I had always been curious about Twitter, but never joined as I was worried it would distract me from my studies. I was excited to take this class because I could be with people who were also new to Twitter and learn at firsthand how to create a professional profile. I started with 0 followers, something that I was embarrassed about being a millennial. I now have 57 followers, a 57% growth over the course of the semester, and am definitely more comfortable with using Twitter. It has been reassuring gaining followers from my connections at SU as well as outside friends and potential colleagues.
As I reflect on how far I’ve come in my Twitter use, I notice that my Klout score is 28, a slight decrease from my high of 33. My lowest point was a score of 20, but that occurred at the beginning of the semester when I was very new to Twitter. I notice that as I got more comfortable with the platform, my score increased significantly; the graph below shows how much I had been improving week by week. Unfortunately, I did plateau once I had found my groove. It was hard to get out of this rut and resulted in a decreased score. This was around spring break. I was less active on Twitter since I was traveling, but once I came back to campus, my score jumped back up again and began to increase slightly as the campaign challenge and weekly Tweets took over my timeline in a consistent manner. There has been a noticeable dip in my score recently and I think this is because our assignments have had to do with exploring ways to create content on other platforms, so Twitter wasn’t used as much. I am beginning to learn how to create content on my own without relying on the prompts of the class assignments.
It seemed that making ties with the Syracuse community and more specifically Newhouse helped create a strong network within my following. Generating content that was geared towards topics Newhouse students could relate to allowed the ability to gain a following filled with like minded people who I see myself being surrounded by in my future profession as a journalist. This made me feel comfortable because I knew I was living up to my goal in creating a professional profile. Using hashtags and creating visual content that went along with text was most effective because the hashtags brought in impressions from all over the virtual world, and I believe that people enjoy looking at visuals because it makes the Tweet much stronger. I would say that pairing text with a form of media, including gifs, was always more successful than having just texts in my Tweets. Using humor rather than bringing up discussion topics was more successful too.
As I look back on my best Tweets of the semester, it was surprising to find that my top Tweet occurred in the very early weeks of the class. It received 7 likes, my most liked Tweet, and almost 700 impressions!!
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) January 31, 2017
The idea for this Tweet came from an experience I had in a lecture. It was a very cold day in Syracuse and I was sitting in class. A student came into class extremely late and out of all the seats available, he chose the one next to me. He dramatically took off his giant coat and threw it onto the chair next to me, where his coat literally sprawled on me and the other chairs next to me. It was crazy and I thought it was something that would only happen in such a cold place like Syracuse. I Tweeted about this experience and it gained a lot of engagement because it was a funny moment that all Syracuse students could relate to. It was something I’m sure we’ve all experienced but have never seen it fleshed out in words on social media.
My second top Tweet received engagement because it was a promoted Tweet. Because of this, it received 2,232 impressions, with 10 link clicks and 6 detail expansions.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) April 3, 2017
I think it helped to have a well-known figure represented through visuals to help increase engagement. It also played on the idea of relatability to students. Giving a link and using a meme-like caption allows users to become interested in viewing the content to see how the image matches the text.
When it came time to do the Periscope live Tweet, I was nervous because I do not like being put on the spot. The video only got about 23 view, but almost 300 impressions. I was glad this assignment was over break because I happened to be out of town. It was fun to give viewers a glimpse of what a day on the slopes would look like. I think it received a lot of engagement because it was a change of environment for me; I got out of the Syracuse area and my followers were able to see me in a new space. They were also able to see the face behind the handle and get the chance to connect with my personality. There is also a funny moment in the video of young skiers.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) March 12, 2017
Prior to the break, I had Tweeted about Humans of New York visiting campus. This was a very popular and sold out event on campus. Humans of New York is an extremely well-known internet sensation. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to not only let people know about my experience and say I was there, but also promote my photography since that is the field I am pursuing. I think people enjoyed seeing a close-up shot of him paired with a moving quote he said. This Tweet got 290 impressions with 11 total engagements. It only received 2 likes which I was unimpressed by. I was hoping to be ReTweeted by @SyracuseU or even @dailyorange since I covered the event for them, but I did not see this in the engagement.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) March 7, 2017
I was surprised to see my Ngram Tweet in my top Tweets. This received 285 impressions and 13 total engagements, including 5 media engagements. I felt that it wasn’t the strongest of my Tweets because it seemed random in the scheme of the agenda in terms of what was trending at that point in time. I think what made it successful was the fact that a visual paired with the Tweet. I played on an ongoing dispute where people take sides and gave context in history. It was also helped give PR to this Google function. Now, it seems this Tweet may resurface with Pepsi’s ultimatum.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) March 1, 2017
I was truly hoping that my gif I created would have been higher on my top Tweets list. I thought it was one of the most creative Tweets I made. I was extremely engulfed in the news at the time since it was very close to the inauguration of the Trump administration. I was so baffled by all the executive orders he had been passing; it was disturbing at times. I could not help but be glued to the news because I was trying so hard to keep up with everything. It seemed that the tone on social media regarding the drastic changes was a sense of panic and I wanted to convey that with my gif by generating a scenario. Though the Tweet received 272 impressions, it received 53 media views and 27 total engagements. These were high numbers in comparison to the amount of media views and engagements to my other top Tweets. I think this is because gifs can be repeatedly watched very easily.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) February 8, 2017
I have been working on a photography on a young girl with terminal brain cancer and I wanted to use Twitter to raise awareness. I found an article about how brain cancer was the leading killer of all pediatric cancers; the stats were infuriating to me. I wanted to push out this research to help my followers gain knowledge on something that is commonly misunderstood. It is unfortunate that this Tweet only received 262 impressions and 4 total engagements because this is such an important matter that I wish more people would care about.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) February 4, 2017
Recently, our assignment to push out our profiles across platforms had gained engagement for me. It was the day that #AprilTheGiraffe was trending, so I incorporated this hashtag in my Tweet to gain more impressions since I knew it was widely circulating. I included a link to my Instagram profile so people could easily be taken to my page. The Tweet received 253 impressions. I wish it had received more because I really want to use Twitter as a way to promote my photography. I think using the deep link make people curious and want to click on the link. I also used the word ‘photography,’ implying that it was a professional page with quality photos.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) April 15, 2017
The following Tweet, I created by keeping an eye on what was trending on Twitter. I noticed the hashtag and thought the idea was hilarious. I wanted to make light of the situation that was the mess of politics. I played on a pun of using Sean Spicer’s name and relating it to a flavor for a candle. This Tweet received 244 impressions which feels low for a trending topic. Perhaps because trends come and go in extreme waves that they can only stay relevant for so long.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) February 21, 2017
I notice that tagging people with a large following helps gain engagement. Though she is a rising star, tagging @ClareMeans and using her as a way to promote Periscope was successful. She is very talented and I wanted to give her a shout out. She responded to the Tweet by liking it. I wasn’t surprised by the 228 impressions. I felt I could have better helped give @ClareMeans more influence in the way I worded the Tweet.
— Moriah Ratner (@moriahratner) January 31, 2017
I have learned how important it is to use media in Tweets in an efficient way that will ensure more engagement. It is interesting to try different techniques and see which one works best for what I am trying to convey in a Tweet.