A couple of months ago I was asked to provide my colleagues at ITV’s Millbank Office with some training on how to use Twitter, Google+ and other forms of social media.
Having seen the interesting list compiled by Sarah Marshall of 100 people to follow on Twitter I have been updating my notes for future training. (Incidentally the only name I think is perhaps missing from Sarah Marshall’s list is the “Heard in the Newsroom Team.“)
” Twitter is like sitting on a bus and hearing snippets of every conversation going on around you. The key is to tune out all the boring conversations about what your fellow passengers had for breakfast and to focus on the really interesting gossip.”
“When you tweet it is the equivalent of moving to the front of the bus and shouting into the microphone. Most people will ignore you but occasionally someone will pay attention to what you say and then tell their friends about it.”
“Using the # symbol is the equivalent of choosing the bus you want to take. Everyone else on that bus is talking about the same thing and so by tweeting with the # they are more likely to pay attention to what you say”
“The simplest way to refine your twitter account is to set up detailed lists of those individuals you are particularly interested in. This could be on a particular story – for example using the #FindMeganStammers will bring you a list of all individuals interested in the search for the missing teenager, including police statements and family appeals. Or you can specify it by region or group of people for example a list of innovative journalists (see above).”
“The point is that once you have refined your stream by searching you can then save those people or that search into a list. This list will keep updating with the tweets of the individuals you are interested in looking at, while your main feed fills up with tweets from everyone you are following.”
“A direct message or DM is a private message between two individuals. But as with most things online there is no long term guarantee of its privacy. Twitter has recently been forced to hand over a Occupy Protesters Tweets in the US, these include private messages and so if you want a private conversation don’t use social media. ”