Twitter Influence Through Strategy and Practice

Reviewing my Top 10 tweets, I discovered there were more impressions made than I anticipated, and some of the engagement was higher as well. Analyzing and implementing strategies and theories has changed the way I use social media and engage with others on Twitter, as well as other platforms.


For my first #FollowFriday, I featured Gail Bichler, Christoph Niemann, and Matt Willey. I wanted to reach out to Bichler and Willey since I admire their design work with the New York Times magazine, and they had just released a project with Niemann. He is an artist I discovered through Abstract, a series on Netflix and they collaborated on an interactive travel project. Complimenting their work while informing others of their accounts was a win win. Each one of them liked the tweet, and both Bichler and Willey commented on it. I didn’t include additional hashtags besides NHsmtp but if I had, I would have used the one for NYTimes, NYTmag, abstractsunday (which is Niemann’s account), GraphicDesign, Storytellers, and VisualStorytelling. I could also use an image from their latest cover. Through this post, there were 2,649 impressions and 88 engagement, plus Bichler followed me back. It gained five likes and one retweet.

What I learned from this first tweet of reaching out to influencers that I follow, is they will notice and if they respond, that’s a way to connect and perhaps have the chance to work with them in the future on a project…or simply continue learning from their contributions.


Yet another Follow Friday post stood out in my analytics. I wanted to engage with the podcast community, especially with the growth of this media platform. I researched podcasts through the Midroll company website and found Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir who created @forever35pod. The podcast was launched January 17, so I thought it was a good choice to reach out and perhaps create engagement around it.

It gained two likes with Spencer and Shafrir both liking it. The tweet created 800 impressions and 3 engagements. I chose a variety of hashtags that would connect people who are interested in health, habits, podcasts, and those who may be interested in others who follow this one. I should have included a media rich component, however, I’m not sure when to use the person’s own photo and if they are ok with that. It probabaly varies among users but I could look for images with usage rights. Brainstorming now, I think I could have found a meme with women acting out comedically, wearing a mud mask, or something entertaining.


During the Olympics, I chose to highlight the women’s USA hockey team, while using #ICYMI to recall the last time the team met Canada on the ice for a medal. That was four years prior. I had to look up the Canada hockey account to make sure I was referencing it correctly. It wasn’t as clear as USA’s account. For hashtags, I made sure to include the winter olympics and another with the year. I could have included one with the location of the past games and the current. At the time, I noticed there were many misspellings of Sochi and when searching #SochiOlympics, there wasn’t as much engagement as I envisioned. I’m not sure why I didn’t include that one but the account I retweeted did include #Sochi2014. The gif I included from the person’s account wasn’t as large as I had wanted, and it didn’t play unless you clicked on it. Still, it made 790 impressions, an engagement of 8, and three likes. This post led me to wanting to use #ICYMI more and experiment with using and even creating my own gifs.


As I continued #FollowFriday, I discovered more people who shared my interests through accounts I was already following. Also, through reaching out to individuals who I look up to, each with their own niche, it gave me the opportunity to thank them in a way.  In this tweet, I wanted to bring attention to The Sporkful, created by Dan Pashman, and Splendid Table, created by Francis Lam. I listen to both podcasts and started to follow the accounts on Twitter too. I wanted to share these podcasts for people looking for more food accounts, podcasts, and who were looking for food-related conversation in general.

This tweet made 634 impressions and 14 engagements. It gained four likes and one comment. My Klout score was around 33 as I had signed up a few days after this post. This tweet helped boost that score since it went down soon after. What left the most impact for me was when Francis Lam commented and mentioned how he loves The Sporkful. Dan Pashman then thanked him. It was interesting to see two people who I reached out to converse with each other on my thread. Since this tweet was posted near the end of January, I began using more hashtags. I would have included #Storytellers, #Food, #Eaters (since Pashman uses this over the term foodies), and #FoodPodcasts, in addition to using #Podcasts like I had.


