Hyrum and Garrett’s MacEwan Scavenger Hunt

See the Tweets here!

Garrett’s blog response:

One of the most difficult parts of this assignment for me was using Twitter to begin with. I don’t usually use Twitter or even social media in general, so I wasn’t one hundred percent confident or comfortable using it. However, the more I used it, the more intuitive I thought it was. While still not my favorite social media tool, I can see why people like it so much.

In order to help publicize itself more, MacEwan University could use Twitter to announce current or upcoming events. Not only that, but it could also encourage its students to make more tweets about MacEwan itself. They could then collect the positive tweets and combine them in a large Storify post to demonstrate the collective school spirit of the students.

As of now, it seems that MacEwan does use the former technique, and it seems to be working. Right now, its most popular tweets involve the ones relating to things the wider world seems to care about like the musical guests at Fall Fest and women’s soccer. However, if MacEwan wanted to reach even broader audiences, it should probably adapt a less formal stance. It should reblog more tweets from students and make replies that are more humorous. By doing so, MacEwan will make itself look more approachable, and thus earn more subscribers and interest from outside sources.

Hyrum’s blog response:

I found the most challenging element of the Social Media project to be creating a unique post every single time. It felt very tempting to slip into a structural habit: name, program, quote, hashtag, post a full body shot to make it interesting. I did my best to shake it up with my tweets. I wanted each picture to be unique and applicable to the text. For example, when I tweeted about the “watering hole”, I asked my subject to grab a piece of food while I snapped the photo. In another, I added the quote directly to the picture in order to save character space in the tweet.

However, my most popular posts didn’t have a specific person in them at all. More people responded when I garnished my post with cool information about campus. In my Tower Gardens tweet, I briefly shared the mission of the project, snapped a picture of the garden, and made sure to mention MacEwan’s own Twitter account so they would see it. Of all my posts, this one received the most positive responses.

That was another technique I found to be effective: mentioning external organizations so they and their followers could see my post as well. I find many public organizations do the same thing in order to reach a wider audience. Celebrities do it to each other all the time; people love it when their favourite celebrities talk to each other. I mentioned Tyler Shaw, a popular singer, in my post about Fall Fest, and he returned the favour by liking the post.

As for the text itself, I found word choice to be incredibly important. In order to get my message across in the fewest words possible, each word had to precisely reflect my meaning. For example, in my Tower Gardens post, I could have said, “in the parts of MacEwan that aren’t being used for other things”, but I saved space and made the post more interesting by simply saying, “in otherwise wasted space”. This is important to remember in all forms of communication, but especially when publicizing organizations, because readers scroll through text that isn’t precise and to the point.

This assignment hasn’t convinced me to start using Twitter again, but it definitely made me think about the advantages of social media and the ways celebrities and organizations reach out to people.

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