For those of you whom followed my previous blogs or social media content, you may recall that last year I went on a tweet storm regarding Rob Pattinson, the Twilight Saga’s love interest. It started out quite innocuously with a simple tweet comparing him to a goldfish. But the more I thought about it, the more perturbed I became, especially as he seemed to be doing nothing to quell my concerns.
I was not alone in my discontent. His fan-base had apparently been incensed at what they perceived as his indifference towards them and his actions on social media. But what did the Twi-hard community want from him? What were they using his platform for? What was his role as a supposed “bad boy” celebrity? Those were some of the questions that gnawed at me as I became increasingly bothered by his lack of engagement with his audience on social media.
As a result, I ended up writing an entire blog post analyzing his social media behavior and the motivations of his rabid fanbase. The blog post was published in December 2017 and received a lot of attention. Even now, a year later, people are still talking about it, as you can see from the number of times this blog post has been shared on social media.
It’s been a busy year for Pattinson. He married Lizzy Caplan in a private ceremony in Ireland in March and they are already planning their family. He wrapped the last leg of the Twilight Saga with the critically acclaimed series All The Money in the World and recently finished filming on the highly anticipated movie King George. So while I’ve been away on holiday, he’s been busy!
But I’m certain that he’s been thinking about me, his audience, and my concerns about him. So while it’s been a busy year for Rob, it’s also been a productive one, and now I’d like to ask him some questions about his year and reflect on our year together.
Reflecting On A Year Of Twitter
As I’ve been sitting here writing this, I’ve been thinking back on all the events that transpired last year on social media. It’s been quite a ride and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it. Twitter, in particular, has been an exciting platform to explore and document my thoughts, observations, and interest in social media marketing, strategy, and behavior. I’ve just finished a course on social media ethics with Oxford University and it has given me a greater insight into why people behave the way they do on social media. It’s not always about getting attention, but it is, in many cases, about having an impact, expressing an opinion, or leaving a mark. And I think that’s something that resonates with Rob and his fans, too.
Before last year, I was only marginally interested in social media. It was more of a passing curiosity. I was envious of people who were able to utilize social media to effectively spread their message, engage with their audience, and establish their authority. But I never really questioned why they were so popular or sought after. Now, I see it as a vital part of any brand or business’s arsenal and an essential tool in today’s media landscape. It can be a powerful medium and, as a result of Rob’s year of TMI, I feel that I’ve gained a better understanding of how it all works and why it is so important.
What Has Twitter Been For You, Personally?
Last year made an incredible and life-changing impact on me. Not only did it allow me to explore a topic that I’d always been curious about, but it also allowed me to connect with like-minded people interested in social media and the fashion industry. Through Twitter, I’ve been able to find my community and support system, as well as engage with people who’ve become some of my closest friends. It’s been incredible.
Twitter has been my favorite social media platform because it’s the one that I use the most. I think that the reason behind that is that it’s the most accessible, the most democratic, and the most fun. You might think that the last two points contradict each other, but they don’t. When you want to have a conversation with someone, you can do so directly through Twitter, without having to go through a series of awkward introductions. Additionally, I love how you can be as creative as you want to be on the platform and you don’t have to worry about fitting some nebulous “brand voice” when you write your tweets. The only rule is that you have to be 140 characters or less, so it’s the perfect place for short and snappy remarks. Finally, I love how open and accessible Twitter is. If you have an account, you can access anyone’s profile, company archives, and even look through their tweets, without having to be friends with them or follow them. It’s a place where anyone can build a following, regardless of their level of engagement or popularity elsewhere.
Why Did You Choose To Unfollow Some People On Twitter?
In the interests of full disclosure, before I started writing this article, I unfollowed a number of people on Twitter. I did so because, while I wanted to write about all the amazing things that happened last year, I also didn’t want to be blind to the numerous things that annoyed me. So, before I started, I decided to unfollow anyone who’d annoyed me in some way. I’ve kept a few of my regular followees and I’ve also followed a few people back, but I’ve cut my intake down to people I consider to be genuine experts or authorities in their field.
I would say that I was most upset by Martin’s, a British journalist who often writes about fashion and style. He’d been following me since last year, when I wrote the blog post comparing him to a goldfish and he liked it. So, as a result of our previous interaction, I felt a little bit of animosity towards him. He’d often tweet about how much he disliked my fashion-related content, while I had the opposite opinion. But I didn’t like the fact that he’d misrepresented who I was and what I’d written. So, as a result, I decided to unfollow him.
I remember when I first started following Martin, I’d see a lot of fashion-related content coming from him, which is really unusual for a journalist. He has a large and dedicated audience on Twitter and often publishes content that’s both interesting and informative. So, rather than being an annoyance, he’s actually a person I value and respect. But I still wanted to avoid being his follower because this is a platform that I use to find information and connect with people, not to gain recognition through association with someone. I’ve since unfollowed him, but I’ve kept his suggestion that I check out his podcast. I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to and he’s frequently invited guests who’re both prominent and interesting. So, while I’d rather not be his follower, I will follow him because I value his content so much.
What Has Twitter Been For Your Business, Personally?
Last year, I started a Twitter account for my business, E2C, and I’ve found it to be an incredibly useful tool. As a digital marketing agency, we work with brands and businesses across the globe, helping them to establish their authority, engage with their audience, and maximize their online presence. In the coming months, I’ll be writing a number of blogs on digital marketing and, as a part of my education, I’ve been asked to comment on a number of online articles, including one on LinkedIn. So, I’ve been able to build a small personal brand off the back of my work and I think that’s incredibly valuable. It’s a great opportunity to connect with people who are interested in my area of expertise, get some feedback, and, most importantly, establish a platform for my opinions and observations.
Last year, I followed over 50 accounts that, ultimately, I decided to unfollow. But, from those 50 accounts, I’d followed 39 before I started writing this and, of those 39, I’d kept 12 since then. So, on average, I’d followed 6 accounts per week, for the entirety of last year, which is a pretty high number. If I had to guess, I’d say that my account got at least 100 new followers last year, which isn’t a huge number, but it’s a number none-the-less.
The fact that I’ve built an entire following on Twitter without ever promoting my account is a testament to how much value there is in simply existing on the platform. For those interested in gaining an audience and engaging with people on Twitter, I’d highly recommend that you consider doing the same. But, if you want to keep your account and just use it for your own personal use, you certainly don’t have to. Twitter is a valuable tool and, as a result of your existing account, you’re now qualified to join the over 300 million others who use it every day.