On Tuesday night Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa), a social media editor and columnist for Reuters - once crowned "the undisputed King of Tumblr" by The New York Times - shared a Google Doc entitled Public Cheat Sheet: Social Media for News on Facebook. The post quickly garnered 51 likes, 12 shares and 6 comments.
The doc, which is broken down under the headers Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Quora, is open to revision by users, and De Rosa's Twitter feed shows that he is taking his own advice by answering questions and thanking people who have contributed suggestions.
Here is an assortment of key suggestions, pirated in good faith from De Rosa's generously offered cheat sheet.
Three Tumblr tips:
- Follow and be followed - Follow people who write about the topics you cover. Reblog their posts and they’ll follow you back.
- Curate - I try to reblog and share more than I post of my own. I do about a 40/60 split between my content and the content I share of others.
- Tag - Tag your posts so they’re seen by tag editors who will then promote them on the respective tag pages. You can find widely used tags here.
Five Facebook recommendations:
- Like it - There are close to a billion people on Facebook, it’s a huge driver of traffic once you get the ball rolling. It won’t happen overnight but it’s worth putting in the time because you’ll eventually have a reliable major source of traffic to your website.
- Mix it up - Post videos and photos, don’t just make it a feed with all links to your articles. Mix it up.
- Be a groupie - Find Facebook Groups related to the subjects you cover. Get involved in the conversations there. Over time they’ll head to your page and then to your website and you’ll build up a readership.
- Ask questions - Run polls asking people what they think about a specific story or subject. In a sports example, who do they think is the best player at any given position, or anything else that will drive debate and comments. Do they think the Goldman Sachs’ resignation letter author is sincere? Be provocative, get them to think and weigh in.
- Subscribe - Turn on the Subscribe feature on your personal Facebook. This will let you share stuff you only want to share with the people who you want to receive it.
Ten tricks for taming Twitter:
- Build lists of sources using Twitter lists. Use this to get ahead of your competition; news breaks on Twitter more often now than it does on mainstream news sources.
- Use MuckRack.com as a way to find journalists by company or by beat and add them to Twitter lists to monitor news that breaks in those topics. Sign up for a free @muckrack account and get daily digests of top journalists’ tweets about your subject of interest.
- Use TweetDeck to monitor multiple lists on one screen, I prefer the old version of Tweetdeck because it has more options.
- Do Twitter searches and look up the subjects you write about. Respond to people who tweet about things you’re writing about, get their attention. Don’t link them to your articles right away, build a relationship over time and they’ll follow you and get the links by following your feed.
- Search Research.ly’s PeopleBrowsr for old tweets that you might need. Enter in a keyword or a username, and you can search a number of days back (like 60 days back for 2 months ago) to narrow your search. They go back about 2 years for free right now.
- Search Topsy.com to find the most relevant and influential tweets
- Don’t start tweets with a Twitter handle unless you want that Tweet to be seen by a limited audience (by the person whose handle you’ve started the Tweet with, and only anyone who follows both of you)
- Retweet (RT) your competition. If you’re sharing the best news from everywhere, people will follow you for everything they need to know.
- Use a URL shortening service, like http://bit.ly so you maximize the room you have to share information in your tweets and so you can track how many people are clicking and sharing your tweet.
- Try to keep your Tweets under 120 characters so others can add comments to your tweet in a RT.
There should be at least five other tools in your social media box:
- Use Storyful.com/pro to help verify reports and tweets you see on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
- Use Storify to combine different types of social content and add context between them.
- Use TrendSpottr for real-time viral content discovery- to help you identify emerging stories that have high viral potential and engagement. It identifies the top trending content (links, hashtags, sources) for any keyword, topic or even Twitter list URL.
- When using Pinterest, originate all pins to places on your Website or social sites so that re-pins always come back to you.
- Use Quora to ask questions and showcase your knowledge on a subject
The top tip in the "Other" section of De Rosa's cheat sheet is about reciprocity. It reads: "There’s a link economy when it comes to blogs and it’s built on sharing each other’s stuff, it helps make your own content stronger and more well rounded and vice versa."
De Rosa once again takes his own advice by making reference in his Google Doc to an article called The 100 Twitter Rules to Live By, written last July by CNBC's sports business reporter Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell), in celebration of his 100,000th Twitter follower. Here is a curated compilation of Rovell's rules (reproduced in his own words).
Five rules regarding your bio, background, handle and avatar:
- Make good use of your Twitter bio space. "Mother, Sister, Daughter, Lover of Life" does absolutely nothing to spark someone's interest.
- Use a real location in your bio, not a state of mind or something pretentious like “On the move.
- Do not use a default Twitter background. Instead, use an image or photo that complements your interests or personality.
- Avoid using underscores and long, jumbled number sequences in your Twitter handle. People should be able to recite your handle from memory.
- I don't care how ugly you think you are, set an avatar. Nobody wants to follow a colored egg. It only means your future on Twitter is "cooked."
Five timing-related tips:
- Twitter is the ultimate on-the-go tool. Find an app you can tweet most comfortably with & learn the heck out of it.
- Twitter isn’t a Monday to Friday site. It flows straight through the weekend.
- If you are going to tweet a long quote, use Twitlonger. Don't continue a quote through three tweets. It becomes very fragmented since most people are following a lot of people.
- Have a good tweet at 3:17AM? If you're not the first to tweet the Vancouver riot kissing couple, hold on to it. Chances are you'll get more eyeballs at 10:00AM.
- Have 3 good tweets to send out that aren't time sensitive? Schedule them at different times (you can use platforms like Tap 11) so each one gets the proper attention.
Five habits of effective followers, @mentioners and retweeters:
- Follow Friday’s are perhaps the emptiest tweets on all of Twitter, unless you tell me why they deserve my follow. Want to give your recommendation more oomph? Do it on Tuesday; nobody is expecting it.
- Always put your comment before the RT. Commenting after the original tweet makes it difficult to distinguish your comment from the original.
- Don't RT something with comment that is better suited for an @reply or DM. Wasting your followers' time is a no-no.
- Don't always use Twitter's "Retweet" button. If you find something worth retweeting, use "RT" & get the credit you deserve for finding it.
- Don't go too long without checking your @mentions. Twitter isn't a one-way street and you should take in valuable feedback.
Five golden rules of Twittiquette:
- Don't be tempted by the speed of Twitter. Take a breath before each tweet and ask, "If I was a follower, would I want to read this?” If not, delete it.
- Don't tweet about something amazing you just saw without including a pic. That's the ultimate Twitter tease right there.
- Always credit your source if you find content worth sharing.
- Don't ask to be followed. Twitter is a meritocracy. Earn it.
- Get people who surround you on a daily basis on Twitter. Believe me, it’s a marriage tip too.
Image by Benjamin Reid