Previously published in NCEW (National Conference of Editorial Writers) Newsletter
Use Twitter daily (even weekends) to promote your editorials, columns, letters, stories. It will drive page views, and that makes the boss happy.
Increase your reach beyond your followers by using hashtags — #schools, #congress #healthcare. If you’re a gamer, hashtags are equivalent to power bursts. They make you stronger.
You have 140 characters on Twitter. Use them to your advantage with provocative Tweets, but always leave room for the link to your content.
Don’t clutter your timeline with trivia. When you Tweet, you want followers to know it’s worthwhile for them to read.
Use humor and satire to make your points. Clever always wins the day.
Don’t go off against a Twitter critic. Be respectful and use it as an opportunity to repost your link when you hit “Reply.” You win if there’s room for a hashtag.
Don’t post too early or too late in the day to maximize the number of readers of your posts. I like to put up the good stuff at about 8:30 a.m. to catch my Pacific Time zone and still get to the East before lunch. (They’ll read you in different time zones if you use your hashtags).
Make sure your Twitter profile says you’re the editor, editorial page editor or columnist at your paper. Don’t assume people know you are somebody. Brand yourself on Twitter. it will increase your followers. Readers are intrigued that the editor of the paper tweets.
Live Tweet an editorial board meeting or news event. We have done this when we have had the governor or other major newsmakers in for editorial board meetings. It brings attention to our Twitter profile, often creates news and increases our influence with our readers.
Did I mention using hashtags? The No. 1 rule for Twitter is getting beyond your followers to the greater Twitter universe. Hashtags help you do this. Consider them sunscreen for Twitter. Apply often.
National Society of Newspaper Columnists