Recently, my Journalism lecturer challenged us to find a newsworthy story every day to share on Twitter in an attempt to teach us how to use social media effectively. The idea was that we would learn the benefits Twitter has to journalism as well as to stop us boring the world with what we’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Each day I face the task of monitoring the various news websites for something that may educate and interest my followers. I must say it has been a really valuable experience and I would challenge everyone to have a go.
So, what have I learnt through the exercise?
1. Every morning I begin the day clued up on the latest news, both nationally and regionally. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with global affairs. Any good media and comms student should be doing this anyway so why not tweet about it? Also, knowing exactly what is going on in the town/country/world is a great conversation starter, especially when you are trying to impress!
2. It’s a great way to keep your followers interested in you, so long as you choose stories and articles that will interest them. Most of my followers are from the media industry so MediaGuardian, PR Week and many media related blogs have been extremely useful. Again, it’s a brilliant learning experience as even just by scrolling through the headlines you will gain an insight into the day’s news.
3. If you tweet something of particular interest, and before everyone else, you will find yourself being RT which in turn generates more followers. This is the ultimate aim of each tweet!
4. Why not choose a headline which you believe will create a discussion? Rather than just simply re-writing a headline alongside the URL why not add a brief opinion? Followers will start to see your personality through the articles you choose and your comments about them. This should save you the need for monotonous tweets about your day’s events and your inner-most feelings!
5. Use news stories to raise awareness and create support. If you feel particularly passionate about a cause or charity then post articles about them. If others RT them you can maximise the potential for help and donations, whether time or monetary. A prime example is the many users posting articles about the Japan earthquake followed by links to websites asking for donations.
I’m sure there are many other benefits… I’m still a beginner at this challenge. I know it will take a while until I completely stop sharing tedious posts about my university workload but I will definitely continue to take my lecturer’s advice. I will keep you updated with my progress.
In the mean-time I challenge you to give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Photo: google images
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