Semester of Social Media

Social Media. What is it good for?

I mean other than posting some killer selfies on Instagram or venting about sleeping through your first class on Twitter. What benefits does it offer?

When I was a senior in high school, I took a journalism class and he forced everybody in the class to make a Twitter.

“You don’t have to use it,” he said.  “But I encourage you all to learn how to use Twitter, because you will use it so much in this profession.”

I looked at him and thought of only two things: Bull. Shit.

And naturally, I was wrong.

And then after hearing again at the start of this semester of the wonders of Twitter, I thought to myself, okay, I need to get out there more. So I spent most of my time this semester trying to expand my presence on Twitter.

Over the semester I have gained some followers to my Twitter account. *Cough cough* shameless Twitter account plug *cough cough* It was not all at once, but I found that gaining followers was focused around one main thing: being present.

If I tweeted 8 times a day, I might gain a follower or two. If I tweeted once or not all, I got squat. I also found that Tweeting many times a day over several days lead to even more followers. But this is almost common sense: the more I tweet the more my name is out there the more people might read my stuff and like it and then BAM they follow you. Okay no it is not that simple, but it something along those lines I am sure.

I also found that I got more favorites on things that we’re funny/ embarrassing. For example, the time I got a boot on my car because paying parking tickets are hard.

It was a struggle, but I got seven favorites and two retweets. Well wort the price of the tickets.

I tried to apply this kind of humor to tweets about the news, or event coverage I was doing. Anything journalistic, newsy or serious that I found most students would just scroll over on their timeline. Because lets face it, most college kids don’t read the New York Times everyday, but if you tweet their headlining with a funny caption, people might stop, laugh, and then be more inclined to read it.

I did this a little bit when I went to go see Ann Curry speak at Stony Brook a few weeks ago. I tried to make the tweets a little humorous so that students would want to follow my live coverage of the event and then, just maybe, become informed on things they didn’t know before. (disclaimer: there is cursing. I hope that’s okay for class.)

Stuff like this got me more favorites and retweets than if I wrote something without humor or without any spice.

Hopefully I will continue to grow in followers, spreading the words of journalism, and my own stupidity, one tweet at a time.

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