The agenda What is Twitter? Twitter and GateHouse strategy Twitter vs. Facebook Why tweet? Basic Twitter terms Basic Twitter tools Twitter how to Your Twitter persona How to build a network Reporting tools Takeaways
What is Twitter? Simple to use 140-character messages Follow breaking news, competition Promote your content and brand Promote yourself as a brand One or more Twitter accounts for your pub
Twitter and GateHouse strategy Web Cube first: updates, galleries, reader involvement, print promotion Facebook: 2.8 percent of visits in past year Twitter: 0.29 percent of visits in past year Social media is growing
Twitter and GateHouse strategy Create a Twitter section in Zope Use free service such as twitterfeed.com to connect your published content to Twitter Choose content specific to social media (more to come on content) OR manually post based on your time, the topic
Twitter vs. Facebook Twitter is more about sharing information; Facebook is more about the conversation, interaction. Many news organizations use Twitter to cover something live: big sports event, controversial meeting, breaking news, etc.
Why Twitter? 75 percent of online news consumers in the United States get news forwarded through e-mail and posts on social sites. 52 percent share links to news stories via social media. Source: Edison Research & Arbitron
Why Twitter? Google and Bing recently confirmed that referrals from Facebook and Twitter help a website rank higher in search results. Facebook & Twitter now have “authority,” which is important for page rank.
Why Twitter? “Social networking links are becoming a bigger share of every news site's traffic; as one of my Slate colleagues pointed out, in the Twitter age, ‘optimizing for Google results is a little like going out and buying the best VCR on the market.’ ” Farhad Manjoo, Slate Feb. 8, 2011
Basic Twitter tips Use your headshot or other distinct, square image Make sure you have info and a URL in your profile Try not to use all 140 characters
Basic Twitter terms Tweet: Twitter post Retweet: If you like what someone has tweeted, you retweet (RT) and give credit. @: This symbol precedes someone’s username - @jeanhodges. This calls out to the person and links to that person. #: Hashtags are used to indicate searchable and trending topics. You can create them for your town, but first search to see if someone is already using certain terms. Check out Twitter’s glossary for more: http://support.twitter.com/entries/166337-the-twitter-glossary
Basic Twitter tools HootSuite: Time tweets - Sign up for free version - Add Twitter and Facebook - Post your Tweet - Click calendar - Choose date and time - Select Twitter, Facebook or both - Click schedule
Basic Twitter tools Short URL: bitly converts URL to short version
Basic Twitter tools Zope: Tweet right from the CMS (begins today)
Twitter how to Content - Breaking news. - Live coverage of big meetings, sports events, election night. - Quirky news: Anything that might be retweeted.
Twitter how to Tone - When appropriate have some personality. - Make every character count. - Use this opportunity to really sell your story.
Twitter how to When to post based on retweets Source: Kissmetrics, data by Dan Zarrella, social media researcher at HubSpot
Twitter how to When to post based on click-throughs
Twitter how to How much to tweet: Less is more Recommend 2-5 tweets per day
Twitter how to Just about every post directs people to your website. Use short URL to maximize your ability to sell the story. Use a hashtag (#) or @ symbol. Set a goal of using one or the other in half of your posts to get used to using them.
Twitter how to Create standard hashtags for anyone in your newsroom to use. Brainstorm ideas. Make sure everyone who tweets knows them (spreadsheet or some way to track them). Search hashtags.org to see if any already exist. - Mayor’s name - Town name - School district - Sports teams - Local controversy
Your Twitter persona Careful: This stuff is public Basic journalism rules apply But it’s OK to let people know some things about you Link to your work; link to others’ work
How to build a network Follow likely followers and the people they follow Follow the people your followers follow Retweet people and strive to be retweeted
How to build a network Promote Twitter on your website Promote Twitter in your newspaper Add Twitter to email newsletters and your own email correspondence
Most important Tweet often or, really, why bother? Enjoy it.
Multiple accounts News, sports, politics, any niche you’re known for in your market. Reporters can have their own accounts, too. People look for tweets that specifically address their interests.
Reporting tool Use search function to find out what’s being tweeted.search function Use hashtags.org to searchhashtags.org Ask followers questions: - Are you at the game? - Are you following the election? - Anyone know about this breaking news?
10 Takeaways Get a Twitter account Follow news organizations, industry experts Follow everyone they follow Use limited Twitter feed Supplement with human posts: tweet & retweet Try Zope’s new feature: Tweet from Zope Don’t bombard followers with Tweets Promote Twitter online, print Use Twitter as a reporting tool Check ghnewsroom.com for resources, links