Article

How journalists can best engage with their audience

2 min Best Practice

Reporters can do more than just Tweet out links. Interact with your readers to get the most out of your time spent on Twitter.

Journalists can make the most out of Twitter by engaging with their audiences to grow their followers.

Twitter is a window into what’s happening in the world, which is why some of the most active Twitter accounts belong to journalists. News often breaks first on Twitter, and everyone from national media outlets to reporters on the ground often use Twitter to update the public on developing stories.

Unlike with a traditional TV broadcast or newspaper article, however, the public can take an active role in a story by replying directly to journalists on Twitter. People are more likely to reply to journalists who are willing to engage with them by replying, Retweeting, answering questions, or soliciting news tips. That, in turn, increases a reporter’s followers and drives more interest and trust in the journalist’s work.
 

Join the conversation.

The easiest way to interact with the public is to respond to Tweets and engage fans in conversation.

In this example, a TV reporter made history by becoming Canada’s first hijab-wearing news anchor on a major broadcast. Here, she jumps into a Twitter conversation about female news anchors wearing sleeveless dresses, replying to a Tweet from her own newsroom.

Seek out additional information.

Sometimes the public is a reporter’s best source for leads and information.

In this example, a journalist has been covering the disappearance of men in Toronto’s gay village for years. After Bruce McArthur was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of multiple men who were missing, Justin Ling turned to Twitter for tips and ideas. He opened up his Direct Messages and Tweeted out a call for tips.

Answer questions.

Answering questions directly is the best way to clear up misunderstandings and enhance the public’s knowledge of a topic.

This journalist offers to answer questions in anticipation of a special broadcast. He also responds to user comments by Retweeting with a comment.

Take viewers behind the scenes.

Broadcasting directly to viewers via Twitter breaks down barriers between journalists and their audiences.

This multi-platform reporter is one of the most active journalists on Twitter in Mexico. He often broadcasts live on Twitter from the newsroom to chat with his audience and share what’s going on and coming up on his show.

Have fun!

Reporters are human beings too. Twitter is a good way to remind your audience of that.

This Brazilian journalist has a friendly and easygoing persona on social media. He is constantly thanking his audience, offering advice, and taking part in memes and trends. Here, he asks for a new TV series to watch.