Tweeting on the Next Level: Best Practices for Journalists, Businesses and Organizations

The Twitter Book

There are plenty of Twitter books out there. Many trying to make a quick buck from the Twitter hype.

What is lacking so far on the scene is serious help that brings people beyond the early stages.

At the University of Washington, Kathy Gill and her students in the “Twitter Class” are compiling a book not only on best practices, but also want to give examples for businesses and organizations. O course, the conversation is on Twitter (hashtag #uwtwtrbook). I spent Tuesday night in their class room, listening in on the conversation. (Full disclosure: I was Kathy’s student in a Digital Journalism class at UW on the Future of News spring quarter)

Guest Speakers

Monica Guzman and Tracy Record, both actively tweeting Seattle Journalists were guest speakers at the class. I have summarized the take-aways from their talks.

Best Journalist Practices (by moniguzman)

Moni Guzman developed a “best practice guide for her office. These are helpful tips she had for her colleagues, meaningful for all journalists:

  • keep track of  your own news room and local news people
  • if you have a beat, keep in touch with audience and others on your beat
  • use tools to acces Twitter more easily
  • use (or for posting links

what to tweet:

  • links to your story (55-80%)
  • notes on the process (be mindful, not too much away giving) (5-10%)
  • RT/responses (15-20%) – a way to also keep it going if u haven’t tweeted in a while
  • Q&A might get annoying. If you want to have an answer, say something of value and try to get responses
  • retweet other people
  • new features or tools on the website
  • break news, then everybody retweets you!
  • good tweets for mothers
  • give funny & interesting responses


Kathy explaining Twitter as a shout out method ©pcbritz

Kathy explaining Twitter as a shout out method ©pcbritz

Twitter and Businesses:

Twitter is supposed to be human. But the purpose of business is to make money off of you! So how do companies get around that? (see amazonmp3) –> give, give, give. (Moniguzman)

Open Question: Businesses use of Twitter internally vs externally?

For Business Marketing on Facebook and MySpace (Filiz Efe):

Research shows that users do not want to purchase products and services via their profile page

They want a conversation, give feedback etc.

Brands should treat their customers as colleagues rather than customers. The book will expand on how to do this.


Random Tips from Tweets During Class:

  • Twitter is a resource, a way to connect, & a way to build a network. (“The most rewarding aspect of Twitter is building a network”)
  • Be where your readerss are! If they are on Twitter, BE ON TWITTER!
  • Advice for live tweeters at events: have a live handle to avoid flooding people like I’m doing right now!
  • Perhaps the Twitter class can try co-tweet?
  • Use twine to create a permanent corpus of websites with comments etc.
  • “Typical” problems of new technology: phone was considered invasive and impolite (cf. caller ID giving out information)
  • How is Twitter like/unlike other telecommunication instruments? What may that tell us about where it is headed?
  • have fun and tweet at the same time, share pictures, events etc.
  • @moniguzman says journalism is getting more and more about conversation
  • how do you measure conversation? @-sign is an indicator of conversations on Twitter


Bottom Line:

This short conversation sort of sums up the night:

Q to moni: What are you trying to achieve on Twitter?

M: When Seattle PI launched online only, they decided to have an actual Twitter strategy. Most important at first: ROI (Return on Investment) = hits (at least it’s what editors care about)

“You want to grow the network with which you are talking, but I’m really positive about Twitter being a conversation. We need to be in there, listening and talking… and the news world has been turned upon its head: News organizations are now crediting each other when they used to mostly ignore each other’s existence.”

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: