HOW TO FIND SOURCESON SOCIAL MEDIA GATEHOUSE NEWS & INTERACTIVE DIVISION
Agenda • Why? • Have a presence on social media already • Twitter • Facebook, Graph Search • Google, Google+ • LinkedIn • Story comments • What can I publish? • Using Storify to curate • Examples • Questions? Comments?
Why use social media for sources? • TAP INTO THE NETWORKS: Social media presents so many opportunities to find knowledgeable, plugged-in, trustworthy sources you didn’t even know existed. • FIND NEW PEOPLE: When you don’t have a number in your contact list or an idea of who to talk to, turn to social media. • FIND PEOPLE YOU CAN’T OTHERWISE REACH: Sometimes you know who you’re looking for, but can’t reach them by phone or email. Try social media.
Have a presence on social media already • “You can’t expect people to respond to you if you haven’t already been trying to engage with whatever community you’re trying to find sources in.” • – David Riley, • news bank editor for GHS New England
Have a presence on social media already • In addition to using Facebook/Twitter to post links to stories, you should also monitor those sites for content related to your beat. • Use a product such as HootSuite to set up streams to follow people, search terms or keywords.
Have a presence: HootSuite stream • To add a stream in HootSuite, click Add Stream. • Choose which social media source to use. • In this case, I used Search and plugged in vine.co. • Add Stream
Have a presence: HootSuite stream • Now, in addition to showing your own feeds and interactions, HootSuite will show you any matches for your search, so you can keep an eye on this topic.
Have a presence: HootSuite stream “(I) have several search columns active that catch any mention of locations in our coverage area. I also have columns up to see people interacting with our Tweets and to see the Tweets of those I and our newspaper accounts follow. I often find new bits of news to report or follow up on here. I also use it to notice trends, what people might be Tweeting about.” - Jon Root, digital editor for The Herald News, (Fall River, Mass.) who uses TweetDeck, a similar service
Have a presence: Other tools • TWITTER LIST – Create a virtual Rolodex in Twitter of experts in certain topics, all of your town officials, local politicians, etc. so you can quickly find them if something comes up related to them or their topic. Monitor what they say for story ideas and interact with them to develop a relationship. • YOUTUBE SUBSCRIPTION – Subscribe to YouTube channels you think may be helpful. • Youtube.com/user/citizentube • Youtube.com/Trends • Youtube.com/news • Youtube.com/user/theifilestv • Youtube.com/user/reporterscenter
Twitter • Twitter has more than 500 million users – about 200 million of which are considered active. (techcrunch.com) • Why not approach the community you’re connected to there (and through re-tweets, well beyond) to find people who can help you tell a story? Post a question = crowdsourcing.
Twitter ********** • You’ll notice in these callouts, the reporter wants to talk to the potential source offline. • Tweet someone and ask them to email or call you so you can determine if they are credible. (Direct message people who follow you.) If possible, interview them on the phone or in person – not on social media.
Twitter • You can also search on Twitter using #hashtags to find the topic you’re writing about, then read what people are saying to see if someone stands out as someone who really knows something. • You can also try poking around Twitter with • Twitter Advanced Search • “search operators”
Twitter • Twitter Advanced Search • Able to focus your search, including by words, people and place. https://twitter.com/search-advanced
Twitter • “Near this place” may prove especially useful to help find locals. You can also use keywords and the other filters on this form. Then reach out to any matches you find.
Twitter • Search operators (also works on Google) • This is a way of searching using more techie language. • Twitter search = twitter AND search • “happy hour” = exact phrase • Love OR hate = either, or, both • Beer –root = beer but not root (so you won’t get hits for rootbeer) • @Digital_Nicole = referencing that person/username • Near:NYC within:15mi = sent within 15 miles of NYC • Find more by Googling “search operators”
Facebook Facebook has 1.06 billion monthly active users (expandedramblings.com)
Facebook You can also use Facebook to crowdsource.
