By ASHLEY SCOBY
Several buzzwords have floated around the journalism world over the last few years, and “social media” is a phrase at the top of that list. Strengthening your social media presence as a journalist was a focus at one of AWSM’s sessions this year, a panel led Daniel Petty, the digital director of sports at the Denver Post.
Petty posed a question for journalists to ask themselves: “What are you trying to do with social media?”
Photographers, reporters and editors might all have different answers, but whatever answer you come up with is one that you should stick with throughout all your social media platforms.
Figuring out which platforms to use can be a struggle for journalists, too. According to Petty, the big three that journalists need to focus on are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He also mentioned Snapchat as one platform that journalists should keep an eye on as it continues to develop.
When it comes to Facebook, it’s the social media platform that is most used around the world, with 936 million daily active users on average (in March 2015). Petty also said that 23% of the population is on Twitter, compared to 60% for Facebook.
Twitter – although seen as the outlet most used by journalists – is still lagging far behind Facebook in terms of number of users around the world. So although it’s important to live-tweet events and share story links and photos on Twitter, it’s also crucial to share some of those same nuggets of information on Facebook as well.
As far as Twitter goes, Petty shared advice on being engaging on a social media network that is famous for being short-lived. Adding a photo to a tweet, for example, can make it stick around longer, and reach more people.
Social media also continues to grow and evolve before our eyes, and platforms such as Periscope and Meerkat were discussed due to their potential for changing the game of sports journalism.
“Live-streaming of games is complicated legally, and even press conferences are murky,” Petty said. “Different leagues have different rules so it’ll be interesting to see how all of that develops and changes as we go on.”