How I improved my personal influence on Twitter

Influence Analysis

Before attending the Newhouse Social Media Class I was honestly never really interested in using Twitter actively. Even though I knew about the platform’s significance for professional uses, I rather used platforms like Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. Therefore, I started with 0 followers at the start of the course on August 29th. By November 28th, I got 40 followers. In total that makes a growth of 100%.

Throughout the semester, I was able to implement several strategies to help build my influence on Twitter. At first, I started following more people I know in real life, so that they follow me back. This worked pretty well, so I started to focus on gaining followers by creating engaging content. For instance, I tried to use popular hashtags, if applicable. Moreover, I tried to post tweets that comment on trending topics or current circumstances and events. In this way, I was able to gain the most followers I don’t know in real life. Lastly, I gained followers by retweeting posts. Users who originally posted those tweets sometimes followed me after retweeting.

In general, I felt that tweets that were too personal didn’t help me to gain more followers. In fact, my existing followers liked them and engaged with them, since many of them know me in person. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that sometimes it didn’t work to reach out to popular accounts.

Learning from my Top 10 Tweets


  • Impressions: 811
  • Total Engagements: 58
  • Likes: 5
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 1
  • Media used: image, hashtags

My number one post shows how helpful it can be to directly address the audience in your posts. Even though you might think it is strange to ask something on Twitter, it catches people’s attention. It helps to lead people to engage with your posts. The image is funny and many students or former students can relate to it. If people are able to relate to your content, they are more likely to retweet it. Moreover, the hashtags might have helped to gain more impressions. To conclude, a mixture of the right use of media and addressing the audience in the right way probably made this my number one post.


  • Impressions: 674
  • Total Engagements: 20
  • Likes: 7
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 1
  • Media used: quote tweet, emoji

Before executing this tweet, I searched for positive and encouraging quotes on Twitter and found this one. Another effective way to gain influence on Twitter is to quote tweets from users with a high amount of followers. The original author of this post has nearly 70,000 followers on Twitter and followed me after my retweet. In times of all the negative afflicted information online, positive content is appreciated by many people. The heart exclamation mark emoji maybe also helped to catch the people’s attention.


  • Impressions: 554
  • Total Engagements: 29
  • Likes: 2
  • Comments: 1
  • Retweets: 0
  • Media used: gif, hashtags, emoji
This tweet aimed to address the Newhouse alum Michael H. Weber, screenwriter of “500 Days of Summer”. Using suitable hashtags and a gif showing a scene from this movie seemed to help me to get more impressions. Luckily, my attempt to reach out to Weber worked out since he replied to my tweet. However, this maybe also helped to earn more engagements. People might have clicked on the post to see the reply or clicked on the profile of Weber to see who he is.


  • Impressions: 362
  • Total Engagements: 27
  • Likes: 7
  • Comments: 3
  • Retweets: 0
  • Media used: gif, emojis

Even though this is a rather personal post, it’s under the top 10 tweets. Followers who know me in personal probably liked my picture because they were happy for me for going to New York City.  The two NYC emojis and the gif that supports the message of the tweet probably helped to raise the engagement. Beyond that, I could’ve used more hashtags in this post to get more impressions (e. g. #newyorkcity, #NYC).


  • Impressions: 289
  • Total Engagements: 22
  • Likes: 9
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 0
  • Media used: webcard, hashtags

This tweet was executed on the occasion of the viral content challenge. It was also promoted via Twitter Ads. The relatively high engagement of this post is due to the fact that you couldn’t see the whole picture. Therefore, people were forced to click on the webcard to see the full picture. Another strategy that leads to more likes and impressions is to choose a copy that aligns with current occasions. I posted the tweet right after the midterms. In addition, the hashtags are intended to help increase the Twitter community’s awareness of the tweet.


  • Impressions: 284
  • Total Engagements: 13
  • Likes: 2
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 0
  • Media used: quote tweet
After I read this tweet in my feed, I thought this is a nice comment on social media. I decided to retweet it with using the class hashtag because we talked about the effects of social media on society in class. There could have been even more impressions if I had used more applicable hashtags (e. g. #socialmedia). Moreover, I could’ve commented on the topic as well, so that people are more likely to engage with my tweet.


  • Impressions: 275
  • Total Engagements: 13
  • Likes: 0
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 0
  • Used media: photo, hashtags, emoji

Although this tweet has no likes, it made it under the top 10 tweets. This post was executed to show that social media exists in real life. I wanted to be funny and used the phrase “I meme” instead of “I mean”. This post is a good example for my Twitter voice which is humorous and authentic. Overall, I could’ve used more popular hashtags in this tweet to reach more people.


  • Impressions: 260
  • Total Engagements: 6
  • Likes: 2
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 0
  • Used media: quote tweet, hashtag

This tweet is a retweet of one of my own posts. I wouldn’t have thought that this strategy works out, but since this tweet made it under the top 10, it probably does work to some extent. During the midterms I wanted to motivate my fellow students with this quote. By using the hashtag collegelife, I tried to gain more impressions. People couldn’t see the quote at first so they had to click on the post. Considering this, the tweet had relatively few engagements.


  • Impressions: 257
  • Total Engagements: 18
  • Likes: 1
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 0
  • Used media: graphic, hashtags, emojis

My first tweet ever in fact made it under the top 10 tweets. In my view, this tweet is a perfect example for a wise mixture of tactics to gain people’s attention. The funny meme aligning with the copy and the hashtag probably helped to get more impressions and engagements. In addition, the emojis should increase attention.


  • Impressions: 255
  • Total Engagements: 7
  • Likes: 1
  • Comments: 0
  • Retweets: 1
  • Media used: gif

Last but not least, this tweet aimed to imitate the Twitter voice of the comedian Liza Koshy. I decided to add a gif to this copy to make it look like a meme. Besides, the gif made it easier for people to put themselves in the situation. More hashtags could’ve helped to increase the impressions. However, in this case, the copy wouldn’t have matched Liza Koshy’s voice anymore.

Lessons learned

Overall, it is striking that nearly all of my top 10 tweets contain rich media. Tweets that didn’t work out that good didn’t include media. The key to high impressions and engagements is to add applicable media such as gifs, videos or pictures to your post. Another important point is that short sentences are easier for people to read. Long paragraphs should be avoided on a fast-paced platform like Twitter. I also rediscovered the power of hashtags. Some of my tweets had potential, but the missing use of hashtags has prevented more people from seeing the tweet. Furthermore, I developed a voice on Twitter and carefully checked whether the tone of a copy fits to it before I executed tweets.

To put it in a nutshell, this course really helped me to improve my by the time non-existent Twitter skills. I would not have thought this at first, but over time I really enjoyed using the platform. In these turbulent times Twitter is a useful platform to stay up to date. Beyond that, the class forced me to step out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to try out new social media strategies that I probably wouldn’t have tried on my own.


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