Local News Stepping Up Its Twitter Game

By Jordan Chariton 

Top entertainment stars are becoming the social darlings of real-time tweeting, but local news personalities are now trying to catch up.

Los Angeles’s KCAL9 reporter Melanie Woodrow livetweeted her November 5 report on human trafficking, tweeting out questions and comments to her followers, and in the process, gaining 11 times her daily average of new Twitter followers, according to Twitter data.

Melanie told Twitter’s Media blog that creating a conversation around an important topic was her reason for livetweeting.

“I wanted to encourage people to watch the story and talk about human trafficking. I ran the idea by my news director and managers, and they were game to let me give it a try.”

And the key to making her social storytelling successful?

“The real key was having KCAL9 (@CBSLA) retweet me. During the day, I promoted that I would be live-tweeting.”

Mainstream network and cable news reporters often promote their stories through Twitter, posting photos from the field and promoting the time their reports will air. Will they follow Woodrow’s lead and livetweet as their report airs? Stay tuned.