Twitter’s fast and strong push to the forefront of online communication led some pundits to claim that the network would be the demise of traditional media outlets.

Some old media brands have struggled to adapt, treating the platform as a glorified RSS feed that only links back to materials on their own websites. But many media businesses have refused to admit defeat, and instead turned the new social platform to their advantage. Twitter is now a valuable addition to the content for those brands.

These four media companies have adopted smart strategies for incorporating Twitter. Each approach shows dedication to making sure that the 140-character posts further promote the company’s mission and engage their readers and customers. Even if you are not in the media sector, the adaptation and strategies of these companies could be applied to any industry.

1. Fast Company – @FastCompany

This media company is focused on business, and it has been very successful in the business of Twitter. First, it has great engagement with other members of the platform. Fast Company frequently retweets other publications and engages with the people who tweet at it. It uses twitter mentions to good effect, name-dropping the companies and people who feature in its stories. It also maintains an ongoing, inspirational, promoted tweet.

Fast Company clearly dedicates enough resources to social media to maintain a regular schedule of tweets. The company is timely in linking to its content and in responding to breaking news. Fast Company stays active even on the weekends, making it a constant source of news for its followers. The high and consistent volume of informative tweets make it a worthy account for anyone in business to follow.

2. TehranBureau – @TehranBureau

TehranBureau is one of the best content providers for a media account on Twitter. It’s a partner of PBS’s Frontline, and is focused on independent news and analysis of Iran. The two reporters managing the feed not only share internal stories about the happenings in the nation, but they frequently share and re-tweet other vital information from across the social media network.

This approach is focused on good use and understanding of hashtags. Most of TehranBureau’s tweets and retweets feature the #Iran hashtag, or a closely related one such as #Egypt or #nuclear. It shows that they know how to work the platform’s capabilities to their advantage in educating and informing readers.

Their performance also shows how specializing can yield excellent results in terms of follower popularity. The feed is following more than 1,000 other Twitter members, and is followed by more than 30,000; a very respectable presence for such a niche account.

3. The Root – @TheRoot247

The Root is a magazine working to share news and opinions from black writers and thinkers. On Twitter, it shares content about the African-American perspective from many sources, from The New York Times to The Huffington Post. Few tweets actually link to articles in The Root.

It’s shares a similar approach to that of TehranBureau: focus on a central topic and disseminate as much information on that topic as possible. By consciously delivering insights from a wide range of sources, The Root has taken its mission of supporting and promoting black voices into social media — creating a unified mission across its properties. The magazine itself features many writers, and its Twitter presence takes the same approach.

4. Doubleday – @doubledaypub

Doubleday responds to requests for reading recommendations and thanks followers for friendly tweets. The whole tone of its Twitter presence is relaxed and chatty, which encourages interaction and makes the company seem approachable for its fans.

Another important aspect to Doubleday’s Twitter strategy is the near-complete avoidance of product placement. There are very few links to Amazon or Google soliciting followers to buy new titles. Instead, the feed’s content is centered on fostering those conversations between readers and writers. Recently, author and robot expert Daniel Wilson got to take over the account to interact directly with followers. This type of strategy means Doubleday is frequently in the public eye and can better develop its relationships with individual customers.

Do you know a media company that’s rocking Twitter? Let us know in the comments!

[Image credit: Martin Thomas]