To answer these questions, a class of 16 students in a Digital Media research class created, The ‘Nois, an experimental social media accounts on the three most popular social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Our target audience is all UIUC students. We wrote specific tweets to target 6 specific personas on campus that were decided on by the class. These personas include #EnjoyNois, #ActiveNois, #DiscussNois, #IdentityNois, #NowNois, #ConnectNois, and were used to target students with specific interests while simultaneously reaching the entire campus. Social media posts were specifically and strategically written for each persona and were targeted using the hashtags above.

After posting daily for about two months, we considered which posts received the most attention and analyzed which attributes these tweets had. To analyze which attributes draw attention to a post, we decided to create a survey that asked a representative sample to rate tweets. To select the appropriate tweets to put in the survey, we first established 10 qualities of tweets that may trigger people’s attention.

These qualities are:

  1. Immediacy
  2. Originality
  3. Engaging
  4. Conversational
  5. Humorous
  6. Personal Utility
  7. Talk Factor
  8. Emotion
  9. Active Visual
  10. Simplify Complex Issues


We selected 100 tweets from The ‘Nois as well as other social media brands to be assessed on their ability to attract public attention. To confirm the intercoder reliability, we had 15 coders scor these tweets on a scale of 1-5 for each of the 10 qualities. The intercoder reliability was confirmed using a test of standard deviation of the scores. Then an online survey that asks a representative sample consisting of 750 students of the UIUC campus to rate 20 tweets, randomly selected from the pool of 100 tweets, based on their likelihood to receive attention was sent out and collected on April 19th. (Each survey varied in their composition of tweets.) This data from these tweets will be analyzed in relation to the scores received in the 10 qualitative categories, to draw conclusions on what qualities are most important in drawing attention in social media.




Khaoula Dellahi

Khaoula Dellahi

graduate student in journalism at University of Illinois
Khaoula Dellahi

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