Best Practices For Journalists on Twitter

TweeterNumerous journalists are taking advantage of Twitter, a new social media source. As a result, blogs like Zombie Journalism and The Buttry Diary have come up with specific guidelines that judge whether or not journalists are using Twitter most efficiently. Some of these guidelines include tweeting pictures of stories that journalists are covering, sharing links to the articles that they are writing, sharing links to show their readers that they fact check, live tweeting, and using hashtags.

Adam Schefter is a journalist and analyst for ESPN and NFL Network. He is a perfect example of a journalist who follows the best practices when using Twitter. He regularly tweets pictures, shares links toschefter show that he is fact checking, and live tweets during games and during the free agency period. He retweets other journalists, and he tweets in mid-afternoon. He has been nominated for and won numerous awards for his journalism, and in 2014 New York Magazine named Schefter the most influential tweeter in New York.

Schefter has also authored four books, including Think Like A Champion: Building Success One Victory at a Time about former Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan.

Tweeting Pictures

Tweeting pictures is an important guideline to follow because it gives followers something interesting to look at. It is not just a link to an article. It grabs the attention of the followers. Schefter follows this guideline by tweeting pictures of the stories that he covers. For example, he recently covered a story about how Ben Roethlisberger will be the fourth quarterback in history to win his first 100 of his 150 NFL starts. Schefter tweeted,

Rothlisberger

He did it again when he posted pictures of both the Daily News and the New York Post with their headlines about Percy Harvin, the newly acquired wide receiver of the New York Jets.

newspapers

Sharing Links

Schefter also shares links to the articles that he writes and different links from news sources to show that he fact-checks:

Urlacher

He tweeted this news story when he heard what Brian Urlacher said about his former teammate Jay Cutler. Schefter continually makes sure that he cites his sources when he tweets something. It is important that Twitter journalists share links to their sources because it allows their readers to delve deeper if they are looking for more information.

He also retweets different articles from other Twitter journalists. He recently retweeted,

Mort

Live Tweeting

Schefter regularly live tweets during games. He does so to keep his followers updated on different aspects of the game that they might not know if they do not have the game available to them. He tweeted about the aforementioned Ben Roethlisberger achievement during the game that Sunday. He posted another tweet during the game between the Patriots and the Bears:

Bears

Live tweeting during games and other events allows a journalist’s followers to receive updates in real time even if they cannot watch them.

Hashtagging

While some journalists use hashtags religiously—which are helpful because they make pages easier to access and navigate—I have yet to see Adam Schefter use any at all. He constantly posts to Twitter, especially during the weekend, but he hardly, if ever, uses hashtags. However, despite his lack of hashtagging, his posts still get plenty of retweets from his followers. For example, his recent tweet,

Ryan Mallet

Schefter retweets other journalists such as Pete Thamel:

Thamel

Schefter does a good job of giving other journalists recognition and also giving information about the news that he himself is covering.

Tweeting in The Mid-Afternoon

Along with retweeting other journalists, Schefter tweets in mid-afternoon. He always tweets the most important information between one p.m. and three p.m. It is highly important that a journalist tweets during this time period because this is usually when most people are active. He also tweets breaking news immediately. At two in the afternoon on November 4, he tweeted,

Marcus Lattimore

Conclusion

Overall, Adam Schefter succeeds in following the best guidelines for using Twitter. I only fault him for not using any hashtags because without them, his page is a bit harder to navigate than other journalists’ pages. Other than that, he is still a very influential journalist on Twitter and has gained millions of followers.

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