Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sophomore notes benefits of Twitter usage

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms. With over 500 million tweets per day, news spreads like wildfire. Whether you use Twitter for business or for personal reasons, the app allows for your name to receive exposure. Plus there are benefits to using Twitter as a high school student.

Kori Friesen | The Feather Online

Sophomore Braden Bell took over as the Twitter editor after Julian Castro, ’17, graduated.

Originally, each tweet was limited to 140 character but was recently changed to 280 characters per tweet. Information is limited, but meant to be quick and concise.

Every day, there is an expectation to cover a quota of all school events on the The Feather Twitter. As the official person in charge of the Twitter feed, the burden can be stressful.

My perspective of the app has changed over the years. Before joining the team, Twitter appeared as just an amusing app for people to find humorous jokes and to post their thoughts. However, after two years of involvement in The Feather, I have learned just how beneficial it really can become.

Whether to spread news, market articles, videos or photos or make a name for myself, it is important to hold a solid social media presence. 

The responsibility of Twitter was handed off to me after former Twitter editor Julian Castro, ‘17, graduated. Feather adviser Greg Stobbe was looking for someone with writing experience on the team who used the app and was willing to take on the job. After Castro explained the challenges and the benefits of it, I was intrigued.

He encouraged me to use social media because it would help me whenever I applied for colleges or a job. It would give recruiters a chance to see who I really am beyond the application. Castro also said it is very important to keep media platforms clean and professional. Through his experience, he told me colleges would look upon me as a risk without a clean social media feed.

In an effort to inform the campus, community and even the nation at times, I post as accurately and in real time as often as needed. Mistakes are inevitable and without an edit button, I am forced to copy the tweet, fix the error and go on to tweet on something else.

On occasions when a really important tweet is in the midst of being sent out, I send it to journalism adviser Greg Stobbe to check for any mistakes. Instead of him fixing the mistakes and publishing republishing it, he will send it back with the edit suggestions, allowing me to learn from my mistakes.

In the assumption of reaching a larger audience with tweets for community events such as ‘Kids Day,’ ‘Serve Day’ or San Joaquin Valley Town Hall require more attention. Value added information like dates, last year’s stats for comparison, background and history of a speaker and website URLs are just a few ways to provide perspective on current events.

For example, a few weeks ago, The Feather attended a journalism conference at Fresno City College for high schoolers. It was important to not only share information about the conference but also quotes, facts, photos and important details the staff learned from local media professionals.

The campus swarmed with excited students and local media reporters. Experts from various fields share insights into their careers. ABC30 reporter Graciela Moreno, former Fresno Bee exectutive editor Jim Boren and Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju, the organizer of the event and The Rampage adviser were some of the local professionals.

Through social media communication using multiple tweets before, during and after the event, The Feather was recognized by many of those local experts as retweets and likes, brought more attention to the our paper.  

The process of tweeting, retweeting, tagging and replying are all important because it shows interconnectivity between people and shows you can communicate. Twitter is a powerful and immediate way to network and build a personal profile.

The position is not always an easy ride. I constantly get texts from Stobbe asking where the tweets are for the day. Even though tweets can be created quickly, it takes time to get the information and double-check it is all correct before sending it out. Therefore, I push publishing off until I have a free moment, which is not the best habit to get into.

On occasion, by the time I publish the tweet, it is already hours after the event took place, totally defeating one of the main purposes of my job–to inform people in a timely manner.    

However, the benefits of using such a powerful tool like Twitter are great. Networking and communication in real time is extremely useful while for high school students, maintaining a clean, professional feed appears great to college recruiters. For more information on young adult social media use, visit Pew Research Center’s article, Social Media Use in 2018.

For more articles, check out The Avett Brothers perform with passion and Journalist Michael Pollan visits San Joaquin Valley Town Hall.

Braden Bell can be reached via twitter @bradendbell and via email.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Your voice is important to us. Share your opinion in the comment box located beneath the Related Posts section.