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#Tip: the big list of headline formulas for the web

August 21st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By mkhmarketing on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By mkhmarketing on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

If a headline isn’t up to scratch, the quality of the content might not even matter as the audience could swiftly move on to the next article.

This is even more important online, where sometimes you get under 140 characters to convince people to click through the link in your Tweet and read, watch, or listen to your work.

This post on Buffer is a collection of more than 30 efficient headline formulas to use when writing articles, blog posts, or social media updates. It goes way beyond the classic listicle, and explains what makes the ultimate headline.

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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: Check out this advice for more effective Facebook posts

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Everybody likes getting a ‘like’ on Facebook.

But if your posts are looking a bit lonely, take a look at these six tips from Newswhip to help you get better engagement on Facebook.

The article features examples from BBC World News and BuzzFeed, and includes advice on comments, scheduling and use of video.

You can join the Journalism.co.uk community on Facebook here.

 

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#Tip: Remember these Twitter tips for journalists

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A lot has been written about how journalists can use Twitter, but this article on Writeca highlights six simple – but not so obvious – ways for reporters to make the most of the platform.

The advice includes engaging with “high-profile” users on Twitter in order to raise your profile, embedding tweets into articles you write and making the most of Vine.

Plus, if you are a Tweetdeck fan (like us here at Journalism.co.uk), there are some handy hints for filters you might want to use for managing and monitoring your feeds.

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#Tip: Note these ways to optimise images for Twitter’s in-stream preview

Twitter T

“If you’ve got a story which is around a map or a graphic but you don’t bother to crop that image properly, you’re effectively killing your own story,” the BBC’s  Mark Frankel told Journalism.co.uk earlier this year.

Twitter got a lot more visual when it rolled out in-stream previews for images late last year, meaning photos posted in a tweet were automatically expanded without users having to click on them.

However, getting it right isn’t as foolproof as it sounds, as the image below shows.

So to avoid giving your own hard work the kiss of death, take a look at this infographic from visual.ly.

It includes handy hints such as the recommended size and crop ratio for landscape images, and how to upload a portrait image which doesn’t accidentally lop off your subject’s head.

 

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#Tip: How often should you be posting to social media?

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Social media might be a great tool for communication, but we all know someone who is a chronic over-sharer.

There’s nothing worse than having your timelines full of someone else’s verbal diarrhoea (and if the person in question is you, it’s a sure-fire way to get yourself unfollowed).

So how many times should you be posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+?

This post on the Buffer blog highlights the importance of striking “the balance between informative and annoying”.

While it doesn’t exactly deliver a cut-and-dried answer, it does offer recommendations from a range of sources – including Buffer’s own strategy for social sharing.

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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: How to build your own personal brand

umbrella

This video on Poynter shows how journalist Robert Hernandez has built a successful personal brand on Twitter under his @webjournalist person, which has more more than 11,500 followers.

Hernandez, digital journalism professor at USC Annenberg, reveals he doesn’t “do branding” and that he had decided “I’m going to be who I am” – even if that includes making nerd jokes.

“I’m a journalist,” he explains. “Your credibility determines what you are known for.”

You can also check out Journalism.co.uk’s tips on personal branding as well as our podcast on the subject.

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#Tip: Social media guidelines for journalists

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

How much of a say should news outlets have over what their journalists post on social media?

If you’re in the process of putting together a set of social media guidelines for your company or are simply curious, take a look at this a list of social media guidelines from international news organisations including the BBC, Associated Press and Reuters.

The list was curated by Kelly Fincham, a journalism professor at Hofstra University in New York, who has also annotated each set of guidelines with a brief comment: “Exhaustive and excellent – particularly on retweets” (AP), “Must for aspiring sports journos” (ESPN), and, “In a nutshell: Don’t be stupid (BBC).

Hat tip to Marc Settle, project producer at the BBC College of Journalism, who tweeted about this list.

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#Tip: Useful tools for digital newsrooms in 2014

January 13th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Multimedia, Top tips for journalists
Image by JM. Some rights reserved.

Image by JM. Some rights reserved.

NewsWhip has put together a list of tools to help digital journalists brush up on their skills and stay ahead of the game this year.

The list of 10 tools every digital newsroom should be using in 2014 includes lots of useful tips for gathering, curating and visualising content.

Items on the list include the Storyful multisearch Chrome plug-in, which allows you to search multiple social networks from your browser bar, and Datawrapper, a quick and simple tool for visualising data.

Other tools include Google image search for verification and of course NewsWhip’s own social news monitoring platform, Spike.

We’ve also put together our own list of essential skills for journalists to hone in 2014. Online journalists can learn more about new digital skills and developments at our news:rewired  conference on Thursday 20 February, 2014.

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