Social Media Metrics: Reflections

Prior to last week’s class discussion of social media analytics and metrics, I had only a general idea of its value and what it was used for. The only time I heard of the term was in an online Adobe Dreamweaver course I took a year ago; I had to insert Google Analytics into a website I created. Being an online class, I never thoroughly understood what it was for except to observe the kind of traffic my website was receiving. My lesson was brief so I didn’t think much of it, although I did know Google Analytics was important and beneficial. I just didn’t understand why.

In terms of social media, I now know why. In class, Dr. Hether discussed the four components of social media metrics: exposure, engagement, influence, and action. I found these concepts interesting, especially when using a platform like Twitter.

Coincidently the day before Dr. Hether’s lesson, I had the idea of metrics in the back of my mind without even realizing it when I attempted to promote a tweet. For those who don’t know me that well, I’m a web editor for a new online literary magazine that showcases stories, essays, poetry, and art pieces that people have submitted and the magazine has selectively published. The newest issue was released last Monday and I wanted to reach as many people as I could. I tweeted the link once, keeping in mind the best hashtags to use. One of the essayists saw my link and retweeted me, adding how excited she was to have her essay included. I did the same to her tweet by adding my own commentary.

I then asked myself, how could I reach more people? Since I followed a lot of comic writers, who in turn have fans that are aspiring creative writers in general, I reached out to one of my favorite writers, Scott Snyder.

Scott is a rising star in the comic world, but aside from this, he’s a creative writing teacher at two colleges. Having followed him for a while, I know he’s passionate about helping writers break into the business. Considering he has 28.9K followers, I figured I could reach more people if he retweeted me. Therefore I tweeted him with this exact tweet: Can I get a RT to showcase some great writers and poets? Your aspiring writer fans can submit pieces too (link).

Hours later, he retweeted me. Though what made it greater was that he didn’t simply press the retweet button. He actually typed out “RT” and shortened my tweet so that his profile picture showed rather than mine. Thus, people reading his tweets from “lists” would still see his retweet. By putting his face on the tweet, it gave my tweet more authority. From there, three of his fans retweeted him.

Now how many people my tweet reached and influenced through Scott’s retweet, I can’t say, but it’s definitely interesting to think about. From this incident with Scott and from Dr. Hether’s lesson, I’m more excited than ever to use social media metrics and analytics. While I didn’t necessarily look at the metrics of my tweet with Scott using an actual service like Google Analytics or Klout, I told the story only to reflect on the concepts of metrics.

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One response

  1. Wow, that’s a great example of you also thinking strategically about how you could earnestly leverage the power of social media and peer-to-peer communication to spread your message!

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