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#Tip: How to use BuzzSumo to monitor social analytics

August 18th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Screengrab from BuzzSumo.com

Screengrab from BuzzSumo.com

Knowing which stories get the most attention from social media is a big step in finding out what type of content audiences want from a certain media outlet.

Sarah Marshall, social media editor EMEA at the Wall Street Journal, recently wrote about five ways she uses BuzzSumo, a free analytics tool for social.

Although BuzzSumo was not created specifically for journalists, it allows users to see who’s engaging with a particular article, who the influencers in a chosen field are, and much more.

The set of tools it brings to the table will, as Marshall wrote, make social media editors love it.

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#Tip: Remember these guides to online content length

April 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by Thinkstock

Image by Thinkstock

In print, the parameters for article length, headlines, picture arrangement and more have been handed down over generations, tried and tested over centuries to determine what best draws readers’ attention through an article.

Reading gravity is central to article lay-out and space limitations dictate how long articles should be, how they fit around images, and where they appear on the page. On the web, all of that goes out the window.

Or does it?

A recent blog post from Buffer collects results from multiple studies on the “ideal length” of Facebook and Google+ posts, tweets, headlines, blogs, paragraph width, email subject lines and other online publishing platforms, based on the level of engagement they received.

Screenshot from Buffer

Screenshot from Buffer

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#Tip: Learn how to use Weibo to find Chinese stories

March 31st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Social media has become a vital tool for distributing content and its growing usefulness in finding stories and sources makes it a key part of the modern journalist’s toolbox.

Self-proclaimed social newswire Storyful has made a business out of finding stories on social media, far beyond the mainstream of Facebook and Twitter, and shared some tips on the subject recently.

In a blog post looking at how to “discover content” on Chinese social network Weibo, Storyful’s Sophia Xu said “its integration with other social platforms make it the first place where Chinese users spread news and share viral stories”.

The whole thing is well worth a read if you’re looking to find stories that may not have made it into the English-language media.

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#Tip: Advice from Twitter on tweet engagement

March 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Simon Rogers, Twitter’s head of data, posted a data analysis on the social network’s media blog last week, looking at the statistics of what drives engagement in the fleeting world of Twitter.

The effects of photos, hashtags, links, quotes, video and numbers included in the tweets of more than two million verified accounts were assessed by data scientist Douglas Mason, explained Rogers. All of the above had a positive impacet, but depending on the type of account and the industry they work in, some are more effective than others.

The Twitter data team wrote up individual posts for each industry they looked at to give a more detailed analysis of the breakdown in engagement stats and warned that although the new data is useful, it should not dictate an overall social media policy.

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#Tip: Remember these social media tools for reporters

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

The Wall Street Journal’s DJ@DJ (digital journalism at Dow Jones) event runs several times a year, bringing members of the organisation together to share their knowledge and experience in different fields in a four-day training session in New York.

Among many sessions covering tips and tools for digital innovation, social media editors Elana Zak, Rubina Fillion and Allison Lichter explained how a number of different platforms can be used to engage with the publication’s community and find new stories, helpfully written up for a blog post by WSJ.com’s new social media editor EMEA, Sarah Marshall.

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#Tip: Search Twitter using Topsy (which now has every tweet since 2006)

binoculars

 

As this New York Times headline states: ‘If Google could search Twitter, it would find Topsy‘.

Topsy is a search engine that lets you find archived tweets – and now includes every tweet sent since the dawn of Twitter.

The New York Times article states:

On Wednesday, the San Francisco company announced that it has now indexed every Twitter message since the first tweet was posted in 2006 — about 425 billion pieces of content when you include photos, pages linked from Twitter, and other related material. (Previously, its complete archive only went back to 2010.)

Here’s the full New York Times article.

Topsy

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#Tip: Add a filter to hide royal baby tweets

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

As journalists most of us are familiar with setting up columns in TweetDeck or other apps to display tweets containing certain keywords.

One of the features added to TweetDeck earlier this year lets you exclude certain words or users from a column.

If you find your Twitter stream becomes busy with a topic you are not interested in you can filter out those tweets.

You can do so by clicking on the arrow at the top of any of column and specifying words to exclude.

tweetdeck-filter

And if you are not interested in royal baby news, the Guardian has added a ‘republican’ button to its homepage which hides coverage.

Last year the news site had a button to hide news on the Olympics, and in 2011 offered an option to omit royal wedding coverage.

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet gave its readers the choice of a ‘Breivik-free’ version during the trial of Anders Behring Breivik.

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#Podcast: Growing social media communities

Image by Thinkstock

Image by Thinkstock

This week’s podcast looks at:

  • How Future builds social media communities before launching a new product;
  • How a wedding title retains brides-to-be within their social media communities after their big day;
  • Tips on community building from the Guardian, which this week passed the 1 million followers milestone on its @Guardian flagship account.

Journalism.co.uk technology editor Sarah Marshall speaks to:

  • Katherine Radarecht, group publisher at Future 
  • Victoria Joy, online editor at YouAndYourWedding.co.uk, an Immediate Media title
  • Laura Oliver, community manager, the Guardian

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes podcast feed.

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#Tip: Read this post on searching social media

April 2nd, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists
binoculars

Image by Nic Soto on Flickr. Some rights reserved

The BBC College of Journalism has a helpful post on searching social media.

BBC internet research specialist Paul Myers has written a post with tips on searching Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites.

If you find that post helpful you might also like this guide on searching social media for stories.

Journalism.co.uk runs a course on advanced online research skills. The next course runs on 18 April. At the time of writing there were three places available.

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#Tip: Facebook to introduce comment replies and more

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Facebook this week announced it would be introducing new features for comments which will, according to a post by journalism programme manager Vadim Lavrusik, enable journalists to “reply directly to comments left on your Page content and start conversation threads”.

Lavrusik says discussions will also be “re-ordered by relevance to viewers” and those considered the most “active and engaging” will also work their way to the top.

According to the Facebook for Journalists post, the new functionality, which users can opt-in to, will be available on pages from 10 July. Lavrusik adds that it will also “be automatically turned on for profiles with more than 10,000 followers”.

Incidentally, Lavrusik will be delivering the keynote speech at news:rewired on Friday 19 April.

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