6 journalists and PR pros explain how they use Twitter in 2017

6 journalists and PR pros explain how they use Twitter in 2017

According to data from a recent Muck Rack survey of 400 professional journalists, 70 percent said they view Twitter as their most valuable social network and 52 pecent indicated they plan to use the platform even more in 2017.

Plus, in March 2017, Twitter made good on a promise originally announced about a year ago, allowing for longer tweet replies on the platform.

When replying to another user’s tweet, that person’s username no longer counts towards the 140-character limit for your response, giving you more room to say whatever it is you want to say. This is especially beneficial when trying to reply to multiple people in a conversation thread.

This isn’t the first change Twitter has made in recent years to enable users to go beyond the 140-character count allowance.

In fall of 2016, Twitter stopped counting media (images, videos, gifs, polls) and quoted tweets towards the character count. These recent changes come after reports and rumors last fall hinted that the social networking platform was considering expanding Twitter’s character count to 10,000, although it appears that idea was tabled or possibly scrapped altogether.

In a world where many communicators seem to debate Twitter's future and effectiveness, it makes sense that the platform is trying to shift its capabilities -- allowing for more user engagement and visual content opportunities.

We asked a group of 6 journalists and PR professionals their thoughts on Twitter. Here’s what they had to say.

Journalists:

“I think Twitter will always have its place in the media and tech industries, and some of its moves in live-streaming and programming will help it stay relevant, especially when you see how it's used during special events like the presidential debates or sports-related broadcasts. As long as Twitter can continue to attract and retain big name users (like celebrities and, ew, influencers), it has a shot at sticking around. Otherwise, it will have trouble fending off competition from Instagram and Snapchat.”

-Cherlynn Low, reviews editor, Engadget

“I find Twitter nearly useless in terms of getting traffic for my stories. Sometimes they blow up there, but rarely. It's much more useful for confidential conversations with sources who would rather DM than text or email. Or, you know, talk on the phone, which no one does anymore.”

-Victor Fiorillo, senior reporter for Philadelphia Magazine

“Twitter has definitely been 'dying out' over the past few years, but the biggest question is, with which audiences? The media, for example, is still wholly on Twitter as their preferred social media platform, so if you're working in PR and want to know what's going on with writers and editors, Twitter is still a key platform to be on to do that, and I don't see that changing, especially since so much of the news nowadays is broken on Twitter.”

-Lily Herman, freelancer for Teen Vogue, Glamour and more. 

PR Pros:

“There's no platform like Twitter during breaking news and major cultural moments. Tweets are often a key leading indicator of an event/issue's momentum. We shouldn't underestimate it's pop culture significance. At the same time, there are healthy, thriving micro-communities using Twitter to organize, market, amplify, entertain, and influence. From a brand perspective, when done well Twitter can accelerate growth and support business goals, including improving customer service and driving revenue. Reports of its death are premature. Certainly, Twitter has evolved and faced some challenges, but that doesn't mean it's time to ignore the platform.”

-Heather Whaling, Geben Communication

“The way I use Twitter has changed so much for me over the last 8-10 years. It started as an invaluable way for me to connect and network with other PRs across the country. But, the last few years, I’ve spent far less professional time using the tool. Now, it’s a research tool, and a way for me to connect with journalists I’m targeting and working with for clients. Oh, and I also use it to monitor my #KUHoops games in the winters :)”

-Arik Hanson, ArikHanson.com

“Twitter’s not going anywhere. In fact, 2017 has marked a major resurgence for the platform, with reports indicating that user growth is up both in the US and internationally. Twitter is undoubtedly the best social media platform for fans to connect with influencers, influencers to connect with fans, and influencers to connect with influencers. The recent changes to the platform aren’t a sign of panic, as some have speculated, but rather a sign of progress from an innovative brand that listens to its users, advertisers, and other key stakeholders. It will continue to change the way individuals and brands share ideas and information – from the Vatican to the Oval Office. Twitter has been the most valuable and versatile social network for my agency Flackable since our launch three years ago. I’ve used it to network with journalists and influencers, recruit talent, gain clients, share content, and keep up with the latest industry news and trends.”

-Brian Hart, founder and president of Flackable

Chime in! How are you using Twitter? Let us know on...Twitter!

Photo via Pixabay

Rachel Pluck is a passionate communications professional, specializing in content development and digital marketing. She spent two years working in the marketing and communications department of a tourism agency in Bucks County. Rachel currently works for a full-service marketing agency in West Chester, PA, developing strategy for SEO and SEM campaigns, social media, PPC and retargeting advertising buys and email marketing campaigns. She is also a team member of Jessica Lawlor & Company, a Philadelphia-area boutique communications firm responsible for some of Muck Rack’s communications efforts, including this blog, PR, case studies and social media.

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