Journalists are content curators, which makes social networks an ideal professional fit. Social sharing allows you to curate content and add commentary that goes beyond the scope of article assignments, plus it and can help grow and engage your social following.
But just what should you share on social channels? Here we discuss where you can and should be pulling content from to make sure you have a smart, relevant, and dynamic social presence.
Share Your Work (And Other Articles from Your Publication)
When thinking through what content should be shared, the simplest and most obvious place to begin is with your own clips. To maximize your social potential, be sure that you know all the specifics on when your articles will be published so you can share with your followers when the story’s fresh. This is especially important for freelancers.
For major stories, you may find it worthwhile to post teasers, behind the scenes information, live news updates, or commentary while you’re working. This keeps your followers up to date on the latest news and helps build interest for what you’re working on.
In addition to sharing your own work, however, it’s a good idea to share other content from your publication when it’s relevant to your news beat and your social followers. Even though it might not drive people to your work specifically, building interest in your publication can help your work indirectly. Your publisher will likely approve of any social boost you can offer, and sharing or commenting on articles is a good way to connect with your fellow writers.
Share What You Find Interesting (And Relevant)
Most journalists have a specific area of expertise and therefore have a pulse on what is going on in that industry, as well as followers who are interested in that subject. Since you probably can’t cover your beat comprehensively on your own, it’s useful to share relevant news, articles, and resources even if they weren’t written by you or published by your publication.
One rule of thumb: you probably don’t want to share content that’s extremely similar to other articles you’ve shared or articles you’ve written yourself. This isn’t to say that you can’t publicize your competition when they’ve written a solid take on a relevant topic, but you don’t want to subject your followers to content that’s repetitive or they might not be your followers for long. Adding your own commentary when posting links to these articles can help them stand out from work you’ve done as well as kick-start discussion amongst your followers.
Because there are so many potential beats a journalist may be covering, it’s impossible to offer you a comprehensive list of links to draw on here. Do you cover business? World politics? Technology? Look for publications that write interesting, authoritative content in your field of expertise and draw from those sources. Chances are the best place to start is your own personal reading list: what you read and enjoy is likely to be interesting to your readers as well. In addition to sharing article links, you may also want to follow your favorite publications on social channels and share their work from there.
Remember that quality counts here. If you want to build a personal brand as a reliable journalistic source, you don’t want to share inferior or inaccurate information. Sharing bad information can impact your own online reputation, which is why it’s important to cultivate reliable news sources to draw from for social sharing. Don’t be any more lackadaisical with content you’re sharing than you would be with content you’re writing.
Network with Other Journalists
Inevitably, some of your social attention will be spent on networking and talking shop with other writing professionals. When you’re setting up your social profile, it’s a good idea to follow co-workers and publications you write for to keep up with the latest happenings. Following these accounts means you’ll see discussions as they happen, making it easier to share content or join the conversation.
However, if networking is one of your social goals, it’s also key to stay in the loop on industry news. When you run into something interesting about the media, you can share it with your followers to start a conversation or use it as a springboard to pose a specific questions. Whether keeping up with the news helps you build a reputation as an industry insider or lets you start relevant conversations with other journalism pros, it’s a great way to network.
Resources for Journalists
If you aren’t sure where to look, here are some great resources for industry news and features:
- Poynter Institute: A journalism school, Poynter collects and publishes news and features about the industry.
- Pew Research Journalism Project: A nonpartisan fact tank, this division of The Pew Charitable Trusts publishes interesting statistics about the news media.
- Columbia Journalism Review: Though the printed industry magazine is published only six times a year, the website is updated daily with industry news.
- Mediabistro: Part job board and part online academy, Mediabistro publishes industry news and offers resources for continuing education.
- Nieman Journalism Lab: Part of the Nieman Foundation, Nieman Lab publishes in-depth features about media industry.
- On the Media: This NPR show and podcast discusses top media issues.