because something amazing exists doesn’t mean that people are using it. The Girl Scouts noticed that not only were people not utilizing the app, they also didn’t interact with it much after the initial download. This defeated the purpose of creating such a useful app. So, the girls had to figure out how to get people connected to the app, and increase usage by those who already had the it.


The Girl Scouts wanted people to download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app in order to connect potential buyers to local Girl Scouts during the cookie season. But more than that, they wanted people to search within the app and utilize more of its functions. The Girl Scouts knew that they had a solution to consumer’s problem. They just needed an authentic way to get the product in front of the consumer.


The Girl Scouts started doing some social listening to learn about their target and what platforms they frequented. It’s important for any organization to know who they are talking to and where those people are. It’s a waste of money and time if you don’t research the consumer. Their biggest insight was that people often want to buy Girl Scout cookies but can’t find where they can make the purchase. This is a big problem because the Girl Scouts thought they had solved this problem already with the app, but they learned people weren’t using it.

The group also needed to know what platforms would work best for their objectives. A larger consumer base and a platform with valuable opportunities for brands lead the Girl Scouts to Twitter. Twitter is the optimal platform for brands who want to drive app downloads because of their app card function. The app card function allows brands to create a highly stylized visual representation of their app that allows consumers to click on a “download” button. Couldn’t get much simpler than that. Twitter also has great targeting capabilities that allow brands to find exactly who would care about their message.

Lessons learned:

By using Twitter’s app card function the Girl Scouts gained more than 19,500 app downloads. The Girl Scouts used their most iconic flavors in the images on the app card in hopes of catching the most attention and showing how valuable the app could be. Twitter’s app card function was really the perfect choice because you can open the and download the app right from the tweet itself. They increased the number of app downloads but they also used learnings from social listening to engage existing users of the app. The Girl Scouts learned that by including existing app users they were able to drive engagements. By doing this they increased their audience, which helped create buzz. Girl Scouts learned that it wasn’t enough to just promote the app, they had to teach consumers how to use it and why it was important. Although the case study did not explicitly say, a good assumption would be that a by-product of this campaign was an increased following on Twitter.

One thing that wasn’t present in the campaign was a consistent hashtag. The Girl Scouts really should have implemented a hashtag to go with the campaign if only to help document engagements, but it would have added to the professionalism of the campaign.



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Let’s get Engaged

The skip button, the little x at the top left and the mute button; all of these things are ways people ignore ads. But a few brands and advertisers are figuring out how to make an impression and engage with consumers. In the social media world it’s hard to stay relevant to your consumer, there […]

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