Productivity series

5 Ways To Use Twitter To Research Journalists

How to use social media to understand what journalists are writing and their audiences

Research Journalists

60% of journalists in the US use Twitter. A lot of them are interacting and sharing content on a day-to-day basis. They share articles they are interested in, and articles they write themselves.

Even if they don’t use Twitter lately, it’s still a good repository on information about them.

People usually share posts that they are interested in, and share new stories within their beat. Their Twitter history will give you a background on what they’ve written in the past, and other topics they enjoy. They share their thoughts. It helps you get a better understanding of them.

2. Monitor when they are asking for experts or have problems

In addition to HARO, Twitter is also a good way to help out reporters. Reporters tweet about experts they’re looking for or problems they are having. Look through their tweets and evaluate what kinds of experts they are looking for. It’ll be helpful in understanding what kinds of stories they’re writing in the future, and what kinds of problems they are having.

3. Check who are sharing their articles

Search articles they write or their username in Twitter Search. Social sharing has become immensely important when new posts come out. People share these articles because they’re interested in the topic. Looking at who is sharing their articles is a great way to know this reporter’s audience. You can answer questions like:

  1. Who reads their work?
  2. Who shares their work?
  3. How many shares is this person getting?
  4. How engaged are their readers?

This may give you a sense of who reads their posts. You can click through to their Twitter profiles to learn more about them. It helps understand the demographics of the reporter’s audience.

It’s important to consider the reach of a reporter’s audience as well. If their audiences shares a lot or gets a lot of likes, you will get a lot of focused engagement when they share your client’s post. The reach is multiplied if a lot of industry influencers read that journalist’s posts.

4. Comments/Discussions on their posts

A lot of people comment when they re-tweet or tweet the blog post links with their opinions. It’s helpful to gauge what people are saying on Twitter about the article itself. Understanding their audience and their opinions is important. It can help you in developing a better pitch, and being more targeted in your pitch emails.

5. Find Publication They Work For on Twiter

Most publications have Twitter accounts now. A great way to get context on the most interesting posts at a publication, is to look through their Twitter feed. They usually don’t share all their posts, but their most important posts. You can analyze to see what types of content each publication/editors wants before pitching them.

Most of this advice is dependent on what industry you’re in. It doesn’t apply universally to all types of publications. But, they’re slowly becoming more applicable as more industries move to strongly using social media.

Try these out on a sample journalist: Steve Cuozzo.

Further reading

This post was written by . Abhi graduated from New York University with a degree in Creation of Artificial Intelligence. He is the co-founder of NewsAI.

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