For me, personally, the most challenging part of this assignment was getting out of my comfort zone and actually approaching strangers. I am naturally an awkward person, but once I am outside my comfort zone, it’s very easy for me to be personable with people. This assignment reminded why I do want to pursue some kind of communications/social media career. I enjoy challenges, and I will do anything that pushes me outside my awkward comfort zone — or forces me to embrace my awkwardness.
Prior to this assignment, I did have my personal Twitter, however, I never used it for much more than retweeting funny quotes or memes. This assignment made me understand that Twitter isn’t the confusing monstrosity with no real purpose after all other than a chuckle. Through my peers’ tweets, I’ve learned that the University is full of hidden gems and full of even more amazing people. In publicizing all the positives and quirks that sets MacEwan apart from other universities, I think it really helps future students see MacEwan as more than just an educational institute with colourless walls and tired students. Twitter, and this assignment specifically, helps to breathe life into the university. It’s almost like a bit of MacEwan propaganda, but less Hitler, more Captain America.
I think the most effective techniques are making your tweets as relatable as possible and your photos as eye-catching as possible. For example, I noticed that my introductory tweet in which I shamelessly stated my procrastination on this assignment received a positive response. Similarly, one of my peers’ more scenic photographs of the campus received a lot of positive feedback as well. The only improvement I could see making a difference in how much exposure and feedback a company gets would be to also reply to tweets. I saw that when I would reply to a tweet or retweet someone else’s post, that gave my profile more exposure which resulted in a couple more retweets or likes on my posts. I think companies often don’t reply to users because of time. The time it would take them to reply could be spent creating another tweet, but in reality, it’s not about the amount of tweets a company has, but rather the amount of followers. If it were my company or organization, I would rather have more followers than likes simply because that means more people care about the content I am creating and are following my company’s activities online.
I find it hard to communicate with people I have never met before; I have always been socially awkward and an extreme introvert. One of the reasons being that I am an only child, and never really had anyone to talk to. Most of the time I keep to myself to avoid drama.
That being said, if Alycia and I weren’t paired up for the assignment, it would have been really difficult for me to complete it. Approaching people on the streets and in the hallways of the school and asking to take their pictures? That is definitely something I really cannot imagine myself doing easily. This assignment, however, made me see that it is not that hard to approach someone and start a conversation.
I never used Twitter before this assignment. I did have a twitter account just because everyone else had one, but I did not make use of it. One of the reasons why I did not use my twitter account was because I never really understood it. I never understood the concept of people posting what they were doing or about to do every second of the day, but through this assignment I was able to see that there is so much more to Twitter. This assignment has helped me learn more about Grant MacEwan University. For example, the post about the little garden at the end of the spiral staircase. I must have passed that particular staircase about a million times and still had no idea that there was a little garden at the bottom of the stairs.I have been at this school for two years now, and I really did not know much about the school — mostly because I only go from class to class and the library. Even if I had classes in different buildings, I really didn’t go anywhere except my class. I have learnt that there is more to the school than is shown on the surface and it makes me willing to learn more about it.
It was really fun to see other people’s post, and to see them liking my posts too. And the idea of having a limit of the number of characters you can use in a tweet, makes one think of short and more creative ways of writing precisely. Being able to relay your message clearly with a small amount of words challenges a person, in a way. From now on, I will be using twitter more frequently as it is a medium to learn from and be learnt from.