If you’re an online/new media journalist, or you’re a student looking to get in the field, here are a few decent suggestions for maximizing engagement with your readers in an increasingly digital (and social media driven) world.
And you know it’s good advice, because it comes from one of our own: Former Washington Post journalist and current manager of journalism and news at Twitter, Mark Luckie.
Tweet your beat: “Journalists are the experts in topics they cover, and should bring that same knowledge and energy to Twitter,” Luckie says. You can still tweet things outside of your beat, but data shows that journalists get the highest engagement and growth when they send tweets related to their core coverage topics.
Post stories other than your own: Seems strange, right? Why drive up traffic for your competitors? Journalists and news organizations who post content from other sources actually get higher overall engagement, so whatever you’re reading, share the glory.
Live-tweet events: Live-tweeting about Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement last week boosted follower growth for journalists by 50%.
Use hashtags: Not surprising. Using hashtags increases engagement for journalists 100%. Luckie pointed out CBS Chicago’s use of the #drewpeterson hashtag in their coverage of the Kathleen Savio murder trial, and, “They really ended up being the big authority for the trial by establishing the hashtag,” he said. “Other news organizations started using it as well as people at and interested in the trial.”
Use @shout-outs: “If you include @mentions rather than just URLs, you’re absolutely going to grow your followers and traffic at a higher rate than what you would just by tweeting links,” Luckie says. In short, use @DrewPeterson instead of just “Drew Peterson.”
Re-tweet, re-tweet, re-tweet: Re-tweeting full posts using the automatic re-tweet button are retweeted three times as often compared to tweets that are merely quoted.
So #journalists, take the advice of @markluckie to heart as you hone your skills in the field. #winning!