The companies that are successful with SMM recognize that the first word is social and how they “socialize” is crucial. They use their status updates and tweets in a non-commercial manner, providing information and interesting tidbits that are related to their expertise without pushing a sales message.
Most pieces like this are aimed at commercial rather than journalistic activity. But part of the job of a journalist today is getting noticed out of the clutter of media noise. So such lessons apply to us, as well.
Most of author Ginny Grimsley’s tips in this piece are basic and obvious (though not so obvious that everyone is doing them well). But I’d add one more especially for news media:
• Don’t tease.
You were taught in school that teasing isn’t nice. It’s also not effective. I’m talking here about the practice of telling news consumers that you know something important to them but you won’t tell them about it here or yet, trying to make them follow you to another site or through the commercial break. Research shows the majority of people don’t follow, and some small percentage actually get ticked off at the idea that a journalist is not being up front with them for some cagey, commercial, marketing reason.
So do your job: Tell them what they need to know. Then invite them to know more. The segment of the audience that follows you will be more devoted and higher quality all around.