A better way to Twitter

by Emily Tozer

If a publication isn’t on Twitter yet, it’s missing out big time. Magazines and newspapers use Twitter to link readers to their online content. With only 140 characters to lure your mouse over the link, editors are choosing their words very carefully.

A few editors shared their tips for getting clicks on FolioMag.com. Two mentioned the importance of not being robotic with their tweets. How do they do that? By pulling interesting facts or quotes from the story that will make you want to know more. By replying to follower’s questions and comments. By providing fresh content on each social media platform rather than regurgitating their content onto multiple.

“It’s all about humanizing your digital presence,” said Allie Townsend, social media producer at TIME.

Chances are, you follow editors of your favorite magazines as well as the publication’s account. Social media in general, and Twitter especially, makes it so easy for publications to connect with their readers and the smart ones are taking full advantage of this opportunity.

Personally, I follow editors who don’t use their accounts only to promote the magazine’s content. I like seeing Jane Larkworthy, W magazine beauty director, tweet photos of new beauty products she receives just as much as I like the content she suggests I read. I enjoy reading about the high fashion ensembles Lorraine Candy, editor in chief of UK Elle, dresses her new baby Mabel in just as much as I enjoy the Elle posts she links to. And part of the reason I click on the links is because I feel like I know the person behind the post.

Think about the magazines you follow on Twitter. What makes you click on a link? What makes you un-follow someone? Us journalism students can learn a lesson or two from this. What do you tweet when you link to your blog posts? Could you improve?

Photo via Flickr by Jon Gosier

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3 responses to “A better way to Twitter

  1. I like to follow a lot of the fashion magazines. A few of my favorites are InStyle and TeenVogue. I just feel like they tweet things that get my attention more than others. Especially things like tips, videos, and pictures. I like when the magazines on twitter take into account that there are so many other magazines online, and in order to get our attention they need to personalize their tweets, and subjects they tweet about. It’s more fun to follow a magazine or the magazine editor when you feel like you can share something in common with them or when you feel like you’re getting to know them.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter lately because I’m trying to develop our social media presence at my internship. I work for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, (INHF) a small organization that had a pretty quiet social media presence when I started in August. As the communications intern, I was put in charge of all our social media, and I’m really trying to create a personal voice behind INHF. As you noted, Emily, our followers really seem to respond to genuine interaction instead of pre-made tweets. I think we can all use these tips as ways to make our tweets more successful.

  3. This is a really interesting topic. I do not really follow many magazines, but do follow such newspapers at the Beijinger, China Daily, New York Times, Jerusalem News, and a few others. These newspapers do a good job of tweeting very controversial, declarative or unusual tweet that catch my attention and make me want to read the story. You can tell that the editor, or whoever did the tweet chose the words very carefully.
    As far as my tweeting, I am a big an of following others on twitter and getting information that way, but still do not tweet as much as I should…

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