December 11th, 2009
For you Twitter pros, this will be a bit of a reminder of what you should be doing. Twitter newbies, pay attention.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting one link after the next, spewing out an endless stream of information. Information’s great, but there should be a lot more to your tweets.
Without further ado, I bring you this: The Three E’s of Twitter
On Old Media, New Tricks, we talk a lot about how to use Twitter. There are lots of ways to gain more Twitter followers, or ways to build your personal brand through Twitter, or steps on how to livetweet an event, but the easiest way to make your Twitter efforts successful is this: engage.
Simply put, one builds social media credibility — and value — through engagement, and Twitter enables one-to-one, one-to-many or many-to-many discussions.
Smart Twitter use happens through engagement.
As a journalist, your role is to help provide readers with information and insight to help them answer some big questions: Who should I vote for? Which product should I buy? What does this new law mean, and how will it affect my family?
Twitter audiences love this kind of information. They crave it. In fact, they pride themselves on the fact that they know about news before their friends — just because they’re on Twitter.
While you engage on folks on Twitter, be sure to provide relevant information that makes their lives better, and as you build out your audience, take note of which people like which information. Take it upon yourself educate your audience about your beat, your news organization and yourself.
But it’s not just enough to link to the news; convince your readers just why they should pay attention to you. Instead of tweeting “X law goes into effect today: LINK,” tweet “X law goes into effect today, and this is why it matters: LINK”. You’ll find that your links will get more clicks, your tweets will get re-tweeted and your time spent on Twitter will be more useful.
Engaging and educating are two Twitter essentials, but if you’re not a fun person to follow, people just won’t follow you. Don’t just tweet serious or work-related posts all the time; if you’re at a ballgame, tweet photos from the game. If you’re at a restaurant, post a picture or two of your food.
Have fun with your tweets, so that other people will have fun following you on Twitter.
What other tips — ones that begin with the letter “E” — would you suggest to others? Please add them as comments on this post!