Social Media Tips and Tricks
By Mabry Culp
Are you a social media guru? Do you tweet, Insta, FB, tumble, and pin? Or are you a hobbit? (getting by with the most minimum forms of social interaction online and maybe even offline) EITHER WAY, the new Sidekick social media initiative is for YOU!
With the help of these guidelines, you too can be social savvy.
1. Concise journalism is the best journalism-‐ High school students do not have large attention spans. Keep your tweets/posts/captions short and sweet, get to your point and don’t overload with information.
Bad FB post: BREAKING NEWS: The Culp cat gained a whole pound this year according
to Michelle’s story!!!!!! LOL she is now 31 pounds and beautiful and wonderful and
happy and fat!!!! :D!<3 Here is a story on her!!!!!! http://www.fakelinktostory.com
Good FB post: Michelle Pitcher explored the mystery of Duchess Culp this weekend, who has gained one pound. Her large belly holds more than fat, but a hilarious personality and unique story. Check out her article for more information on the sassy cat. http://www.fakelinktostory.com
2.Talk to the audience-‐ Ask for stories, current news, polls, etc. We have the ability to see into our audience and really listen to what they have to say, this is a great way to get feedback on stories and opinions on current issues.
Bad tweet: “Wuts up CHS!!!!!!! How was yalls weekend?!?!!!? Did ya see the election??? Wut crap that the republicans lost!! UGH!!!
Good tweet: Have an opinion on the results of the 2012 election? Or know anyone who
does? Share it with us! Just include #SidekickNews and let us know!
3. Tweet photos-‐ Even if you aren’t a photographer, ask permission for one of their fantastic photographs and tweet it with a relevant caption. This is a great way to get people to actually look at our tweets.
Bad tweet/post: (photo of a large cat) OMG CHS look at this large cat that Regan took
a fab pic of!!!! Isn’t it so super adorable?!! #SidekickNews
Good tweet/post: (photo of a large cat) Regan Sullivan had a photo shoot with Duchess Culp, one of the largest cats in Coppell this weekend; here she poses for us.
4. Include student content-‐ One day we will hopefully get tweet/photo responses to our posts when we ask for them, but we need to include them in our publications. With a student body this large, we need to open up and include more kids. Just having them as sources and occasionally highlighting some isn’t enough. This isn’t our paper, it’s theirs, and by doing this we make them feel like it is.
Bad insta post: (student submitted photo of pep rally, friends, etc.) Well look who we have here!!!! The popular girls hanging out as usual at the pep rally!!!! You go girls!!! Good insta post: (student submitted photo of pep rally, friends, etc.) Here we have Ben Cowlishaw laughing with Julianne Cauley as they cheer for the Cowboys at last Friday’s soccer game. Photo credits to Sammy Robben.
5. Use the universal hashtag-‐ On Instagram and Twitter (PLEASE don’t use this on Facebook) hashtag #SidekickNews and use this whenever we can in our tweets and posts, this way people can look us up and it creates consistency for our followers.
6. Use our own accounts for awareness-‐ If you have a Twitter or Facebook, post about us. It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, just once or twice promote your own publication. This is the number one way to gain followers and spread awareness that these accounts exist.
7. Fill the schools needs-‐ Help stop rumors and spread the accurate information (not rumors about people, we need to stay out of that). Snow days, school events, release dates, spring break dates, pep rally schedules, time of sporting events, anything that has a lot of rumors going out, find out the truth and let everyone know. This will give us a good in on inside information with administration and parents.
8. Poll student body on fun things-‐ Closely tying with number 4, ask our readers for their opinions on stuff. What kind of music they’re listening to, what movies they liked and didn’t, what stresses them out, the possibilities are endless.
Bad EX: Hey kids!!!! What is the fresh music in your earbuds??!! Tell us lol!!!!
Good EX: What is your favorite band or song right now? Let us know! #SidekickNews
Social media is a great way for us to connect with our audience. We need to get involved with them and it will help increase the number of readers we have and help accredit us more amongst the students to have up to date information and cool stuff to read. Don’t overthink social posts. Make sure they are grammatically correct and conversational and you are in the clear!
Although we are conversing with our audience, never lose sight of our goals as journalists and the ethical code we hold ourselves to.
HAVE FUN WITH THIS!