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Strategy

Nine things we learned when the University of Reading won at Twitter

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Our friends in Berkshire have done the sector proud this week with a killer tweet that wound up a bunch of Brexiteers and stirred pride among the remaining normal folk. It also taught us plenty of useful things.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here is the tweet in question – 65,000 likes, 21,000 retweets and over a thousand replies…so far!

First of all, let’s just take a moment to revel in the glory of this tweet. It’s the kind of tweet pretty much any social media manager anywhere has wanted to write at some point in their career.

So, thanks Reading for that vicarious thrill.

Now, let’s have a look at what we can learn from this epic tweet.

On the whole, folk are actually nice

Forget what you heard about Twitter being a festering pool of hate and look through the replies to this tweet. What do you notice? So. Much. Support.

Sure, there are still plenty of idiots on Twitter in 2018. But there’s also a lot of people out there who realise that the dumb luck of where you happen to be born shouldn’t be a barrier to education.

Scrolling through the overwhelming number of positive replies to this tweet is a mini cleanse for the soul. Especially when you also notice that…

You can let the crowd shut down idiots

Often, when things like this blow up you don’t actually have to respond to every single post. Your own followers can be a huge help and do some of your work for you.

Observe some of the fantastic take-downs from this post 👇

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And this one 👇

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We’re actually in this together

One of the best things about this thread has been seeing alumni from other Universities asking their alma mater if they offer a similar scheme, and those institutions getting a chance to show off their good work too and stand together.

For a sector that is pretty darned competitive for so much of the year, it’s great to have moments like this to show how we’re all on the same page. It’s like #WeAreInternational all over again.

Doing the right thing generates tremendous goodwill

Amazing how much two words can affect alumni pride, isn’t it?

Ditto sentiment in general.

This tweet could legitimately lead to more funds

This tweet has been so powerful that people are seemingly desperate to throw money at the University of Reading to help support these scholarships. Talk about social media ROI!

Actually being human on social media really does work

We’ve probably all vowed to ‘be human’ when running our work’s social media accounts, but end up using the same polite and professional tone of voice that 99.9% of businesses on these channels use.

If nothing else, this tweet has taught us that we can all be a bit more natural in what we say on these spaces – and that goes for our replies too!

People’s tolerance for swearing is WAY lower than you’d think

One of the most shocking things we spotted in this thread is people taking offence at the use of the phrase ‘jog on’.

Seriously? Jog on? Because we think of a lot worse.

Case in point…

There might be t-shirts coming

Because what better way to celebrate a viral tweet than by wearing it?

We’ll take seven.

We can really affect people’s lives

Just look at this 👇

Marvellous.

So, to our friends at the University of Reading we say, well done!

And to anyone who disagrees…well…

JOG ON.