A study entitled “Twitter Best Practices for Journalists and Newsrooms” released late 2012 provides useful and actionable information on how journalists grew their followers by more than 50% in a short time span. Business people and journalists have a lot in common. They stick to facts, run on timely information and look for credibility in what they do and who they deal with. So what works for journalists should be useful for your business.
The study followed more than 150 journalists and news publishers and examined thousands of tweets over a six-month period to uncover patterns of quality engagement.
Here are the takeaways adapted for business.
How to drive follower growth:
- 1. Tweet your beat
- 2. Use hashtags
- 3. Share what you’re reading
- 4. @Cite your sources
Tweet your Beat
A concentrated number of tweets in a limited amount of time, say during a live event such as a conference, usually has a direct impact on the number of followers. The same applies if you steadily tweet on one or a limited set of topics. Consistency and frequency are the key themes here.
Use hashtags – for context
The study mentions that hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100%. When you include hashtags in your Tweets, they become more visible as tweeters search for hashtags/keywords.
This is also applicable when you participate in events or are part of a community. For example #B2BChat.
Share what you’re reading
Journalists receive 100% more active engagement (on good Tweets) when a URL is included. This also applies to business. If your tweet is of interest, of course readers will want to know more than what is provided by the 140 characters. Give them the full story! And if possible, share visuals and pictures. If you have a blog, refer to it! Then reference publications.
Use the Retweet button to curate content. Retweeting also has impact on follower growth. Not everyone reads the article at the moment of publication.
@Cite your sources
The study found that news organizations that tweet 20% fewer URLs and 100% more @mentions grow followers 17% more than expected.
Makes sense. It’s all about credibility and people. Your business works on the same basis, right? So don’t be shy about mentioning influencers, colleagues and other people that engage with you. It’s all good.
Of those 4 elements, you should keep in mind that successful tweeters also stand out because they tweet frequently. Tweeting at least 6-7 times a day ensures that you appear in readers’ streams when they read them.
Want more details? Use this link to access the full study results. And should you want to dig deeper in what Twitter has to offer journalists and news organizations, visit Twitter’s section called “Twitter for Newsrooms” at bit.ly/TwitterForNews.