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Posts Tagged ‘social media advice’

3 Rules for Getting To Sources On Social Media

While it’s easier than ever to read about what people think online, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to reach them. Trying to get Hillary Clinton on the line is like trying to get to Beyonce — you probably have to have a good reason and a good connect.

Although, when I wanted to talk to the person for a story, out of my five extended networks, I have been able to reach people through Twitter (just not Hillary Clinton, yet). You don’t want to interview people on Twitter, but social media is a great way to get to someone you don’t already have an email or phone number for.

1) Bypass The Direct Message

I hate direct messages on Twitter, even more the Facebook kind, and don’t get me started on LinkedIn. If you’re going to DM someone, I find it’s more efficient to tweet right at them. Maybe it’s annoying (reporters are annoying), but I like the idea of making their phone buzz and forcing them to get back to me. If you’re going to message, you might as well just dig up an email, or guess at one.

2) Respect Their Time

Get right to the point. Tell them why you want to talk to them — they can figure out who you are easy enough with enough clicks. And ask, don’t demand. Just because you reach out to someone doesn’t mean they have to respond, especially last minute. Be humble, but forceful.

3) Be Worth Knowing

New York Magazine dug up the reporters and publications that Congress members follow on Twitter. If you just use social media to retweet links and share your own stories, start editorializing. Don’t you want the school board president or council members to know who are? This way, the next time, they’ll reach out to you.

What about you? What’s the most unorthodox way you’ve gotten a scoop or an interview?

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How Every Journalist Can Get More Retweets

For better or for worse, Twitter has become an essential tool of journalists and news outlets alike. Not only can it help in discovering or reporting stories, it’s also valuable in connecting with your audience and gaining eyeballs, which is why retweets are so important. In the latest Mediabistro feature, digital media pros give advice to journos and news orgs on how to ensure that your tweets don’t fall into the Internet abyss. For example, a common rookie mistake is:

3. You don’t have the right followers

When it comes to Twitter, it’s not just the quantity of your followers that counts but also the quality of your followers. “The more influential followers you have, the more likely you are to get to retweets,” said Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University’s chief digital officer and a digital media professor at its journalism school.

Your followers’ followers can actually have a profound impact on the distance your tweets can go. “Think about the folks that are following you and who are following them,” Sreenivasan said.

Get four more tips in The Real Reason You’re Not Getting Retweeted.

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Teaser Tweets: Treat Them Like the Lede

As if researching, writing, and publishing a story isn’t enough work, we have to promote them, too. It’s easy enough with social media, especially if you have a social media guru in your newsroom. But it’s also easy to get caught click baiting on Twitter. Noam Cohen of The New York Times wrote about the Twitter account @HuffPoSpoilers this week, which tweets summaries of Huffington Post stories, which are usually tweeted with vigor — and lots of buzzwords. Often, the story isn’t as interesting as the tweet.

Don’t fall into your publications tweeting traps. Let them tweet what they will, but take matters into your own hand, too. 

Whatever your platform, I think what comes before the link should be treated with as much care as your lede and 140 characters should suffice. 

  •  Remember the 5 W’s and the H. It’s hard not to bait your followers, but don’t make me wonder where, say, that earthquake hit. If it’s so far away from your target reader that they may not click on the link, you’ll have to live with that.
  • Unless you work for TMZ, lose the crazy adjectives. Did the congressperson really ‘explode’? Is Marissa Mayer really leading a ‘revolution’? Check yourself. 
  • About retweeting. I often fall into the trap of tweeting story links with a vague, one word response. But I’m making a pledge to all my social media friends to start being more useful. If you tweet a story that’s not yours, tell me why I need to read it. ‘Right on,’ or ‘This is naive,’ are click-bait cliches. The short links give you so many characters to describe the story to me — use them wisely! Give me a reason to bookmark the link and read it later. Be your brand, and venture to have an opinion of your own now and again. 
So, be honest: how much time does it take you to craft the perfect teaser tweet?

6 Huge Mistakes Journalists Make in Social Media

No. 4: You don’t post often enough.

Facebook and Twitter might be the big boys, but people read news on LinkedIn, too. And, while Google+ might not be racking up a ton of active users, if you’re on there, you should at least share something every now and then. The point is don’t leave your profiles barren.

So, pick a schedule: maybe three to five times daily for Facebook and 15 minutes a day where you line up all your tweets using Tweetdeck. And check back regularly to see if people have responded or shared your posts. An application like Twunfollow can give some indication of whether you are annoying your audience with irrelevant content. And, whatever you do, don’t cross-link your feeds. Each platform has its own needs and different audiences.

Get remedies for five more common errors in The Biggest Mistakes Journalists Make in Social Media. [subscription required]