Twitter Offers Best Practices For Journalists

With 55% of journalists using Twitter and other social networks to source stories, it’s likely that just as many are using social networks to share stories – or they soon will be.

The folks at Twitter realize how powerful their platform can be and have come up with some best practices for journalists to keep in mind when tweeting – and we talked to them about these tips today!

Using extensive data, the Twitter For News team, Mark Luckie and Erica Anderson, put together some best practices for journalists. They’ll be sharing these tips at an Online News Association gathering at Twitter headquarters tomorrow night, but we have a preview.

Based on a six month study looking at data surrounding what’s working/not working for journalists on Twitter, they came up with three guiding best practices that appeared to be common denominators for those that were successful.

  1. Tweet your beat. Whatever your beat is, tweet to it. Share relevant piece you’re reading on Twitter (don’t just tweet links to stuff you write). And one of the most effective tactics to use? Live tweet. Cover an event, news story, court case or whatever it is, in real time. Your followers will eat it up.
  2. Use #hashtags. Seems obvious, right? But hashtags seem to be woefully underused by folks and it’s too bad because Twitter says they can increase engagement almost 100% for individuals and 50% for brands. So start using them! Either find a relevant existing one to tap in to, or create one of your own.
  3. @Mention sources. Always include Twitter handle of the people you’re mentioning in a story, whenever you can – it drives engagement on tweets.

Twitter’s study followed 150 journalists and thousands of tweets, including national broadcast anchors, local journalists, radio, print and online only personalities. And regardless of how they gathered the data, this is from Twitter, so you know it’s good advice (if they don’t know how to be successful on Twitter, no one does!).

Do you do these things already? And do you have any pointers to add to this list?

(Journalist image from Shutterstock)