Ebb and grow: Twitter influence analysis

I started this course with 707 followers on Twitter. As of April 26, I have 790 followers. That’s 83 new “friends” — pretty neat, I think. Thanks, Prof. Grygiel, for helping me realize that the underscore in my original handle was clunky (haleyannn_). Changing my handle is one of the many techniques I utilized to grow my influence this semester.

This course made me realize how closely my Twitter is tied to my identity as a journalist and editor. I’ll admit — my most popular tweets weren’t any with the #NHsmc hashtag. My most popular tweets were all about The Daily Orange.

I’m not surprised that my Daily Orange content popped off this semester. My primary audience is comprised of Daily Orange staff members, Daily Orange alumni and other student journalists. I strived to deliver a variety of content that resonates with these folks, like TikToks about student journalism and preview gifs of our print papers on Issuu.

This is how I grew my follower base. I’d engage with other student journalists, particular college newspaper EICs, and we’d become mutuals. Engagement spiked when my verified followers (i.e. Dave Levinthal, Justin Robert Young, Dave Jorgenson) RT’d or liked a post.

But first, let’s look at how my #NHsmc posts performed this semester. These were definitely outside my comfort zone, and I often found myself trying to still make the content fit with my overall brand as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Orange.

This was my top #NHsmc tweet from the semester, with 1,639 impressions and 314 total engagements. I think this tweet did so well because many of my followers love content about the snow in Syracuse. I used two photos, tagged @SyracuseU, and used an emoji to make this tweet as fun as possible. This also did well because I featured The Daily Orange looking frosty in the snow, and most of the 35 people who liked the tweet are affiliated with The Daily Orange. This tweet had a 19.3% engagement rate too, which is one of my highest percentages of the semester.

I continued my singular emoji use in this tweet. I think it worked well, especially paired with a short video. This tweet garnered 1,065 impressions, 260 media views and 106 total engagements. I think this tweet was fun, but it may have been a little too niche.

Continuing with my Daily Orange content here. This post saw 1,454 impressions and 48 total engagements. Again, I think this post performed decently because I have many student journalism advocates following me. I also think this was effective because the Newhouse community recognizes the Tully Center for Free Speech.

This tweet garnered 1,390 impressions and 118 total engagements. The nine people who liked it are all sports fans and/or writers, so this tweet resonated with a small sector of my general journalism-focused target audience. I think using more hashtags associated with the game could have helped increase engagement with this.

I was pleased with 150 votes on this. I helped increase that number by sharing my tweet in a Daily Orange Slack channel to encourage people to participate. This post saw 1,619 impressions and 125 total engagements, along with a handful of replies that sparked some conversation.

This tweet flopped. I’m not surprised. It’s boring and has no purpose. I wish I had found a social media irl example that involved people because a random bulletin board is not exciting.

While this tweet was relevant and timely, it didn’t offer anything new to the Twitter discourse that was already happening surrounding Tom’s ominous message. This post only saw 508 impressions (shoutout that Massachusetts area code, though) and 7 total engagements.

For my last three tweets of this reflection, I’d like to discuss my top posts from the entire semester, which don’t have #NHsmc in the text. I believe these are a better reflection of the skills I learned in this class, although working with the assignment prompts helped me explore new tools.

This tweet saw 21,358 impressions and 819 total engagements. I credit this to success to the fact that Dave Jorgenson RT’d it, so I’m glad I tagged him in it.

Since my Animal Crossing meme for the viral challenge kind of flopped, I wanted to give wholesome Animal Crossing content another chance on my timeline. To craft this tweet, I wrote in all lowercase because I learned in class that that can help the tone seem more informal, relaxed and “hip.” I also cropped my Animal Crossing screenshots into squares that I knew would fit well side-by-side — I learned in this class that Twitter can crop images in a weird way, so it’s good to test it beforehand. This tweet garnered 5,405 impressions and 988 total engagements.

This post had 19,385 impressions and 1,265 engagements. I spent two hours looking through Daily Orange archives and assembling this collage, and I think the effort paid off. The body text of the tweet utilizes a musical theater reference, which helped me reach another sector of my Twitter following.

This class gave me the toolkit I needed to grow my Twitter influence and develop my personal brand as a journalist and editor. I earned 76,200 impressions in the month of March — more than any previous month. I also gained some key followers from the journalism industry, including Greg Bishop (@GregBishopSI), Andrew Restuccia (@AndrewRestuccia) and Sharif (IamSharifDKing).

But as of yesterday, my personal Twitter account is no longer an extension of my work and life at The Daily Orange. This class has given me the necessary tools to rebrand my online presence moving forward and better engage with my followers.

Leave a Reply