Tips: NYT Social Media Staff On What Worked (And Didn’t) In 2013

Ever wish your website could garner the kind of social media engagement the New York Times enjoys? Well, honestly, without as many followers as @nytimes (more than 10 1/2 million as of today) and as many boots on the ground — and fingers on the keyboard typing up tweets and stories to tweet about — you probably can’t. atnytimes_010814 BUT you can at least enjoy the fruits of their expertise and adapt their tips to your strategy.

Bite into this post over at the Nieman Journalism Lab where several NYT social media staffers chew on what they learned works in social media, based on last year’s top performers: If a tweet worked once, send it again — and other lessons from The New York Times’ social media desk

There’s some seriously great advice in this piece, beyond the tip in headline they discuss:

  • News sells, or at least snowballs social media engagement
  • It’s worth the wait — for confirmation!
  • Don’t scoop your own news outlet: Social media staffers at the Times work WITH the news desk and homepage editors to peg posts to approved news reports instead of getting ahead of them.
  • Retweet the reporter/editor covering the news as news breaks
  • Why it’s important for someone to baby the newsfeed to keep mistakes from being amplified unchecked
  • Sometimes the print headline makes a great tweet
  • But sometimes, you need to be more specific to get a good reaction and reverberation
  • Shares aren’t a once and done thing — If it worked once, it may work again, and if it didn’t it might work with some reworking

Go read the whole piece for lots of detailed examples of these points and advice on how to improve your own social media use.