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Why social media? Effective use of social media helps journalists: Connect with their community. Connect with sources, other journalists. Change the newsroom culture. Because the tools are quick and easy to use. Build themselves and their media outlet as a brand of specific information. Promote content and themselves. Write better. THINK TWITTER, NOT TWAIN!
Social media is NOT… An RSS feed: Readers distinguish between spammers and information-sharers. A one-way conversation: Readers expect information exchange to be an interactive transaction. A free-for-all: Company guidelines on its use are a good idea. My general rule: If I wouldn’t say it in a press box or in print, I probably shouldn’t say it on Twitter or Facebook.
Social media’s impact Ways we’ve found social media works for us: Increase in online traffic. Reader interaction with reporters and editors: including in-game commentary, feedback on stories and other suggestions. User-generated content. Story ideas and links. Identifying hot topics and breaking news.
10 ways we’ve used social media 1. We discovered story ideas – including the most viewed blog post on our Website in 2009. 2. We took reader suggestions for headlines during the NBA Finals – and even used some of them. 3. We live-blogged important games via Twitter, then directed conversation to our site. 4. We sold advertising to sponsors for an NBA Finals “tweet up” watch party. 5. We recruited fan bloggers. 6. We gathered news, developed sources through contacts found via social media. 7. We identify topics people are discussing RIGHT NOW and target content to the conversation. 8. We get instant feedback from readers. 9. We promote content and build our brand as a source of specific kinds of content. 10. We have fun.
Is Twitter really social media? A study by Korean students presented at the 2010 World Wide Web Conference found that Twitter actually is used primarily as a traditional news medium. Their analysis of more than 41 million user profiles and more than 106 million tweets found: Only 22 percent of following on Twitter is reciprocal. The vast majority of updates are filed by an extremely small minority of users. About 35 percent of “retweets” occur within 10 minutes of the original update. They surmised that the majority of Twitter participants are using it as a “live” news service. The headline here is: Your followers are subscribing to YOU.
Devising a strategy We made participation mandatory. We made it competitive. We tracked results. We gave prizes. We experimented around big events. We promoted our social media efforts in print, such as at right on our College Gridiron 365 page. But we still weren’t quite sold until …
Big Baby = BIG BANG The No. 1 blog post on OrlandoSentinel.com in 2009 originated, was reported and went viral through social media. It: Probably wouldn’t have been a story at all if we’d been thinking like a traditional newspaper. Probably would’ve been overlooked entirely if not for Twitter. Never would have become a continuing storyline without the Web. Was best told in a digital form. Generated residual traffic for months.
Getting started Know your audience. Be very specific in your profile. What will you tweet? What information can people expect from you? Know the platform protocols and how to use them. Learn whom you should follow and how you find them. Know the things that will get you unfollowed. Know the dangers of mixing business and personal life.
Setting up shop Do … Be precise in the bio and contact information. Describe what you’ll be tweeting. Personalize the page look. Include a photograph. Interact. Manage followers. Create lists.
Personalized subject pages Strong points Direct connection to target audiences. Headline feeds easily shared. Strong use for developing sources. Good networking opportunities with other journalists.
Tricks of the Twitter trade Hootsuite URL shorteners Twitpic.com and Flickr.com Twittergrader.com Mashable.com Twitvid.com Tinychat.com Twittertim.es Twittersheep.com Twiangulate.com Whatthetrend.com Twellow.com Friendorfollow.com Livestream.com Qik.com
Hootsuite.com Strong points Web based – not a memory hog. Allows user to track click-throughs. Easy to manage multiple accounts. Easy to publish to other social mediums such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Can pre-set up to 10 RSS feeds. Can pre-schedule tweets.
Livestream.com Strong points Useful tool for live Web broadcasts, including chats, press conferences, interviews and more. Can be personalized to specific content themes and imbedded into blogs or .html files. Headline tickers and hyperlinks. Can be synchronized with Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
http://friendorfollow.com Strong points 1. Reciprocal following important to you? Learn who follows whom here.
Twitter.grader.com Strong points Grades Twitter users using a formula that calculates number of followers, power of followers, update frequency and recency, ratio of followers to following and engagement.
Whatthetrend.com Strong points Allows users to learn why topics are trending on Twitter. Good tool for identifying and capitalizing on hot topics for content and SEO purposes.
Twittersheep.com Strong points Analyzes Twitter stream of your follower’s list. Notes key words and topics your followers are discussing. Cloud is updated in real time. Can use findings to target content and followers.
Twittertim.es.com Strong points Organizes headlines generated from links or shortened links within your Twitter feed in a reader-friendly, newspaper-style format.
Sports journalists on Twitter Good list of sports personalities and journalists to follow: http://www.theteliosgroup.com/tips/sports-business-people-on-twitter Some active Orlando Sentinel staffers: @osaadelson @osgators @osseminoles @osknights @BianchiWrites @JeffShain @GeorgeDiaz @taniaganguli @joshuabrobbins @NCAAFootballMan @MagicMattOS @OS_Recruiting @osvarsity APSE on Twitter: @APSE_sportsmedia
Other important sites http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/ http://sreetips.tumblr.com/post/87435969/twitter ASNE social media slideshow: http://www.slideshare.net/stevebuttry/asne-twitter-presentation-1174408
Now what? Do Don’t 1) Encourage your staff to be active in social media. 2) Take the lead yourself. 3) Talk with readers, not at them. 4) Monitor what people are talking about. 5) Adjust your delivery to what THEY want. 1) Automate it and leave it. 2) Be the annoying spammer. 3) Forget social media is an extension of yourself and your paper. 4) Follow everybody who follows you. 5) Lose sight of what your followers are expecting.
More helpful tips Twitter basics for the newsroom: http://www.notrain-nogain.org/Train/Res/Multi/twit.asp 10 things that will get you unfollowed: http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/10-twitter-crimes-that-will-get-you-unfollowed-593895 Common reasons you might struggle to gain followers: http://bhlaab.com/twitter/9-reasons-why-you-arent-being-followed-on-twitter Things you absolutely, positively must know about RTs (that’s “retweets” for the newbies) : http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/dan-macsai/popwise/report-nine-scientifically-proven-ways-get-re-tweeted-twitter
For more information www.twitter.com/twstephens www.facebook.com/TimWStephens E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 407-420-5698