In the past few years Twitter has become one of the biggest user generated content sources.
News in Twitter travel fast and to every corner of the world within seconds. In fact, Twitter is now considered one of the best platforms to find breaking news for media companies.
We’ve all heard before about a few cases where news broke on Twitter before any big media company even new about them, but recently the use of Twitter by news agencies has taken another step forward.
Everyone knows (or at least anyone working in marketing or sales), that people tend to react more when they identify themselves with what they are reading, watching, listening etc.
News that just describe facts are informative and more objective, but let’s be honest they can be quite boring.
News media companies are aware of this but they need to be as impartial as possible, they can’t give their opinions when trying to just inform about events, that’s what editorials are for.
So, knowing that how could they make their news more interesting while getting people involved? The answer was Twitter.
Lately media companies have been incorporating people’s tweets on their online published news. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see tweets on news about tv shows, shocking events or sport events.
Take a look at a these examples:
This is the article the CNN published about the “shocking revelation of one of GOT character’s death”. There are 3 tweets in the article, all of them with the hashtag #HoldTheDoor on it (if you’ve watched the episode you’ll know why that was the chosen hashtag).
All those tweets reflect people’s reaction and make the article much more compelling and much more real.To achieve that, the only thing the writer had to do is search for the hashtag #HoldTheDoor.
Another example, during the NBA finals the CBS published an article with live tweets that was updated every few minutes. Thanks to those tweets the CBS was able to show the reaction from the public to what was happening during the game.
An article like this one is useful for both CBS, who sees people coming back to the site, and the audience, who gains a better insight into what’s going on.
Any type of news can take advantage of user’s generated content from Twitter. Twitter can even be the main and only source of information for an article. Check this “funny story” about a guy whose rental car was infested with spiders.
There’s not a single news site that doesn’t have its own Twitter account and that’s for a reason. As we’ve said before nowadays Twitter equals News.
USA TODAY even has a section just for their own tweets on their home page.
These are just a few examples on how news publishers are using user generated content from Twitter to their own advantage. But you can find a lot more out there.
Twitter is a powerful tool if used right. The potential of having a platform that lets you curate and publish all the tweets that contain a certain hashtag, or those tweets that are published from a certain location, a given day or a given hour is huge.
New sites could use the platform to keep their audience informed about an event, a story, trending news etc. anything their readers would be interested in and that would keep them engaged.