Journalist’s Guide to Using Twitter Effectively

By Stuart Jones

Image courtesy of Twitter

1. Utilize Twitter based search engines. Using the new Twitter search you can now search more specifically across current topics. There is also TweetDeck ( ) and Twitter for Mac which make your Twitter experience very convenient. TweetDeck allows you to see all of the tweets you are subscribed to in one column, your personal Tweets and notifications in another column and in the last column shows your inbox. What is great about this application is that you can link it to other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and even your email. The ability to scan across all three columns at once and search from there as well can be a great resource for finding information quickly.

2. Make yourself mobile. Use your phone or mobile device to break news from where you are.

3. Become fluent with Twitter’s code. Understand what the different symbols mean. Being able to effectively make your message public is crucial. Let Twitter work for you.

4. Use links to point people to the full story. Be sure to use a link shortener like Google’s ( ) so you have more characters to tweet.

5. Brand your Twitter account. Don’t let your background be bland. Let it say something about you or have your logo built in.

6. Follow the pros! Find a journalist who knows how to tweet news well and mimic their practices. Like Katie Couric:!/katiecouric.

7. Post frequently. Followers want a reason to follow you. By posting valuable things that are worth their time often, you establish a relationship where they will come back to you.

8. Be a friend! If a follower tweets at you, show some mutual respect if they are looking for a response. Followers love it when they get some attention.

9. Double Check. Even though Twitter is instant, be careful not to put something on the internet that is not fact. One mistake like that will lose your credibility.

10. Look at this! Use media like pictures and videos! Followers love being able to see what you’re talking about, so give it to them!


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