Thick Tweets Yield Results

Silver’s concept of thick and thin tweets, while somewhat common sense, is something so many of us didn’t know or think about. Which is interesting, given that much of our generation is being hired as interns solely to run a company’s social media. We don’t always think the technology we utilize. For most of our lives, we’ve been handed the mouse/remote/controller and left to explore. Everything seems to be made just simplistic enough that we usually don’t have to stop and scrutinize the technology. I think this is very true for Twitter. I personally am a very lazy twitter user, leaving for months at a time and then reemerging, and typing out a few blah tweets. The fact that I wasn’t following many of my peers really lessened the stakes. It didn’t matter to me if I was coming across as cool enough or if I had followers. Whereas Facebook is often this contest, my experience with Twitter was far more low key.

However, I have a few experiences where tweets directed at celebrities actually resulted in interactions. Last fall, I was at the Rome Film Festival, standing near the red carpet during the Hunger Games Catching Fire premiere. It was insane, it turns out Italian teenage girls are just as loud as American girls.

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After Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have passed and gone further down the carpet, I look across from and see Eli Roth. He’s being interviewed so instead of yelling to him, I tweet at him.

 eli roth

I really didn’t expect anything from it, because again I put so little stock in Twitter, but the next day I discover that he retweeted me. And I gained 9 followers, solely for that reason.  I think Silver makes an excellent point about crafting an eye catching tweet. He encourages his students “to use 140 characters or less to compose a thick tweet that is so compelling that no reader in his or her right mind can avoid clicking the link.” I was doing this to some extent, and I didn’t even realize it. Primarily, I just wanted the celebrity’s attention. In retrospect, a hastag and even the handle of Rai Movie would’ve been even better. Regardless, there is great value in layering our tweets with different dimensions of information.

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One comment

  1. Your observation about social contests on Facebook versus Twitter is so spot on. I feel like when it comes to Facebook the platform is almost a necessity in order to keep in touch with long distance friends and family members, but Twitter is much more low key and laid back. I personally don’t see my number of Tweets or followers as a reflection of who I am and although I’d like to say the same is applied to Facebook, there’s a teeny tiny part of me that knows that isn’t true. It’s weird to think how a certain number of profile picture likes can make someone feel better about themselves. It reminds me of MySpace and its use of “Top Friends.” Definitely interesting to see how psychology is beginning to play a major role in social media.

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