Bradley Wilson: Twitter a prime source for news

Bradley Wilson, associate professor of mass communication, discusses Twitter analytics at Social Media Day.

Associate Professor Bradley Wilson kicked off the Social Media Day event with a lecture informing students how to use Twitter effectively with an audience of more than 60 people. Wilson explained the analytics of Twitter and discussed the creation of a successful tweet so students could better understand how to use Twitter successfully. The event was held in the Legacy Multipurpose room Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m.

“Social media is going to be around for a while,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t matter what the career is, social media is going to be a component of the job.”

Wilson said the most important take away from his lecture was the importance of being first, fair, and accurate. He said the Wichitan is more successful when using these tactics together instead of separately. Wilson gave examples of how this has affected the Wichitan’s Twitter throughout the last semester as well.

Alexis Matute, Harrold High School senior, said, “The lecture helped me understand how important it is to interact and get things out as quickly as possible.”

Twitter is used as one of the major sources for breaking news and that number is increasing. Wilson said the importance of the structure of a tweet and the analytics of twitter so the students could see how these factors affected the way their tweets and news were consumed.

Maggie Coates, Archer City High School junior, said, “I didn’t know you could analyze Twitter so much, and it was interesting to see how much it could help. It benefited me because I didn’t know how to set up a tweet in a way that would attract more views.”

Wilson said the keys to a successful tweet are calling people to action, engaging others with a mention, using a hashtag to create a common community of information, and including a picture to attract viewers.

“The lecture made me realize how important is it to understand what you are putting out there and to analyze that information because of how many people can see it,” Coates said.

The information Wilson relayed to the high school students and teachers urged them to think about how they could manage their own Twitter account for their high school yearbooks.

“The Harrold yearbook does not use Twitter,” Matute said. “But the speech gave us great ideas on how we could start.”

Wilson gave examples of how the Wichitan staff members have learned from tweets and the analytics Twitter provides throughout the entire lecture. The lecture provided insight to the Wichitan and the creative minds behind it.

“It’s time to stop thinking of social media as new media,” Wilson said. “It is just a part of what we do every day now. Part of what we do is analyze our successes and failures.  Twitter analytics is just one way of doing that.”

Mary Brown, homeschool teacher and mom said, “[The session] was a lot, and it was good. I’m not using Twitter and I do a lot of marketing, I’m a real estate agent so I do marketing and so I’m gonna start a Twitter account.”

Some attendees said they believe that Twitter is dying off, Wilson said that is not the case. Twitter use has leveled off in the last few years at about 70 million users. Wilson also addressed that politicians are using Twitter to spread news and information. Both candidates for state senate in Texas use twitter, as does President Donald Trump, who Wilson called the Twitterer-in-chief.

“I thought twitter was dying off, but I found out it’s just capped off,” Hare said.