Going into this assignment I had very little experience using Twitter. I would consider myself a casual user of Twitter, as I never quite took the time to try and understand it. I would like to call myself fairly technologically savvy, so I took it upon myself to master this medium as best as I could in a short period of time. One of the most challenging obstacles that I encountered in this assignment was generating a tweet within the 140-character limit. I find that I tend to ramble on and I try to be as grammatically correct as I can be when I write – essentially everything that you should avoid when composing a tweet! I may not be an expert on Twitter yet, but I feel I am heading in the right direction.
There were definitely some fundamental lessons that I learned through this project. I can see how utilizing Twitter can draw attention and awareness to organizations and causes. Properly hashtagging a post can peak the interest of your target audience. For example, the use of the hashtag, #MacEwanU, in one of my tweets garnered a like from the official Twitter account of MacEwan. The proper execution of tweeting, along with maintaining an active online presence on Twitter, can go a long way to publicize an organization or cause.
MacEwan University’s Twitter page is an excellent student resource that – until this project – I wouldn’t have thought of utilizing. There is an abundance of information about what is going on in and around campus. MacEwan maintains an active role on Twitter and is constantly tweeting about what is happening with various clubs; providing updates on the many extracurricular activities going on around campus; tweeting reminders about important deadlines and dates for students; and so on. I couldn’t find too many weaknesses or pitfalls on their Twitter page; however, they could improve their communication back and forth between their followers. There is some back and forth, but there is always room for improvement.
Overall, I had a great time with this project and enjoyed working with my partner as we navigated the halls of MacEwan and the Twitterverse! Team #AbbyBrae for the win, or should I say #FTW.
The Social Media Scavenger hunt was fun and interesting. As a frequent tweeter, it was interesting to create tweets with a purpose. Typically, I tweet what I think will be best received by my followers, but in this case, I tweeted what was required.
The most challenging part of the assignment was finding students at MacEwan University who fit the criteria we were looking for. Braedon and I normally had an idea of what we thought would make an interesting tweet, and then we set out to find someone or something who fit that criteria. Sometimes, finding that person or thing was harder than we thought it would be.
Twitter is an challenging medium to work with. In the non-profit, for profit, municipal, and post-secondary organizations I’ve worked for, Twitter is consistently the less popular medium compared to Facebook and Instagram. Creating content for Twitter is time-consuming; however, there are a few rules of thumb that can be utilized to increase engagement and reach.
In my experience, tweets with external handles, hashtags, and pictures are more popular and well-received. In most of our tweets, Braedon and I used handles, pictures, and hashtags. Other successful techniques include the use of emojis, polls, and gifs – but, we didn’t experiment with these tactics.
As we mentioned in class, Twitter is having an identity crisis. While this is mostly negative, it provides organizations, like MacEwan University and the City of Edmonton, with the opportunity to use Twitter to target a wide variety of audiences. For instance, MacEwan University CDEL’s target audience is students and the Town of Stony Plain’s (a small municipality outside of Edmonton) target audience is middle-aged residents, businesses, and individuals in municipal government. The tactics MacEwan University CDEL and the Town of Stony Plain use are largely dependent on their target audience. MacEwan University CDEL uses emojis, gifs, and funny pictures more often than the Town of Stony Plain, which tweets news releases, community events, and informational content. Because I work for MacEwan CDEL and I worked for the Town of Stony Plain over the summer, creating the social media content for both, I can make suggestions based on qualitative and quantitative data. But, I’m in no place to critique how the City of Edmonton utilizes their Twitter account because I’m not familiar with the behind-the-scenes information. The one and only recommendation I can offer is to tweet more frequently. Twitter accounts are invisible unless they tweet multiple times a day.