Call to Action

As a result of this research, I believe that documentary units should create a new position in which one person is solely responsible for updating and monitoring the feeds. I fear that if this one person has other responsibilities, such as writing and editing, updating and maintaining the feeds will fall by the wayside and only get updated occasionally or hap-hazardly which is counter-productive to building a culture of participation and trust.

The unit should also have an assistant that helps the social media manager find, create and respond to posts. However, the main job of the assistant will not be to tweet on the account but to work on special projects in the unit and push the strategy forward. This can be by creating Storifys, a “How To Follow This” guide, or a “Featured Tweets” section on the blog. Either way, these projects are something that are relevant to the community and have the ability to change and evolve as the feed changes and evolves over time.

Their schedule and the way they work together will look something like this:

9 a.m. — The social media manager will check the feeds for any action that has happened overnight and respond to those comments, concerns or mentions. This is also time to note anything unusual that has happened while out of the office and to search hashtags online.

10 a.m. — The social media manager should familiarize themselves with the day’s news inside their own newsroom and outside of it by looking at their Twitter or RSS feeds and lists and speaking to colleagues about things they are working on in the newsroom.

11 a.m. — It’s time to formulate the day’s posts that you did not formulate the day before — meaning what the posts will say and the times you will post them - and then schedule the posts for later in the day (preferably at noon and five).

Lunch — Monitor the noon posts for feedback and respond to all comments, questions or concerns. Also RT any relevant news from your Twitter stream.

3 p.m. — Start to think about tomorrow’s posts. Plan some posts for the hours after you leave work and the early morning hours tomorrow, and communicate with the newsroom and reporters for any stories that may break tomorrow.

4 p.m. — Create a recap of the day’s social interaction — concerns users had and questions that were raised and send to the newsroom daily or weekly.

5 p.m. — Document the day’s or the week’s stats and determine what worked and what didn’t. How many people responded to your posts and which ones? What can you do better? Make inferences and adjust your strategy accordingly.

6 p.m. — Monitor the late afternoon posts for feedback, comments, questions or concerns and RT or reply to any relevant news from the Twitter stream.