Shhh… I was inside Twitter

Geeked out last month when I got the chance, along with the a bunch of other journalists, to check out Twitter HQ in downtown San Francisco. The bonus tour was part of this year’s Online News Association conference.

Twitter is no longer your brother’s tech start-up. This company has got cash. Posh building; gourmet cafeteria; dreamy rooftop staff lounge. I digress.


Anyway, while bribing us with free drinks and food, Mark Luckie, Twitter’s manager of journalism and news, and Erica Anderson, the company’s newsroom liaison, gave us the golden rules of what journalists should be doing on Twitter to increase their followers, engagement. The Twitter team spent a few months studying 150 journalists and came up with … nothing revolutionary. Still, these tips are good reminders.

1) Tweet your beat. Use Twitter routinely but also tweet in bursts (ex. live tweeting of breaking news, meeting, etc.) to build followers.

2) Use hashtags. To organize conversations, gather feedback.

3) @cite your sources. “Brands that tweet 20% fewer URLs and 100% more @mentions grow followers 17% more than average.” Don’t just link stories.

4) Share what you’re reading. “To increase the engagement on your account and Tweets, mix it up a bit: when individuals share URLs to non-company sources, they experience a bump in follows.” I’d add use common sense and don’t link to your direct competition.

For more click here.

Today’s tool to try: This one comes from Dave Johnson of the Welland Tribune. He’s been trying out Spundge. What is it: Start-up company with ties to Toronto’s Craig Silverman of Regret the Error fame. It got some buzz at ONA. It’s a curation and collaboration tool designed for newsrooms, journalists to work on projects. See what Dave’s been doing with it so far. Anyone else given this a try? It might be useful for cross-country QMI projects.

Online News: One thing you should read today. Poynter article on the rise of smartphones/tablets and the amount of news readers are consuming on these platforms.

If you’ve got more than a minute: Seattle cops are using Twitter to their beat. Let’s try to get cops across Canada to do the same.

More Twitter pics for those who are curious.





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