Twitter for Journalists

Last week, Twitter offered an interesting post on its blog specifically directed at reporters.

The post, “Best practices for journalists,” was essentially a list of how media professionals can better use the platform in their work. The platform and analytics teams for Twitter followed the tweets of 150 news-related accounts to determine the best practices.

The entire piece is interesting, but a few things stood out in particular:

1) The researchers noted that: “When crime reporter Sara Ganim (@SGanim) from the central Pennsylvania Patriot-News tweeted the Jerry Sandusky trial, she saw a 2,000 follower spike. Twitter users who continue to live-tweet news relevant to their beat often see a steady stream of new followers.” This rings particularly true for me now, after I recently saw a 10-follower spike from my first live-tweeting attempt.

2) “News accounts receive 100% more (2x) active engagement on a high-performing Tweet when a URL is included. To increase the engagement on your account and Tweets, mix it up a bit: when individuals share URLs to non-company sources, they experience a bump in follows,” according to the researchers. Additionally I think linking to an outside source is important on Twitter because 140 characters are really not that much to work with. Links are a good way to provide more information with few characters.

3) “Individuals with above expected follower growth send 200% more retweets (3X) compared to individuals with below expected follower growth,” the researchers reported. For much of my first two years on Twitter, I tweeted very rarely because I often did not think my posts were interesting or clever enough to draw attention. But I recently began retweeting more, and I’ve found it’s a great way to share information on the site quickly. It’s encouraging to learn that it may also lead to an expanded audience on the platform.

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