SAN FRANCISCO — Every time I train a new reporter on how to use Tweetdeck or set up a Twitter account, I get the questions about “best practices.” You probably do, too, as you train your news staff. Sure, we can tell them to use hashtags and at-replies, but then you get the question of “Why?” because, of course, you’re training journalists. Now you have the why.
Twitter’s Mark Luckie (original founder of this blog) announced a few Twitter best practices for journalists at Twitter’s headquarters for journalists at the ONA conference. All of his tips and tricks have real, hard data to back up how those practices increase engagement and followers. The slideshow was posted in blog post format on Twitter’s blog, but here are a few key points (most of which you probably already know, in general).
For their research methodology, Twitter looked at 150+ journalists and news publishers and analyzed thousands of tweets over a six-month period.
- Tweet your beat and tweet it live: For people who post a concentrated number of tweets in a short time span (i.e. liveblogging coverage), follower growth is 50 percent more than average.
- Use hashtags for context: Yep, we all know this one, but you probably didn’t know that it can increase engagement almost 100 percent (2x) for individuals and 50 percent (1.5x) for brands.
- @Cite your sources: This stat is a bit confusing, but it says that brands that tweet 20 percent fewer URLs and 100 percent more @mentions grow followers 17 percent more than average. This means you should mix up your tweet style to post a mixture of links and mentions to grow your audience. Again, probably something we all already knew.
- Share what you’re reading: News accounts receive 100 percent more (2x) active engagement on a high-performing tweet when a URL is included. Also, use that retweet button!