Posted: Tue 10th Jun 2014
Recently we did a qualitative research project to see how a prominent health organistation could harness their existing social media presence to bolster their media relations. We combined the result of that research with the most popular crowdsourced ideas to bring you these 7 Top Tips for using Twitter effectively.
1. Monitor - The benchmark and baseline of all activity. There are almost daily requests from journalists to contribute to existing news or to identify potential stories. Build a list to sort your followers and then work out what your key journalists are interested in.
2. Who/What/When/How - The same rules apply as traditional media: supply the media with what they want, when and how they need it. Even the biggest fans of twitter still prefer phone and email. Use the channel preferred by the journalist.
3. Be responsive - social media is a tool that can be used to keep a large number of people informed about a current or fast moving story. According to a Lithium commissioned study, 72% of customers expect a response to their Tweet from a brand within an hour or a complaint - Journalists are no different.
4. Be specific - Whilst an organization may have tens of thousands of followers, it may be missing out on building relationships with key journalists or other influential followers. Use a paid for tool like Lissted to analyse your key groups.
5. DM is the best policy - If pitching, then it is often best to use a direct message for privacy and impact. Less likely to go wrong in public and more likely to be taken seriously as a direct, and exclusive pitch. Be careful though. It can be seen as very lazy to pitch stories via twitter. Unless you use private messages, other journalists can see it on your timeline as a constant feed. How to pitch using DM.
6. Be sociable to avoid spamming - What goes around comes around: Journalists often tweet links to their stories. So be sociable and share them. It can pay dividends when it comes round to your time to pitch a story. If someone follows you and is influential, follow back and even better say hi or #ff. Pitching stories can work on social networks but not from standing start. This is equivalent to a cold call or spamming.
7. Integrate social channels for the best results - Content is still king so use blogs and push them via twitter to a relevant journalist if it matches a topic that they are working on. There are some great tools available.
This blog was produced by Andrew Hadfield, Director at www.mavincomms.com