Journalism Through Social Media

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Social media is all the rage these days with websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube, and yes even Myspace. There are some basic guidelines to follow on each of these websites in order to be a successful journalist on any of them, but I am going to focus primarily on the website that I personally am most familiar with, Twitter.

There are some simple rules to follow when it comes to Twitter.

Make sure to follow other people. That is the main way to increase followers on Twitter. Also, make sure to reply to people. By starting a conversation, a new follower could be gained. Don't have a whole conversation though. This can get annoying for followers who follow both parties, because they will get all the updates in their feed.

Make sure to get to know the lingo, as well. For example, replies are typically called "@replies", direct messages as "DMs", trending topics as "TTs", and understand how to use hashtags. Using hashtags and trending topics are another way to increase followers. Other ways to make a Twitter more successful is to show that there is actually a person behind the account by posting a profile picture. Don't be afraid to use links as well, to news stories, pictures, videos, or even to posts on other social media websites.

A few other tips for being a successful journalist on Twitter is to make sure your Twitter is not on private. Although it may seem more secure, it also hinders the ability to communicate and get the word out, because no one but a follower will be able to see the tweets. Also,

There is obviously a lot more to Twitter than just the few simple things that I have mentioned. Twitter is changing with each tweet that is sent out, helping keep the world connected and informed. A lot of rules and helpful tips can be found over at The Journalist's Guide to Twitter, and make sure to check there if any questions arise, or comment below.
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Ben Lucas February 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM  

Those were some good tips and I liked the link. It's amazing how differently I thought of Twitter after I actually learned how to use it correctly. It went from something I despised to something I can use and get ahead with.

Katie Buchholz February 2, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

I agree with Ben! I was not very fond of using Twitter at first, but now I see the impact and uses of it that can get me ahead in my journalistic path.

Morgan Abel February 2, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

I agree, Twitter is a great way to build a social network which is what we are all in great need of to get ahead after we graduate.

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