Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to use facebook and twitter in the newsroom

It has been over a week since I was last here at the Daily Freeman. I am finally back from Madrid, Spain and have jumped right back into the digital journalism/social media frenzy that is going on here at the Freeman.

Instead of walking to my usual desk when I first came in, I walked into a new conference room where Ivan Lajara gave a tutorial on how to improve your newsrooms facebook page. All of the Daily Freeman
editors attended the conference which was put on a live stream for others to learn as well.

Video streaming by Ustream

Key points from the conference included:

You should not post TOO frequently. Taking up someone's whole news feed 24/7 is not appealing and people will dislike your organization.

The things that you DO post should be newsworthy enough to make you say "wow". People don't go to Facebook to find news. Facebook is a social media website where they go to have fun and see things that they want to see. Be careful of the content you put up. You want to post things that people with interact with.

Speaking of interacting, the newsroom's Facebook needs to be more personal. It needs to be known that there is a human being behind the username, not a robot. Interacting with the comments/posts people place on the facebook will give the user satisfaction that someone is listening to then and taking what they have to say into consideration.

Snarky comments are never going to disappear. Instead of ignoring comments that could be critical, mean, or pessimistic,you should acknowledge the person with "Thank you for you input" or something that allows them to know you read the comment. It has been observed that if a newsroom responds to a snarky comment in a nice, cooperative tone of voice (I know that sounds weird, but you know what I mean, then the conversation is much more likely to turn around and even be substantial.

When posting a story or update on both Twitter and Facebook, the wording should be different for both social media sites. Facebook is a more personal form of social media and so posts should reflect that. Similarly, not everybody who uses Facebook uses Twitter; therefore, do not use hashtags or "RT", "MT", @blahblahblah on Facebook.

Afterward, I watched the recorded live stream of how to use twitter for journalism which Ivan Lajara taught to all of the reporters at the Freeman.

The conference was directed towards people who have all different levels of twitter-literacy. some of the main topics included:

Reporters should be following other reporters or news organizations. An easy way to do this is to follow a list rather than follow everyone in the list.

It is okay for newsrooms to retweet information about a story that is not absolutely true by asking in the retweet, "How do you know this?" "Confirmation?", or "What's the source?".

TweetDeck is the way to go! TweetDeck allows you to schedule your posts so that you do not necessarily have to be at your computer to tweet a story or headline. It also allows you to add columns where you can put all of the lists that you follows. TweetDeck has a pop-up that shows you tweets,updates, and everything you need to look for when compiling information through Twitter.

Hashtags are topics. When using a hashtag, it combines all of the same topics that other Twitter users are talking about. It compiles them together and can be very useful when looking for information to put into a story or people to talk to for a specific story topic.

Bit.ly is extremely useful for journalism because it allows you to see what is working and what is not working. When you copy and paste a link into bit.ly, it shortens the link as well as allows you to see how many people are clicking on your link as well as where they are clicking from (ex: facebook, twitter, e-mail.

Twitter is something that all journalists should be updating for their own stories. There should not have to be a set person in charge of Twitter for a single newsroom because journalists should be able to quickly put up a one sentence post on breaking news or story updates.

Technical references that were left out of the livestream video about Twitter can be found here.

One of the most important things that was stated in both videos was to make sure you are expressing yourself as human on your social media sites. They are SOCIAL MEDIA sites; people want to be interacting with your newsrooms twitter or facebook. So be as effectively interactive as possible!

1 comment:

  1. A most excellent post, primarily because it summarized the points neatly into a coherent structure from a most incoherent presentation.

    As is common to say on Twitter, +1!