Over the course of this semester, I have used social media skills and tactics learned in class to help grow my audience and become a more professional, strategic social media user. I have increased my Twitter following from 4 followers to 20 followers, a solid 80% growth in following. On Instagram, I have increased my following from 41 followers to 50 followers, an 18% growth. Personally, using social media consistently and professionally has been something I have struggled with, and this has taught me me to optimize platforms to build a personal, professional brand while staying engaging and creative and still keeping my personal voice. I have also learned that success on social media is not as easy as it seems, and getting significant engagement and building an audience takes time and effort.
Each social media platform is different and serves different audiences and functions, so it important to mold your content to each platform. On Twitter, the tactics that worked best were using rich media, using popular hashtags, and posting content that was timely and relevant. Twitter is a platform that is great for news and instant updates, so making sure the content is up to date is important. F0r example, my most successful tweet used the #NotAgainSU hashtag, and was tweeted in direct response to what was happening on campus. Had I waited a few days and used the hashtag, the tweet probably would not have gained as much engagement. Using targeted hash-tags with purposeful intent on Twitter can instantly boost your tweet to more users. Also, including rich media on tweets really helps to boost engagement. Rich media helps better tell the story, and is more interesting to look at than just words, so adding it to tweets is a really great, easy tactic to make a tweet better. Looking back, I realized that tweets that I rushed on did not perform as well as tweets that I took the time to think about and put some creativity into. Although Twitter posts are short and can be published quickly, it is still important to put time and effort into your posts in order to maximize engagement. Looking forward, I will continue to use the skills I learned, and dedicate time to my content in order to continue to stay interesting and engaging, and build my following.
On Instagram, there is more freedom to post content that isn’t as timely. My Instagram feed is focused on food, so it was important to use high-quality photos, use attention-grabbing captions, and use hashtags relevant to the posts. The foodie community on Instagram is very large, and I found that using #foodie or other related hashtags helped me gain likes from other food accounts. Another tactic that was successful as tagging the location that the food was from. There were a few posts where I tagged the location of the restaurant that led to the restaurant liking the post. I also tried to maintain my grid with consistent edits so that my feed looked aesthetically pleasing when users viewed my profile. Looking back, I could have used more hashtags in my posts, and tagged popular accounts in my photos to help increase engagement and followers for my account. As I continue to post on this account, I will try some of these tactics as well as other tactics I learned to help grow my audience.
Overall, my success came from the effort and creativity I put into the post, as well as morphing my posts to fit the platform I was using, My goal was to engage my audience, and I worked to use the tactics I learned in class as well as my peers to create successful content.
Here is a list of the top 10 posts across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram that show my social media execution and influence:
One of my most successful posts across all platforms is this LinkedIn post. It received 13 likes, 1 share, and 658 total views. This post was successful because it includes relevant hashtags that relate to the topic, as well as are important topics on LinkedIn. This post was also successful because it discusses a timely, relevant matter of the changing social media landscape, and encourages users to learn more about the topic. In the future, tagging industry professionals in the post may help to further promote the post, and spread the post to a larger audience. LinkedIn is a more professional platform, and posting content relevant to professional industries are likely to be the most successful.
What constitutes a direct threat? When someone decides to take action and it’s too late? Students do not feel safe of this campus and fears are not being addressed adequately. #NotAgainSU https://t.co/h6eBWDf3e8
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) November 19, 2019
This tweet has 846 impressions, 37 engagements, and a 4.4% engagement rate. This tweet was successful because it was timely to the audience, as it was tweeted in the midst of an ongoing scandal at Syracuse University. This tweet also concluded the hashtag #NotAgainSU, a hashtag centered around the movement taking place on campus. This hashtag was known on campus and trending within the community, and using the hashtag during height of the movement helped increased reach and engagement with the tweet. To enhance this tweet, I could have tagged the NotAgainSU account, as well as other Syracuse officials or leaders in the movement.
