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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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…
— Martin Belam (@MartinBelam) January 12, 2015
- See Twitter’s own glossary of terms and Hootsuite’s Social Media Glossary
- The excellent and essential ‘Verification Handbook‘, read online or download:
“a definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage. Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts…”