Tweet Success: How to Dominate Twitter

Jan 27, 2011 10:21am

ABC News on Campus reporter Danielle Waugh blogs: In the Twitter hierarchy more followers typically means more clout, but that’s not the only measure of success. Sometimes having a conversation with your followers can mean more than the actual number of followers you have according to, a company that measures Internet influence. In a recent ranking, determined the most influential colleges on Twitter. Stanford University tops the list at 23,835 followers. So how did Syracuse University with only 4,715 followers land the #2 spot on the list, beating #3 Harvard with 31,130 followers? “Syracuse University has a very active social media presence, they engage with their community on a regular basis,” said Marketing Manager Megan Berry. When SU senior Adam Beilman was watching the SU-Villanova game from the student section in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, he tweeted: “someone with access to computer: what is #villanova shooting (%) from 3? #syracuse” He got a response from the official Syracuse University Twitter account: “@TheBeils Here's that stat you wanted. RT @suorangeempire Nova is 8-of-13 from the 3-point line. . .(.615).” It’s that kind of follower interaction that has made Syracuse University stand out. The rankings reflected Twitter followers, as well as re-tweets, @mentions, and listings. “We look at how engaged and influential your audience is and the likelihood your message will be amplified,” Berry said, explaining the scoring metric. “People are surprised when we actually respond to them,” said Kelly Lux, Communications Manager at Syracuse University. She says she often sees students @mention the SU Twitter account out of frustration, talking about issues with financial aid, the housing department, even a sidewalk that hasn’t been shoveled after a snow storm. “We respond and say ‘How can we help?’ and try to direct people to the right places,” Lux said. “We want our followers to know that we’re hearing them, and that there’s real people behind the Avatar.” The number of real people: four. Lux manages a Twitter team of three students that all work together on the account. From 9-5, Lux does all the tweeting. Into the night, the students work in shifts and are paid $10 an hour to Tweet for the University. Their goal is to not only make SU a leader in social media, but to also serve the growing number of students, alumni, and fans who rely upon social media to get their news. The SU Twitter feed includes job postings, news about current students and alumni, and weather updates. It’s a lot to keep up with, Lux says, and since being hired by the University to manage the Twitter account, she has “not entirely had a day off.” But she says the work is well worth it, especially after receiving the recent recognition. “It was thrilling to be ranked up there with Ivy League schools,” Lux said. “Where else would we want to be?” 

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