When tasked with measuring my social influence, I have to admit, I felt a lot of pressure. I began asking myself questions that would never cross my mind offline: What if I didn’t make enough friends? What if my impressionability is low? What if no one is really engaging with me? But as my numbers began to appear in Twitter Analytics, SocialRank and Klout, I was happily surprised and the task began to feel more human than I thought. It’s really about putting yourself out there and trying to engage with as many people as possible.
When I initially benchmarked my numbers I had 69 Twitter followers and a Klout Score of 36. Since then my Twitter has increased by 55 followers putting me at 124 and my Klout Score is now at 46. I employed a number of strategies to bump up these scores. My most useful strategy was the hashtag. Adding a simple hashtag to reach a particular community was instrumental in my success. I began gaining likes and follows almost instantaneously after I posted. I also found it useful to include a photo, meme, gif, or other rich media in the post. This often increased both likes and engagement.
I have included my top 10 tweets to demonstrate some of these strategies:
1. Here’s a photo of myself and Joy Reid at the Newhouse Lecture series. I tagged @JoyReid and @NewhouseSU to engage with both Joy’s and Newhouse’s followers. I also included #JournalismMatters which is a tweet encouraged by the Newhouse community.
Thank you @JoyAnnReid for coming to @NewhouseSU. I was in awe of your brilliance and advice. All I could say when I got up close was, “Selfie?” But thank you for being a model for what fearless journalism looks like. You are an inspiration. #JournalismMatters pic.twitter.com/4vAtEJ25QG
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) April 4, 2018
This tweet received around 1500 likes and 130 retweets. My impressions were 148,862, while total engagement was at 2,766. A lot of this post’s success is owed to Joy Reid because she has an insane following and not only did she like the post, but she commented on it. This helped tremendously, in addition to @Newhouse and #Journalism Matters. This post most definitely contributed to my Klout score considering the high engagement and the fact that 254 people clicked on my profile which contributed to many of my new followers.
2. This is something I posted hoping to brighten people’s day. Not many people can ignore the laugh and smile of a cute baby. I know I couldn’t.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) March 29, 2018
This post had 45 likes and 21 retweets. It also had 33,199 impressions and a total engagement of 110. The account that originally posted this video is called Black and Proud and seeing that they were my most valuable follower through SocialRank I knew they would engage with me. They retweeted this post and I remember gaining several new followers afterwards.
3. This was a tweet I used for our #Voice assignment where we were tasked with sending out a tweet that mimicked the voice of someone else we liked or followed. I picked Lauren Duca. She is an incredibly smart journalist, creator of Thigh High politics on Teen Vogue and most notably recognized for her article “Trump is Gaslighting America.” Duca is known for calling people on their nonsense and I wanted to give it a try.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) February 5, 2018
So here I engaged with a popular company, @Doritos which had just been trending after proudly announcing their new “lady friendly” bag of Doritos. While the post only received 3 likes, it had 754 impressions and a total engagement of 59.
4. In this post I definitely took advantage of my dog’s likability and cuteness.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) February 22, 2018
This tweet got 13 likes, 572 impressions and an overall engagement of 59. This tweet was successful partially because my dog is cute, but also because I used #puppies. Had I included a few more hashtags, these numbers would have been even higher.
5. So I thought I’d try the post again later using more hashtags to see whether or not this increased my engagement and likability.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) March 5, 2018
Overall the post stayed the same. This time I added #dogsoftwitter #pupper #love and I received 5 likes, 510 impressions and an overall engagement of 11. While this post may not have done as well as the initial puppy post, using these hashtags did increase my follower count. Soon after, puppy lover accounts began to follow me.
6. This was one of the first GIFs I created for the class.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) January 28, 2018
This post had 5 likes, 396 impressions and overall engagement of 17. I think it did relatively well, but using @TeenVogue or #activist would have easily bumped up the scores.
7. This was by far my favorite GIF.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) February 28, 2018
Overall, the post did well. I played off a trending hashtag, #IdRatherWalkBarefootOverLegos, to engage with a broader audience. I also used #lazy to try to get more reach. This post received 5 likes, 375 impressions and an overall engagement of 12. Had I gotten the GIF to autoplay, I think these numbers would have been higher, especially the engagement number.
8. In this post I tried to engage with my most engaged follower @cnzengun according to SocialRank. I knew that she often posted about fashion and would mostly likely find this piece entertaining.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) March 29, 2018
It was partially successful because @cnzengun did engage with me, both liking and commenting on the post, but no one else did. The post had 370 impressions and overall engagement of 7. I attribute these low numbers to the lack of hashtags in my post. I was so focused on engaging with one follower that I didn’t consider what might draw in the others. Even just adding #fashion #Vogue or @Vogue most likely would have increased the performance of this post.
9. I tweeted this one out as a fun post to show my personality. Anyone who knows me knows I love chicken nuggets, so I thought this was perfect.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) February 19, 2018
This post had a total of 2 likes, 323 impressions and overall engagement of 25. I think the numbers were low because of improper tagging and hashtags. I used #ICYMI which was a good strategy to draw attention. But, I could have included #chickennugget #nuggets #chicken #London or even tagged the festival in the post.
10. In this post, I tried to engage with a writer that I admire at Vanity Fair @mekosoff.
— Alexis Jones (@itsAlexisJ) March 1, 2018
This post didn’t perform particularly well with only 1 like, 276 impressions and an overall engagement of 3. This was earlier on in my twitter growth and I think I was still struggling with gaining visibility. I’m not sure the #ICYMI was the right hashtag for this one. I could have tried #feminism or #voting both of which are pretty popular.
Overall, this assignment and analysis has shown me how to build a presence on Twitter. It has also given me the confidence I needed to feel comfortable sharing my thoughts, opinions, and passions on social media. I realize now that there’s nothing to be afraid of because whatever I’m tweeting about there’s a hashtag to match and an entire group of people that agree—and even if they don’t agree, that’s okay too.