Intro to Social Media Week 4 Lecture Response

Week 4 Lecture Response

            This week, our lecture focused on the social media platform that in my opinion is the most intriguing, Twitter.  Twitter is the town square of social media and allows users to come together to discuss anything and everything.  The great thing about Twitter in my opinion is that it allows users to be as engaged as they would like to be or also an unengaged.  Users can choose to follow whoever they would like and can choose to keep their engagement through Twitter to exclusively reading tweets of those they follow.  However, Twitter also allows users to read tweets on common topics through the use of hashtags and analytics that show what users are talking about.  One of the great things we learned about Twitter during the lecture is that anything can go viral, and that I believe is one of the most powerful aspects of Twitter.

            The example of the Aaron Hernandez brick being removed on the UF campus is an example of how material can go viral.  A professor simply tweeted a picture of the tile being removed and though he did not have a huge amount of followers, the tweet was eventually picked up on a national broadcast and discussed on multiple networks.  THAT is the power of Twitter.  A tweet can go viral simply by being retweeted by enough followers.  An individual then, does not have to have thousands or even millions of followers to create viral content if the content is good enough, as was the example of the tile. 

            Our lecture also gave advice for gaining followers and increasing engagement on Twitter.  One of the early pieces of advice was to ask questions and to respond to other questions.  By asking questions, we allow others to share their thoughts on our questions and hopefully publish their thoughts on our questions to their timeline.  Once our tweet or question has made it on someone else’s feed, we too become a part of their feed and possibly exposed to many new people who we may not have previously had the opportunity to engage with.  The ideal would be that a new person responds to our question as a result of seeing the question on someone else’s twitter feed. 

            Tweets still need to be composed of good content, however, and this is the aspect of the lesson that I found myself the most intrigued with.  Even if an individual is not part of a larger business or looking to sell something personally, they still need to define their voice if they are going to be successful on Twitter.  Only celebrities have the luxury of being able to tweet mindless things and have followers engage with them.  The rest of us must decide what purpose we are going to serve on Twitter and should create content that reflects that purpose. 

My engagements on Twitter, personally, have so far been rather interesting and I look forward to exploring the service.  In my spare time, I use Twitter to engage with friends and share content that I personally find interesting, but I need to understand that just because I feel it is interesting, doesn’t mean that others will as well.  If I would like to build a Twitter following, I need to find a voice and try to stick with it.

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