I started a public document on Google which I shared hoping people would add their own tips about best practices for Social Media when it comes to news gathering and distributing news. I decided to post it here as well in its current form. If you’d like to add your own tips, click the link above.
- Build lists of sources using Twitter lists. Use this to get ahead of your competition, news breaks on Twitter more often now than it does on mainstream news sources. (How to create Twitter Lists)
- Follow accounts that help inform you about the topics you cover and retweet important news they share to inform your followers. Retweet your competition, if you’re sharing the best news from everywhere, people will follow you for everything they need to know.
- Use TweetDeck to monitor multiple lists on one screen, I prefer the old version of Tweetdeck because it has more options.
- Hand craft your tweets for all your new articles. Ask questions. “Do you agree with my take here?” “Is _______ the next great point guard?” Questions have the highest engagement and will help build your audience. (But if you ask questions, have some intention of using the feedback in some way – otherwise it’s faux engagement)
- Share interesting articles by other people. Retweet great articles that they link to on their own Twitter accounts.
- Use hashtags like #wikileaks #syria #ows related to your topic etc so your tweets are seen by a larger audience.
- Do Twitter searches (search.twitter.com) and look up the subjects you write about. Respond to people who tweet about things you’re writing about, get their attention. Don’t link them to your articles right away, build a relationship over time and they’ll follow you and get the links by following your feed.
- Search Topsy.com to find the most relevant and influential tweets
- Search Research.ly’s PeopleBrowsr for old tweets that you might need. Enter in a keyword or a username, and you can search a number of days back (like 60 days back for 2 months ago) to narrow your search. They go back about 2 years for free right now.
- Read “The 100 Twitter Rules To Live By” and live by them
- Sign up for a free @muckrack account and get daily digests of top journalists’ tweets about your subject of interest. Crucial for journos & PR pros.
- Use MuckRack.com as a way to find journalists by company or by beat and add them to Twitter lists to monitor news that breaks in those topics.
- Incredible curation tools guide that I was sent this AM (via @scoopit):
- Consider balancing the types of tweets with a ratio of posts addressing: (1) what you do; (2) what you love; and (3) who you are.
- Use a URL shortening service, like http://bit.ly so you maximize the room you have to share information in your tweets and so you can track how many people are clicking and sharing your tweet. Try to keep your Tweets under 120 characters so others can add comments to your tweet in a RT.
- Don’t start tweets with a Twitter handle unless you want that Tweet to be seen by a limited audience (by the person whose handle you’ve started the Tweet with, and only anyone who follows both of you)
- Another good place to build source lists is with directories that media companies offer: New York Times and Reuters for example
- Be careful about the sources you find on Twitter. Verify before you retweet and add a caveat if you’re unsure. When in doubt, don’t tweet and spread misinformation, dig deeper and verify first. There’s no harm in asking questions, sometimes crowdsourcing can help verify. “Is _____ a legitimate account/source?” Consider using a service like Storyful to help verify socially sourced reports.
- Credit your sources with a hat tip, a retweet, anything. People are appreciative to see their content (or their find) shared.
- Turn on Subscribe feature on your personal Facebook. This will let you share stuff you only want to share with the people who you want to receive it.
- Run polls asking people what they think about a specific story or subject. In a sports example, who do they think is the best player at any given position, or anything else that will drive debate and comments. Do they think the Goldman Sachs’ resignation letter author is sincere? Be provocative, get them to think and weigh in.
- Post videos and photos, don’t just make it a feed with all links to your articles. Mix it up.
- Find Facebook Groups related to the subjects you cover. Get involved in the conversations there. Over time they’ll head to your page and then to your website and you’ll build up a readership.
- There are close to a billion people on Facebook, it’s a huge driver of traffic once you get the ball rolling. It won’t happen overnight but it’s worth putting in the time because you’ll eventually have a reliable major source of traffic to your website.
- Create an interest list that focuses on a topic you want to help gather information about, or to make it easy for people to follow other people with similar interests. Example: Reuters Journalists list
- Get on Tumblr and share your articles. Follow people who write about the topics you cover, follow people who blog about college sports if that’s your focus. Reblog their posts and they’ll follow you back.
- I try to reblog and share more than I post of my own. I do about a 40/60 split between my content and the content I share of others. (I run http://sbnation.tumblr.com)
- Tag your posts #gif #tech #news #politics #news #sports #collegefb #collegebb #basketball #football etc so they’re seen by tag editors who will then promote them on the respective tag pages. You can find widely used tags at http://www.tumblr.com/explore.
- Originate all pins to places on your Website or social sites so that re-pins always come back to you.
- Keep an eye on your competitors. Watch what they’re doing, steal some of their good ideas and put your own spin on them. Over time you’ll build a friendly relationship with some of them and they may actually link to your stuff, you should do the same. There’s a link economy when it comes to blogs and it’s built on sharing each other’s stuff, it helps make your own content stronger and more well rounded and vice versa.
- Using a tool like TrendSpottr for real-time viral content discovery can also help to identify emerging stories that have high viral potential and engagement. It identifies the top trending content (links, hashtags, sources) for any keyword, topic or even Twitter list URL. GT example, this is a link to find the most trending content about Syria in real time. For HootSuite users, TrendSpottr is also available in HootSuite’s new App Directory. Useful overview videos also available.
- Use Storify to combine different types of social content and add context between them to make it more understandable in a narrative format.
- Use Storyful.com/pro to help verify reports and tweets you see on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Follow @StoryfulPro on Twitter to see alerts, curated Twitter Lists and links to verified content on http://storyful.com/pro Requests and questions can be sent to Storyful’s global team of curators 24/7 on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consider offering readers a way to ask questions and receive a video answer. There’s ways to explain via video that you can’t quite get across via text. One recommendation is to use something like VYou.com. Answers can be archived and accessed by other readers. Can eventually act as an FAQ.