Friday, January 23, 2015

Don’t try too hard to please Twitter — and other lessons from The New York Times’ social media desk

NiemanLab reporting: The past year brought major changes to The New York Times. The social media desk’s editors joined a new department, Audience Development. Our team gained new resources as we combined efforts with colleagues who previously ran the Times’ Facebook page on the business side of the company, formalizing a relationship that had been more casual. Our desk now works alongside teams focused on search engine optimization, community management, newsroom analytics, and growth. We focus on setting standards for the distribution of Times journalism to broader audiences...
On a daily basis we publish many articles that need an alternative approach to attract readers that might come to us from social media. But there are also a significant number of instances where we shouldn’t try too hard to write a great tweet when other skilled journalists in our newsroom have already written one in the form of a headline. We’ve learned that lesson on our team, and also work to communicate it to desks around the newsroom that are more actively staffing their own Twitter accounts.
Photographs and other visuals all but took over Twitter’s main stream in 2014. It became not uncommon to see news organizations and even some journalists embed a photo in nearly every tweet. We expanded our use of visuals on @NYTimes, but in a way that served Times journalism and held us to our high standards for photojournalism...

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