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This post is about using twitter to promote news stories – for example a tweet with a link to a news story.
Journalists are trained to wrote professional and responsible headlines – yet they often need to tweak their style for writing tweets.
Often the “responsible” headlines are not engaging enough for twitter.
If you want readers to notice your tweets and click through to any links – you can tweak your tweets with just a few words.
This tweet caught my eye – because it is from where I studied journalism in the US – J-school at Mizzou in Columbia, Missouri
I fondly remember the Columbia Missourian!
Anyway, I just saw this tweet from the Columbia Missourian. It’s OK and functional – but it could be better – more engaging.
Gender-neutral bathrooms encouraged in Columbia http://bit.ly/177glFr
As it is written – it is just a statement. You read it and you’ve got the message. There is no reason to click on further to read the piece.
My old teachers at Mizzou taught us engaging techniques such as offering more than a flat statement.
Especially with story angles and teasres- give a reason to read deeper.
Then again, I concentrated on Broadcast – where the teaser is so vital.
Writing for a news promo is an “art” in itself.
For example, why not when tweaking for twitter:
Why gender-neutral bathrooms encouraged in Columbia
How gender-neutral bathrooms will help you in Columbia
How gender-neutral bathrooms will help in Columbia
I’ve checked the article – it does answer these questions.
(I know media headlines don’t go so far in using YOU – but in marketing and political speeches, YOU is one of the most powerful words! The example 3 would be a suitable engaging headline without using you)
Simply adding or hinting at how news will affect the audience drives readers further into a story – and in the case of tweets, can encourage readers to click on through.
I understand when tweeting you often automatically duplicate the story headline. If you want to get twitter readers to click on your link, it doesn’t take much effort to tweak the tweet.
Tweets should be thought of as personal messages to individual readers – so it’s worth taking the time to tweak the tweet.
Many people think of twitter as just another form of broadcast to the masses.
That’s why lots of messages get ignored – because they are not crafted as more personal messages for individual, very busy readers.
When I help media in Australia – I often get “push-back”. Reporters are so busy getting and writing the story – they don’t want to waste time on all the “social media stuff”. Yet social media is now a prominent way of getting people to read your stories.
I was at first resistant to social media and especially twitter – but I’ve learned how important it is to adjust to social media – and to take time to tweak my tweets.
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