A few Twitter tips for TV media

TV Test Pattern of Color Bars - Broadcaster's Twitter TipsRecently I had the oppor­tun­ity to help intro­duce a loc­al TV news anchor to the rather con­vo­luted world of Twit­ter, via Twit­ter.

That ses­sion gave me pause to think about what the TV news media really knows about this new media and its den­iz­ens.

So, to save repeat­ing myself, and per­haps help a few oth­er TV types enter into the Twit­ter-sphere, here’s some of the items we’d dis­cussed.

  • What’s Twit­ter all about? Check out the best Twit­ter intro. video ever.
  • What’s an Avatar? Avatar = your icon, just anoth­er name. You use them on many net­works, Face­book, Linked­in, Twit­ter, etc. Here’s an example of an Avatar gen­er­at­or.
  • Short­er tweets work bet­ter. You’ve only got 140 char­ac­ters. Terse works in Twit­ter. Not like broad­cast. Don’t be con­ver­sa­tion­al. Get to your point quickly.
  • What’s a ReTweet? ReTweet­ing or RT is when someone spreads your tweet to their list of fol­low­ers. I RT your mes­sage, and my tweeps see it. That’s why short tweet is bet­ter, it leaves room for RT without major re-edit­ing.
  • Tweet about some­thing that NOBODY ELSE HAS. This is where you add YOUR value to your fol­low­ers. Wire ser­vices are all on twit­ter. Plug some­thing exclus­ive to your broad­cast (and say so) rather then some­thing that moved on a wire ser­vice.
  • That being said, sub­scribe to all the Twit­ter wire ser­vices and news organ­iz­a­tions in your geo­graph­ic region. Oth­er­wise you won’t know what’s hap­pen­ing in the Twit­ter-sphere that’s import­ant to your broad­cast.
  • Mon­it­or men­tions about your Twit­ter account using http://search.twitter.com. Just enter your @username as the search cri­ter­ia and you’ll see all the men­tions of your account.
  • Remem­ber, Twit­ter is a Social Media. Inter­act with your fol­low­ers, don’t just ‘spam’ them with announce­ments of a story you’re run­ning in your next news­cast. Inter­ac­tion is key to devel­op­ing and main­tain­ing an audi­ence in the Twit­ter-sphere.

*** UPDATE *** I found this excel­lent list from the Poynter Insti­tute. If you’re get­ting your feet wet, this is the place to start!
*** UPDATE 2 *** Here’s anoth­er great list I plucked off of a recent #journ­chat (Twit­ter form­al chat for journ­al­ists, writers, blog­gers, etc)

So, did I miss any­thing? Please feel free to add to this list in the com­ments. Oh, and feel free to fol­low me on Twit­ter 🙂

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