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 🙂