I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that change is something that journalists will have to go through and accept. Social media has changed not only our profession, but the world. Where many old time journalists may see social media as a Myspace profile for teenagers to share photos, to a journalist who keeps up with the times, it can be used as a tool to get the news out to their readers and the world. If a journalist can get a decent social media following they can get more readers, viewers, listeners or all of the above. Just like when writing a lead to a story, you have to post something catchy. If you’re a good journalist it shouldn’t be too hard to do.
It is important however to not get carried away when it comes to social media. A journalist no matter what must remain objective. I personally have seen many journalists go overboard when using their social media be it putting their own opinions in their posts or revealing personal information that can put their safety in danger. I’ve noticed many journalists put a disclaimer in their bio sections on facebook or twitter stating that opinions expressed are their own and not the organization they work for. Even though they may say that, the reader can still associate the two.
A good way of writing a social media post to draw viewers in is to maybe write it like a TV or radio tease, the lines before going to commercial break like “Two local teenagers locked up for animal abuse, more after the break.” A way to do that for social media is “Two local teenagers locked up for animal abuse, click the link for more.” You have to tease viewers, or draw them in.
One last thing to remember about social media and maybe even journalists is that more times than not, less is more.
Click here for an Example Of A news organization’s Facebook page.
Click here for the same organization’s Twitter page