There is no doubt loads of stuff out there for journalists wanting to use Twitter for their work but I've recently been asked for such advice by journalists so here's my take on it.
I guess to be more 'current' this should be about Google+, Pinterest or Instagram. But despite Twitter being considered to be well established within the media community there are still many thousands of journalists who have yet to dip their toe in.
So for those journalists just starting out on Twitter here are ten basic tips:
- Be transparent. Make sure you have a decent picture of yourself and biography that clearly states that you are a journalist, the sectors you cover and the main titles you work for
- Find specialists. Follow organisations and experts in the areas you cover. This may require some research
- Hook up with PRs. Follow PR professionals in the sectors you cover. You may not be interested in everything they have to say but by following them you will be making your existence known
- Tweet your stories. This is not egotistical, instead it is very useful to those who follow you to see what sort of thing you are producing. When your articles go online Tweet the headline and a link (use a link shortener), it is a good idea to add [by me] so it's transparent
- Be opinionated. Tweet thoughts on major issues relating to the sectors you cover
- Tweet as you research. As long as you don't think you're giving too much away to competitive titles it is a good idea to tweet facts you uncover during research
- Seek interviews. If emailing or phoning a PR contact does not elicit a useful response, tweet the organisation instead. To publicly ignore you does not look good
- Be consistent. Aim to tweet at least once a day. This will keep you going while you get into it, it's very easy to abandon Twitter early on before you've developed your community
- Make it easy. Install a Twitter app on your phone (if you don't have a smartphone then get one) and make sure Twitter or a Twitter client is a default tab on your laptop/desktop browser
- Think 'community'. Remember Twitter (as is social media in general) is a two-way street, don't just talk at people but converse with them too
Another good tip is to use ResponseSource to make media enquiries and choose the 'reply by Twitter' option or include your Twitter ID in each request, this is a good way of encouraging relevant followers.
It's also worth mentioning the #journorequest hashtag, which you can use when tweeting requests for help with articles. I don't know how effective it is, I'd be keen to hear any feedback on how well it works.