#ICYMI: Kris Jenner staged getting tackled by Kim’s security guards and faked being injured on a stretcher to prank Kim, confirming that she is still the best member of the Kardashian family #nhsmc https://t.co/ingYSY5RrC
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) September 24, 2019
The #ICYMI tweet had 809 impressions, 6 engagements, and a .7% engagement rate. The #ICYMI is a popular hashtag on Twitter, which helped increase the impressions this tweet received. I could have tagged Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner to enhance this post, however quote tweeting the original tweet also added value to the post. Personally, I think quote-tweeting is a quick hack to a successful tweet because the content is already there, you just have to add your own take on it. This tweet includes rich media and a link to follow, helping increase interest from the audience and overall engagement.
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) September 10, 2019
This #voice tweet had 373 impressions, 5 engagements, and a 1.3% engagement rate. This tweet was successful because a large audience can relate to it, and using rich media like this GIF adds value to the post. I have seen posts similar to this, so I was able to recreate it with my own take on this silly “issue”. I found using Twitter that funny GIFs really helps to add humor to tweets, as well as help to make the feeling behind the tweet more understandable, which is what I did in this tweet.
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) September 16, 2019
This meme tweet had 221 impressions, 2 engagements, and a .9% engagement rate. Again, tagging Kylie Jenner could have helped enhance the engagement on this tweet. I also could have used more hashtags to help promote this tweet more. Similar to other posts, the rich media helped better express emotion and add humor, thus helping with this tweet’s success.
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) September 25, 2019
This tweet where I created my on GIF gained 214 impressions, 6 engagements, and a 2.8% engagement rate. I created this gif, which added rich media to the tweet. I also included hashtags and tagged relevant people (people in the GIF and the TV show the GIF was from) to increase the reach of the tweet. The GIF expresses a specific emotion so users were really able to understand how I was feeling. I put significant effort into this post and was excited with its success. I could have used more relevant hashtags to reach a bigger audience, but overall this tweet had pretty solid success.
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) October 10, 2019
This poll tweet had 171 impressions, 13 engagements, and 7.6% engagement rate. The poll received 21 total votes. I decided to use a trending topic on Twitter in the poll, which was the news that Instagram was removing the activity page. The timeliness of the topic of the poll helped to engage users because they had likely already read about the topic. Also, many of my followers are likely also Instagram uses, so they were aware of what was happening on Instagram. Finally, including extra hashtags further enhanced the tweet. Looking back, I could have tagged Instagram in the tweet, however, overall this tweet received solid engagement.
In honor of #October1st, here's a map of states based on favorite movie candy (via @lightscamerapod) . As a native New Yorker, I can truly say I'm disappointed in Pixie Sticks representing us😕😷 #HalloweenCountdown #NHsmc pic.twitter.com/npbeHR1n29
— Catie Bradshaw (@Catie_Bradshaw) October 2, 2019
This tweet had 149 impressions, 14 engagements, and a 9.4% engagement rate. I also received a reply to this tweet from a user talking about their favorite candy. This is another timely tweet that was relevant in the moment that people could connect with. October is the month of Halloween, and candy is a major part of Halloween, so putting this out and using Halloween hashtags helped gain engagement with this tweet. I could have possibly reframed the tweet into a question to drive more people to reply and increase engagement.
This Instagram post had the highest engagement of all my Instagram post with 26 likes and a reach of 56. I added more hashtags as well as the location Chick-Fil-A to this post, which promoted it to a larger audience, and therefore lead to higher engagement. Also, this post has two photos, so there is more media for the audience to consume and engage with. Chick-fil-A is a popular restaurant chain that many people dine at, so this post likely resonated with a large audience. To enhance this post, I could have tagged food accounts, as well as tagged Chick-Fil-A in the photo.
This Instagram post received 25 likes and had a reach of 54. This post also had two comments. This is a high quality photo of a food (almost) everybody loves: pizza. I found that really high quality and well-edited photos did the best, and I think this is one of the best photos featured on my account. I could have made this post better by including more food-related hashtags and including the location where I ate this pizza. However, looking at this post again, it makes me just as hungry as the first time I posted it!
Overall, it is important to use social media platforms regularly and consistently in order to keep audiences and engaged and keep your content relevant. Keeping active with consistent posts helps maintain your following base by keeping them engaged. Also, it is important to put effort into your content to make sure it is makes sense for your audience, includes important elements such as hashtags to increase the reach and impressions, and is creative and thoughtful. Social media can be really useful in helping you build your personal brand, and I am happy with the brand I was able to build throughout the course of this semester.