Tasked with coming up with a “best practices” list for journalists just getting their feet wet on social media, I asked other digital journalists what one piece of advice they would give digital rookies. Here were my favorite responses responses. (You can view the Storify thread here.)
@amartinmedia think before you tweet!!—
Nicole Pellows (@NicolePellows) May 14, 2012
I like this one. It is entirely too easy to hit send on social media platforms before actually thinking about what you are saying. Think about it. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Scott Schwebke (@TheChalkOutline) May 14, 2012
Engage. Talk to your readers. Crowdsource, just like I did for this post.
Katherine Wutz (@kateIME) May 14, 2012
You only get 140 characters on Twitter, you don’t have to use them all when fewer will suffice. And, please, don’t go over 140 (on Twitter, that is).
Laura Wehde (@laurawehde) May 14, 2012
Twitpics! Show your followers what you see. There are no excuses if you have a smart phone.
@amartinmedia be accurate, ask yourself if youd want a tweet on the cover of the NYT the next day before sending, keep it interesting—
Dan Brechlin (@DanBrechlinRJ) May 14, 2012
Your Tweets and posts will be linked to you forever – even if you delete them! Seriously. Give it some thought- you don’t want to go viral for the wrong reason.
@amartinmedia Mind your grammar and spellings - they still count, at least for reporters!—
Auditi Guha (@AuditiG) May 14, 2012
Check your grammar. If you’re a journalist, you should be able to craft a Tweet or post without having to misspell words or use the number “2″ instead of to or too.
LE Gomez (@RunGomez) May 14, 2012
This is great advice. Watch others in your newsroom that are active on Twitter. If they Tweet a lot, they likely know what they’re doing. Search Twitter and Facebook for effective journalists across the industry as well. Watch what they do. And, more importantly, watch what they don’t do.
Frencie Aguilh (@Frencie_dlaz) May 14, 2012
Reach out. Even if you don’t know a person in real life, give them a shout if you have a question or like what they posted. Start a conversation. Don’t be passive.
Melissa Lyttle (@melissalyttle) May 14, 2012
Ethics. You are a journalist first and foremost. Don’t forget that.
@amartinmedia Be honest, trustworthy and have respect for your followers. They may turn into sources. Keep everything professional.—
Michael H. Miller (@mhmiller) May 14, 2012
I agree, but with one caveat. You don’t always have to talk about your profession. Be human. Be personable. Be funny. Be yourself. Remember to keep it classy.
@amartinmedia ATTRIBUTION COUNTS ON TWITTER TOO. Sorry to yell.—
(@jeremyjojola) May 14, 2012
Give credit where it’s due (and watch your caps lock).
What one tip would you give journalists getting started on social media? Add them below in the comment area or give me a shout on Twitter @amartinmedia #tips<140.