In this Follow Friday tweet, I wanted to work with the engagement from the Piglet 2018 competition that Food52 runs. There are food writers, at-home cooks, chefs, and overall inspiring individuals in the food community. I tagged two writers who were featured in the competition who I’d like to connect with and begin a more consistent conversation. Collaborating with individuals like Samin Nosrat and John Taylor, an author and wine blogger are the most influential accounts who liked this tweet. I made sure to include #piglet18  which Food52 uses, as well as the title of both cookbooks, and a few others that I saw would be most searched in a community like this. It made 539 impressions and an engagement of 12, recording 6 likes. The tweet I followed it with on the same thread, had a photo including both cookbooks which made it more media rich. That tweet gained five likes. My Klout score peaked from 31.90 to 33.24 on March 5, three days after I posted this tweet. I think users were searching for the Piglet18 hashtag and competition.

I use the hashtag storytellers as well to be consistent in some tweets as I hope to engage with more of the writing, documentary, film, and podcast communities. I included hashtags: CookingSchool, BookClub, CollectorsItem, and Recipes. These choices will engage with readers and those who are looking for inspiration and new cookbooks.


In class we had talked about using Tweet Deck and I wanted to be consistent with checking it. Not only to use it more effectively but to be aware of trending hashtags and topics. I appreciate learning and practicing with this tool. Searching for trending hashtags, I found #IdRatherWalkOnLegos. This one continued to be trending for hours whereas the ones I looked at the day before had lost popularity quicker. I chose being thought of as a know-it-all as the painful metaphor for the hashtag, and it made me think of Hermione. I wanted a gif that would gain attention and also be entertaining. There are Harry Potter fans engaging constantly on Twitter, so I wanted to connect with them.

I had also seen that an account made for Professor Snape (@_snape_) a character in that book and movie series, had used the lego hashtag that morning. I wanted to continue with the Harry Potter referencing. I used a hashtag for Hermione but could have included one for Harry Potter. I also went with more phrase hashtags relating to why I chose the comparison. It made 394 impressions and had an engagement of 9. It gained five likes and one retweet. I believe some of these measurements would be higher if I posted earlier in the day when it was trending more and if I included a hashtag for Harry Potter. I did see the importance of posting immediately when using trending topics and hashtags specifically.


As I studied trends and researched experts in Klout, I wanted to reach women in food, from editing and writing to those teaching cooking classes and leading workshops. I had been following Kat Kinsman but hadn’t replied to any of her tweets before taking this social media course. I follow Kate Hill on Instagram but had not connected on Twitter. Initially, there wasn’t interaction between us, and it didn’t seem like either of them saw the tweet. On March 7, Hill commented on the tweet, saying she was honored to be in Kinsman’s company and had seen her at an IACP event. Kinsman then replied to the tweet saying she had just then seen the tweet and also thanked Hill. Seeing an interaction between two people I reached out to adds meaning and leaves impressions, beyond analytics.

Since then, I have interacted more with them, especially Kinsman, and have also discovered more influencers through her account. I focused on specific hashtags that I felt would connect with people in their communities as well as drawing in more engagement for them. If I were to add more, I would include #KitchenatCamont, where Hill leads classes, #HiAnxiety, Kinsman’s book, #Food, and #CulinaryAdventures. (Hill refers to this in some of her posts.)

Impressions were 269, with 12 engagements recorded. There were three likes and two comments on this thread. I didn’t respond after their comments but will next time I interact with them on a post.


After testing out #ICYMI in one assignment, featured above, I wanted to test it out again. Our professor, Jennifer Grygiel, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times and even weeks later, it was still relevant and useful in studying the use of memes among political parties. I didn’t engage with the posts that had shared this piece the first few days, however, I wanted to revisit it and see what engagement may create.

In case people missed this opinion piece when it was published, this provided another chance to connect and create impressions. It made 268 impressions and had 8 engagements. Although it didn’t gain any likes, it was retweeted once. With it being around two weeks after it was posted, I felt this was a successful post and more people found it. I would now consider posting it around 2:30 or 3 p.m., when it seems to be a time of day when more people are engaging on Twitter. I didn’t add more hashtags since the post was appearing to be longer than usual, especially with the media rich image the New York Times had chosen. If I were to add more hashtags, I’d include #NYTimes, #SyracuseU, #SocialStrategy, and definitely #Meme. That last one is a must.


