March 3, 2014

25 Social Media Tips for Media Publishers

Social media a hot button phrase in the world of business. However, harnessing the power of social media can prove difficult. While tweets and statuses appear instantaneously, followers do not. So what is the trick to leveraging social media to grow your audience? Industry Dive has some helpful tips.

General tips for media publishers:

  • Share well-written and original, feature-length articles . On average, our feature-length articles get far more mentions and re-tweets than our shorter briefs .
  • Schedule your posts . You cant be expected to sit around all day waiting for the perfect moment to tweet. Its easier to pre-schedule your posts with services like Hootsuite .
  • Track your social media traffic . Add UTM strings to the end of your tweets and Facebook posts to track social traffic via Google Analytics.


  • Know your audience . Post the stories most likely to resonate with your social media followers. When you keep your audience top of mind , your posts are more likely to attract likes and shares.
  • Post regularly, but dont over-post . People tend to get annoyed when their entire newsfeed is comprised of one persons posts. In fact, one study found that 36% of brand unlikes are connected with over-publishing. Aim for about three to five posts per day, spaced out by at least an hour.
  • Figure out the optimal time to schedule posts for your audience . In general, great times to schedule posts are around lunch and after work hours (e.g. 5 8PM). Experiment with your scheduling to find the post times that result in the most engagement.
  • Consider app campaigns if you have marketing dollars to spend . If you have an iOS or Android app, creating app ads to promote the product is likely to result in greater ROI than paying to push individual posts into more followers feeds.


  • Pick up new e-mail newsletter subscribers using Twitter Cards. Twitter cards provide an easy (and free) way for people to subscribe to your e-mail newsletter with a single click.
  • Tweet regularly, but dont over tweet . Unless youre covering an interesting, breaking story, space out your tweets. Filling up your followers feeds with constant tweets is a great way to lose followers and reduce engagement.
  • Tweet useful, interesting content : Tweeting useful, interesting content means being willing to tweet and re-tweet content created by others. If your feed is entirely filled with your own content, youre probably doing it wrong unless youre as witty and entertaining as @BoringMilner or @BoredElonMusk .
  • Dont underestimate the power of the re-tweet . Re-tweeting (great content) shows you are paying attention to what others are saying. It also increases the likelihood that the re-tweeted user will engage with or follow you.
  • Keep it brief. Just because you have 140 characters doesnt mean you have to use them all. Short, snappy headlines will usually win you the coveted re-tweets. (e.g. Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19B).
  • If your tweets arent brief, they better be entertaining. Here is an example of a fairly long, yet great tweet by @Forbes: Jan Koum signed the $19B sale of WhatsApp to Facebook on the door of his old welfare office
  • Catchy tweet pro tip: Write 5+ headlines for each tweet, and then pick the best. The first headline you write will probably suck.
  • Engage with your followers . Behind (most) Twitter accounts is a human being. Talk to people!
  • Schedule tweets for optimal engagement times. A lot of people check Twitter while commuting to work and during their lunch break. Great times to tweet include: 6 9AM, 11 2PM, and 5PM 8PM. Scheduling tweets to go out right after the hour (e.g. 12:05PM) is also smart many people check their accounts after meetings.
  • Hashtag, but not to an extreme . Using pertinent hashtags e.g. #edtech for a tweet about education technology will make your tweets more discoverable. Try to hashtag within the text of the tweet as much as possible so you dont have a long line of hashtags following your actual tweet.
  • Use the Follow Friday (#FF) hashtag, but use it well . Although many people use #FF to welcome new followers, you can also employ it to convey more useful information. Here is an example of an informative Follow Friday tweet we recently sent from @HealthCareDive: #FF #Healthcare news and policy: @richelmore, @iHealthBeat, @DavidNather, @Health_Affairs, @mcbridetd, @BeckersHR


  • Include other peoples content in your Flipboard magazines. Readers want the most interesting and useful content even if you didnt write it.
  • Create topic-specific magazines . Topic focus helps Flipboard users find your magazines. Keep in mind, though, that the more specific you make a magazines topic, the more difficult it will be to keep the magazine updated. Finding the right balance is key.
  • Use relevant, creative titles . Titles that are too general or boring are unlikely to attract readers and may make it difficult for people to discover your magazines while browsing.
  • Share your Flipboard magazines outside of Flipboard . Use Twitter and Facebook to promote your Flip mags. You may not have any Flipboard readers because nobody knows your magazines exist.
  • Continually update your content, daily if possible . Updating your content will keep readers coming back and encourages them to invite their friends.
  • Invite others to contribute . Its very possible that there is pertinent content out there that you arent finding but someone else is. Guest contributors will also help to keep your magazine content fresh.
  • Want to see an example of a curated Flipboard magazine? Check out our Retail Data Security Flipboard mag here:

Admittedly, these are just tips. Doing all of these things wont guarantee an instant boost in followers, readers, or likes. Almost nothing does, unless you feel like paying for them, of course. And remember, trial and error is one of the best ways to figure out how to grow your audience. So experiment!

Wed love to hear about what has and hasnt worked for you when it comes to growing your own audiences via social media channels.