Facebook When crowdsourcing, beware of how you frame your question. If you ask for verification of a rumor and it turns out to not be true, you’ve essentially helped in spreading the rumor. If you simply must state the rumor, cite who you heard it from. GOOD: Does anyone know what’s happening on Main Street? We’re on our way. BAD: We heard someone got shot on Main Street. Do you know anything? MEH: WCVB reports a shooting on Main Street. Do you know anything?
Facebook Facebook Graph Search Whenever this feature goes live on Facebook, it will give journalists another great tool for finding people.
Facebook • You’ll be able to take advantage of all of the information people willingly share with Facebook: how old they are, where they live, what music they listen to, where they’ve traveled, the photos they’ve posted, etc. • Search on Facebook for things such as: • People under the age of 30 who like to bicycle • People who live near Chicago who listen to Cheap Trick • Then you can reach out to the people you find on their wall or by Facebook messaging them to see if they can help with your story.
Google • Looking for something? Google it, right? • You may have better luck doing a search through Google than you would directly on a website by using the “advanced operator search.” This works for Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Reddit and Twitter. • e.g. site:twitter.com “#fujitatrial” or "Nathaniel Fujita"
Google • Google+ • If you don’t already have a Google+ profile, it’s a good idea to set one up, if only to be sure you’re on there as we figure out the best way to use it. It’s similar to Facebook in that people need a profile and businesses need a page off of that profile. I suspect this will be a good place to find techies.
Google • In the Google+ search bar, plug in the person or topic you’re looking for and hit return.
Google • Under the Explore tab, you can find trending topics if this is something you’re looking for.
Google • Under the More tab, you can “Find People” who you’re already connected to in some way. You can search: • your own address book • Classmates • Coworkers • “Local” allows you to search for local businesses.
LinkedIn LinkedIn is where people go to network for business and to find a new job.
LinkedIn • This is a good place to look for people if you know: • Their name • A company name • Alma mater • Location • This is especially good when a company is closing or having a crisis. You can find current and past employees. • Be wary of potentially disgruntled past employees.
LinkedIn • Use the search bar in LinkedIn to start.
LinkedIn • You can search by company.
LinkedIn • Who are the experts in the fields you’re interested in? Try to connect to them before the going gets tough, that way you can reach out to them when you need them.
Story comments • Sometimes the commenters actually have something valuable to say! Look up their email address in Zope, hope it’s legit and send an email explaining you saw their post and want more info.
Using Storify to curate • You can use Storify to both search for sources and create a “story” that you can post on social media and your website. • In one spot, you can find tweets by location; hits using a keyword search for Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google and URL embeds. You don’t have to go to all of those social media sites to find the conversation. • Learn more about Storify at ghnewsroom.com (“Learn how to harness social media using Storify”).
Examples • BUSINESS CLOSING: Use LinkedIn to find current and former employees. • POWER OUTAGE: Sometimes the only thing people have is their phone, and they’re on social media anyway looking for information. • LIVE TWEETING – Big events such as a trial, town meeting are a good time to “live tweet” – posting to Twitter as the event unfolds. People looking for information during this time often also HAVE information, so ask questions and look for help while you’re live tweeting.
Examples • SOMEONE DIED: Friends and family, especially of a young person, often create a memorial page. You can find out information (that you should independently verify) and people to talk to through the posts on the page’s wall. When other efforts fail, newspapers often use a photo of the person from Facebook.
Examples of situations that yield results • UPCOMING PROJECT – For big projects, consider creating a Facebook page. You can use it to find sources and info before the project launches and to post links to the stories and encourage commenting after it does launch. (You could also create a microsite to do the same).
5 takeaways • Cultivate sources before you need them. • Use social media as another way to find experts. • Conduct your interviews out of social media. • When looking for information, crowdsource. • Use Storify to find sources and/or information and then post the Storify to your website.
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Q&A FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT: Nicole Simmons Regional digital editor, GH-New England firstname.lastname@example.org 508-626-3923 @Digital_Nicole ghnewsroom.com/blogs/nicolesimmons
HOW TO FIND SOURCESON SOCIAL MEDIA GATEHOUSE NEWS & INTERACTIVE DIVISION