As a class, we talked about social media in real life and since then, I have discovered photos, images, posters, engravings, and a number of formats which act as social media. Learning to look at how we, as individuals, are impacted by words and images in a variety of spaces, as we’re using more technology, interacting with others in person and engaging through IRL social media offers more meaningful impressions. I chose this framed poster since it was an older style advertisement, with a scene that was interesting. I was curious how interpretations or feelings about it would vary. I used hashtags that would cite the place and brand. Looking back now, I would include #VintageAds, #PubDecor, #Pub, and #GraphicDesign to connect artists, regulars of this pub and others, as well as those looking for a place to try or who are interested in pubs.

There were 243 impressions and 17 engagements, with one like and one comment from someone who had been there recently. This was posted around 4 p.m. on a Saturday which is a time that may attract users but I may try slightly earlier or after 7 p.m. Also, posting earlier on a Saturday, could attract those at brunch when more people may be tweeting and engaging with others.


For our highlighting tweet, I wanted to share something meaningful and timely. Being able to not only help continue conversation about race, gender, and inclusion on Syracuse University’s campus, but to also reference a published essay that a classmate and friend wrote, was a privilege. I had never used the highlighting option and being able to show media in the form of her article, while choosing the words I wanted to be seen the most, was an effective tool. The essay had been shared by Glamour magazine two times from what I saw and also by it’s editor-in-chief, Samantha Barry. Choosing to tweet while it was picking up engagement, as this case on campus continues to invite conversation, continued to spread this meaningful discourse.

The impressions were recorded at 213, which is lower than some but I think time of day could have helped. I posted it between 1 and 2 p.m. so I wonder if I tried earlier before noon or later after 3 p.m. if that would have peaked more. The engagement reached 15, and I think if I had replied with another comment, including a media rich photo of Camille Nzengung or a photo of campus, it would have gained more. It received 7 likes. I wanted to use more hashtags, including #Inclusion, #NewhouseSU, #CampusDiversity, and #glamourmag, but I reached my limit. Uploading my photo took up characters, so that could have been fixed. I learned from that mistake.

Closing Thoughts

As the semester ends, my Klout score went down some but is still higher than where I started in January, at 33.57. I am currently measured at 35.19, and my highest score was 38.54 on April 11, 2018. The score stayed close to 38 for the first half of April. My Klout score peaked on March 14 even though I didn’t post on that day. I had tweeted two days prior, which featured IRL social media of a poster I saw in an elementary school music room. It gained some attention and most likely was the cause of the spike to 36.73. The score peaked again, measuring 38.15 on April 1, two days after I posted with #FollowFriday. I mentioned a visual journalism company and a filmmaker, including hashtags: film, documentaries, FieldofVision (the company), and the name of one of the person’s films, which he had been promoting. The highest score I had was measured at 38.54 on April 11. I posted a photo of my dog, Chase, with text overlay and included the hashtag for National Pet Day. This is fitting since pets often gain attention on social media and connect people who not only loved their pets but also reach those who may not be an owner but engage on Twitter with various hashtags and accounts focusing on animals.

Overall, I have observed that the more consistent I am on Twitter, engaging with those I follow and those who engage with me, that it is beneficial, especially with Klout. My percent gain for followers is currently 110. Consistency with presence on this platform also helps with maintaining and growing influence, no matter how high the numbers may spike. Influence allows us to engage with others who we may not have connected with otherwise. Being aware of impressions, engagements, and Klout activity, helps us find ways to be more effective in our communication on Twitter. The measurement process guides us in carrying out our concept, using strategy, learning and experimenting with tacts, implementing it, and making time to analyze what is working and what can be improved on. I look forward to connecting with more people and continuing to grow engagement on various topics with posts and threads that may impact each individual differently, but will still leave impressions.

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