Try It Tuesday: Streetlife.com

Richard Kendall:

A community forum with clear potential for story-sourcing, won’t be as much activity in everyone’s patch, but definitely worth local journalists signing up:

Originally posted on David Higgerson:

The aim of Try It Tuesday – if it can be as bold as an aim – is to share a tool a week which might be useful to journalists. It might be new, it might be old but forgotten, or it might be somewhere inbetween. It’ll be something I’ve found useful though and one I’d suggest spending 10 minutes getting to know. 

6. Streetlife.com

strretlife.com

What? Streetlife.com is social networking at its most hyperlocal. Those behind it have been busy writing to millions of homes across the UK urging people to sign up and share local information. Those receiving a letter get a code which automatically selects an area for them to be added to, with the option to opt in to some nearby ones too.

Why? For journalists, especially those with a district beat or patch, Streetlife has the potential to be a great source of stories. I’ve tried it…

View original 90 more words

Useful Twitter analytics available for some accounts

If you’ve not seen, some user’s Twitter accounts have access to their own tweet activity data in browser and mobile app platforms, and very useful live statistics they are too:

Twitter analytics webpage screengrab

A screengrab of Twitter analytics web page

From your Twitter in Web browser mode, select your profile icon drop-down, then hit ‘Twitter Ads‘ or ‘Analytics‘ – appears Twitter bods are tinkering with how it’s accessed…

Then from Ads dashboard, select from Analytics drop-down ‘Tweet activity‘ to see recent tweet stats, or choose ‘Followers‘ shows a breakdown of your following by interest, location, gender.

Tweet Activity will give you the impression or views, and number of user engagements and a % rate.

You can choose various date ranges and comparisons, and select from the last 18ish months of data.

This can also be seen on individual tweets on mobile Twitter app, by opening an individual original tweet and below the content, clicking ‘VIEW TWEET ACTIVTY’ to reveal live similar stats for that tweet.

Tweeting the news: automation vs personalisation

Updated 26 January: Automation works for some news publishers’ tweets and moreso if story headlines have been tweaked for a Web audience, but personalising them can improve their shareability: “Optimising tweets according to social channel and audience with tone of voice, variation in content and plenty of images are proven ways to drive more engagement” by Christopher Ratcliff in the Econsultancy article:
From How The Guardian became the most tweeted UK newspaper, Laura Oliver, UK social and communities editor speaking to Journalism.co.uk said ‘automation is a way for the Guardian to stay on top of the numerous stories it publishes, while at the same time allowing the team to explore different sharing options and presenting stories in different ways.’
With the help of their in -house analytics tool Ophan, Oliver continued: “It’s important for us to understand what type of stories and issues repeatedly perform well when we share them on Twitter or when they are picked up and posted by readers.”
There’s no point having an automation strategy (which clearly benefits resource-stripped news teams) without some sort of monitoring or quality control that might lead to tweaking when and how you share automatically vs the more hands-on human sharing which can react to a fast-changing news environment or audience demand.

Web article pages, blog posts: leave no dead ends

So, you want to keep people on your website after they’ve ready the story they found/saw in a social media feed/were sent by a friend etc.?

Well, my tips on audience retention, add value to articles/posts, attach relevant links and try and engage your readers.

But leave no dead ends, while they have found you, give them more, ideally related content – don’t make it easy for a visitor to move on to another site. Here’s what I do on lead stories at the Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph web article page with annotations

  • Link, directly to meeting agendas, related official documents – don’t just link to the homepage and make people find it.
  • If there will be further debate or coverage, detail this, link to reporter social media accounts.
  • Add backstory links, related archive articles that add context, history, fill in gaps.
  • Finally, don’t forget to encourage engagement wherever relevant: ask a question, list ways to get in touch or third-party platforms where they can continue the debate/add their comments, e.g. Twitter, Facebook.
  • * Clearly not all stories will have a backstory, or related links, offer much in the way of engagement, or relevant official sites but part of the skill is in spotting these opportunities.

5 things journalists should be doing with Twitter now (if you’re not already)

Here are five things journalists should be doing with Twitter now (if you’re not already) that I’ve learned during my time as digital editor for a local news operation that have served me well-ish.

  1. Use Twitter lists – they’re not well highlighted by Twitter, but they’re a hidden gem for journalists.
    Once you’ve got the ball rolling and started compiling them they can help focus on topics or communities/patches, particularly useful when stories break.
    E.g. I’ve a simple one for local travel and emergency services for when the weather goes bad or an accident occurs.
  2. Follow @magicrecs account – will flag up accounts or tweets that are gaining a lot of followers or activity on your network, have found it very relevant and useful.
  3. Be ready to screenshot important tweets as evidence – get yourself setup at work/on the move to be able to grab screenshots and back them up/share them with colleagues quickly.
  4. Learn how to use the advanced search – finding tweets by location, time, exclude and filter your results – see more tips from Social Media Examiner, on this Hootsuite blog post, and Twitter’s own advanced search tips
  5. Be realistic but consistent in your social media strategy. You don’t need to be checking it 24/7, but set yourself up with an advanced Twitter app on your phone, e.g. Hootsuite, or for iOS only: Tweetbot or Tweetlogix and set yourself check-in times that correspond with peak activity and get saved searches and Twitter lists to help you whizz through monitoring and managing your Twitter-life .

A bonus tip (that should be obvious, but we’ve all had our moments), but if a tweet or account looks too good to be true, it most likely is…

Useful links:

See also:

Scheduling social media updates

Automated tweets and social media updates can be part of a healthy, nutritious and realistic publishing strategy.

I use scheduling as a small part of my strategy because I can’t be on social duty 24/7 and lobbing out a rapid volley of updates does you or your content no favours.

I tend to vary the timings of any scheduled news tweets…

But when to schedule?
Find out when your social followers are most active and when your website traffic peaks.
There will be obvious day/night, weekday/weekend variations, plus plan for public holidays and big national news and sport events that may grab a decent portion of your audience’s attention.

As for specific times, ‘on the hour’ and half-hour seem a likely time-clash with other news media. Particularly during morning and evenings when people are more likely checking in our catching up with other media.
Or let services like Buffer article on TechCrunch do the work for you and manage scheduling.

Just be aware not to overdo the scheduling and I’d advise against risking timing an update and/or link to a story that has any potential to change by the time to update is published. Not worth the risk to your credibility.

Read more: Scheduling Facebook Page posts by me.
Elsewhere: Combine Twitter scheduling mwith real time activities at socialmediaexaminer.com.
Schedule tweets using Tweetdeck at Twitter.com.

Newsroom social media teamwork tip

After a news tip-off is spotted on social media, and shared amongst a news team it’s important to react and respond but:
Always worth skimming through an originating tweet replies or Facebook update before sending your own to spot any other witnesses or secondary accounts, corrections and updates from initial tweeter/updater.
And making sure no colleagues have already made contact as well as all the usual verification checks.