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Uses of Twitter. Breaking news. If you want an idea of what Twitter can do for news publishing check out BreakingNews . Headline alerts of breaking news that people can receive on their mobiles are the most obvious application. For pushing headlines.

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breaking news
Breaking news

If you want an idea of what Twitter can do for news publishing check out BreakingNews. Headline alerts of breaking news that people can receive on their mobiles are the most obvious application.

for pushing headlines
For pushing headlines

Twitter is used by dozens of organizations from CNN and USA Today and our own J&C to promote the day’s news in the newspaper or on the website. It’s a good way of alerting people to your content.


NY Times main Twitter account features mostly headlines and no interaction, but it’s a Top 20 popular account on Twitter with 4.3 million followers.

“There is a market for interactive and non-interactive accounts,” Times Social Media Editor.


Many newspapers Twitter accounts are automated like @ChicagoTribune. Many newspapers have separate Twitter accounts for different sections, such as  business,  newsand  sports. (Search USAToday and Twitter)


Studies: “People follow to participate in an active discussion or they follow because they appreciate the news being blasted.”

Younger don’t like the huge influx of “dead” messages – messages with no intended desire of a response.

Source: How should Newspapers use Twitter

compared to
Compared to
  • Colonel Tribune more than 800,000 Twitter followers vs. 70,000 for @ChicagoTribune. The Colonel curates interesting content focused on the Chicago area. The Colonel has paid off for the Tribune, despite the work it requires, because the Colonel has a lot of followers and sends a lot of traffic to
interacting with readers
Interacting with Readers

Use Twitter to have conversations/answer questions from readers or provide information on topics:

Complaints are that newspapers not using this enough. Not enough interactivity with readers.


New York Times tech columnist David Pogue has 1.3 million plus followers on Twitter, in no small part because he is entertaining and personal, while also interacting with fans.

Source: Twitter yields uneven ROI

interacting with customers
Interacting with customers
  • “Famous Frank,” also known as Frank Eliason (Comcastcares on Twitter), now has 11 people working under him simply to respond to information about Comcast being broadcast on Twitter.
  • Source: Comcast: Twitter Has changed the culture of our company
drive sales etc
Drive sales, etc.

Companies are using it to drive sales, gain market share, improve customer service and recruit employees. See TweetBrands

According to one social media expert: “About 20 percent of information a company shares on Twitter can be about the company, but 80 percent needs to be on related and relevant topics. Think of yourself as a brand, share information that is relevant to the brand and audience, and engage in the conversation”


Although fewer Americans use Twitter than Facebook, Twitter users “are far more likely to follow Brands/ Companies than social networkers in general. 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks. Twitter users frequently exchange information about products and services.” Source

tweeting their own horns
Tweeting Their Own Horns

Researchers from the University of Maryland who plodded through more than 6,000 Twitter postings by members of Congress have found-- surprise! -- that politicians spend most of their time on Twitter promoting themselves.

See TweetCongress


80 percent of the postings fell into two categories: links to news articles and press releases, mostly self-serving and readily available elsewhere; and status updates that chronicle the pol's latest trip to the sawmill or the supermarket.

By contrast, the researchers found that members of Congress spent just 7 percent of their time interacting with citizens.

Source: NYTimes