In doing this “Social Media Scavenger Hunt” I learned a lot about Twitter. I confess, I had gone into the assignment with a rather negative attitude towards the whole thing. However, I learned that Twitter isn’t just a depressing time suck filled with hatred and anger – there were still posts about Trump, but it was mostly news. Twitter can actually be very informative and helpful if you follow the right users and organizations, so I learned to have a more open attitude to different forms of social media.
In doing this assignment I still found some difficulty in creating interesting tweets for a few of the topics. The school spirit tweet proved to be the most difficult for me, maybe because I don’t tend to be particularly “spirited”, and this topic took the longest amount of time. I finally decided to just ask a student who works for MacEwan to tell me what school spirit meant to her, and after she told me she didn’t want a photo. This was a common predicament, I would get a quote from someone with their name and major (or position), and then they would ask to not have a photo taken. The issue of the camera-shy person forced me to be a little more creative when attaching photos to tweets, so I guess it was both a frustration and a learning moment.
Larger organizations use Twitter to give quick updates on news or upcoming events, so I came to understand how useful Twitter could be. I noticed the City of Edmonton tended to retweet more than the tweeted, while MacEwan was more of an “original-post poster”. Their two styles both had pros and cons, but I feel as though making original posts is a more effective way of tweeting as a large organization, since I found myself ignoring anything by the City of Edmonton, since I had typically already seen the original tweet on the other news accounts I follow. I think large organizations should focus more on making original tweets, and making them often (MacEwan could probably tweet more consistently). This would help the organization reach a larger audience, as well as make sure the audience that does follow them has a better chance of seeing the posts.
This is starting to make sense! Last semester I was introduced to Twitter. It felt clunky, disjointed, and the experience almost cost the destruction of one laptop (whole other story). This experience combined with some live tweeting in Introduction to Journalism has taught me the true power of Twitter with both marketing and reporting.
I found the most challenging aspects of the assignment to be overcoming my anxiety when engaging strangers. I’m glad the assignment took place within the institution so that I could cling to that fellowship. I felt it was a good first step in overcoming that specific road block. I’m only a few steps away from being able to handle streeters (at least that’s what i’m telling myself).
I read earlier today in our text book that an organization needs to be careful in determining their balance between community engagement and promotional posts. I can see the danger in getting caught up using Twitter for only promotional purposes. I think if Twitter is used properly an organization can find valuable feedback, provide customer service (quicker than people are used to), and get word of mouth working heavily in their favour. I would love to see MacEwan utilizing Twitter to offer on the fly Q&A to their customers (then provide a database and ultimately compose a booklet to give to new students).
I’ve noticed that our Mayors Twitter has started to pick up, most likely due to the success of Nenshi down in Calgary (I highly recommend following Nenshi). I find it great that I as a citizen can message the mayor and receive a response quickly. MacEwan needs to tweet more, vary when they tweet, or I need to follow less people.
Overall I had a wonderful time with this project and found it helpful in developing my tweeting skills.
No Tweets were harmed during the making of this blog.