Social media has changed the way journalists do their jobs. It’s given them new ways to connect with their audience, and it’s also helped them better understand what their readers want to see. But the process of publishing a story on social media can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what the best strategy is for getting your story out there.
We’ve created this guide to help you navigate through the social media landscape so that you can get your stories or your news organization’s content in front of more people.
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Social Media Tools For Journalists
As social media has become an essential part of journalism, tools for searching, monitoring and curating content from around the web are increasingly part of a journalist’s day-to-day toolbox – both for newsgathering and engaging users.
Here are 12 tools journalists can use to give them an edge in social media. This list is by no means definitive however, so feel free to add your own in the comments at the end of the article.
A free social media aggregator which organises content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS and more. Users can filter results by hashtags or keywords, making it a useful tool for curating user-generated content.
Geofeedia is a paid-for platform which allows users to search for news on social media by location, within certain timeframes, and by keyword or user. Journalists can search content published on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or Instagram, making it a great tool for tracking breaking news. A free demo is available.
Recently acquired by Apple, Topsy is a powerful tool which has created an archive of every single tweet since 2006, with an estimated 400 billion pieces of content. Journalists can set their search to a particular topic to find all the tweets posted in a set period. Most of the functionality is free but there is a paid for version for advanced users.
This free app allows users to automate content sharing from high-traffic blogs and websites. Using Smqueue, users can set the time and frequency for sharing content, with the ability to post photos, videos and short links. It integrates with platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Pinterest and Google+.
A social search engine that allows users to find content shared across key social networks. Journalists can search by topic or by filtering the type of content they want to find, such as infographics, videos or articles. By pasting in a URL or the name of a site or topic, users can also see the most-shared content on that platform or subject area.
Many automated sharing tools don’t include Google+. However, for users who share most of their content primarily on Google+, Friend+me allows you to automatically share public posts to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Tumblr. The tool is free to connect five accounts, after which plans start at $9 (£5.25) a month.
When news is published about people you are connected to, either on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or by email, Newsle lets you know. In addition, this free tool shows news about second-degree connections on LinkedIn and friends of friends, making it a good service both for newsgathering and networking.
Swayy is a kind of assistant to help you find shareable and valuable content on social networks. It is integrated with all the main social media platforms and, with a simple user interface, will automatically find videos, articles and blog posts which are popular on the web. The basic platform is free, with priced plans including extra features from $9 (£5.25) a month.
A free tool for tracking Twitter conversations, TChat allows users to set a hashtag that is automatically added to all tweets posted through the platform. This would be useful for journalists taking part in live Q&As or covering conferences and events.
Buffer is incredibly useful for managing several social media accounts at once, offering the ability to schedule posts in advance. Users can set the times they would like to post content each day, or let Buffer’s algorithm determine the most suitable time for posting. Recently, Buffer launched a new product called Daily, available on mobile, which suggests interesting content for users to share. The platform is free, with a pro version available from $10 (£5.85) a month.
This is a free tool that allows users to search for keywords to find user-generated content posted to social networks around a specific topic or area. Users can also analyse the strength, or popularity, of a particular topic available by revealing top keywords, users and hashtags related to their search.
Meddle is a free dynamic blogging and curation service which enables users to highlight excerpts of published content and add their own comments before distributing to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
social media tools for students
Connecting with each other comes to us more easily now that we can just tap away on a keyboard and chat with a person who lives over 3000 miles away. Finding information knows no boundaries with Google on every computer in the world.
As educators, this means access to more, faster, which is thrilling and mindboggling. However, it can also be frustrating and confusing with so much to choose from.
How do you know which platform is the best for your goals? Which social media organization has the best resources and community? Which one would help you communicate better with your students?
All of these questions flutter through our minds as our eyes wander through the gallons of information we search through. So, to simplify this daunting task for teachers, the following list consists of the best social media for teachers.
1. The Connected Educator
A great site for connecting with other educators is edConnectr. It gives educators several avenues with which to find other like-minded educators. A Visual Mapping Engine narrows down certain criteria allowing educators to save valuable time and energy.
Edmodo acts as a playground for teaching and learning with a place for posts, calendars, and general communication for teachers and students. Linking to students becomes simpler and more efficient as well as more effective when students enjoy the presentation of it. It makes it easy to share valuable apps with students.
TedEd offers a variation of TED Talks with shorter, often-animated clips of subjects such as science, technology, social studies, literature, language, art, health, psychology, and business and economics. With communities and clubs, the site also makes it effortless for collaboration.
Besides great graphics and themes, Google+ takes teachers to their students with circles that make managing virtual communication an art. Students might need to know more about a particular lesson because they didn’t quite get it the first time. Pull them into a circle of their own with just the right tools to connect them to their path to understanding and learning.
The great part about Facebook is that everyone is on it. Students love connecting with their friends and family with Facebook so telling them to check out the page where you post only makes sense. However, it’s very important to stay professional and have a separate personal account.
The best way to use Twitter for teaching is as a reminder to students that they need to complete an assignment for a particular due date or that they have an exam coming up soon so study this or that. Sometimes teachers even use it for inspiration by sending a famous quote.
Students love Instagram for so many reasons but mainly for the photos and effects available to them. Teachers can create assignments that tap into the need to Instagram such as photo essays where students take photos, upload, and add captions or students can even create campaigns for certain organizations or just for a lesson.
If you want to share videos on Facebook or Twitter, use Vimeo. But, there’s a whole lot more teachers can use it for such as uploading and storing video then utilizing it as a tool to teach students more about creating video. Vimeo teaches for you at Vimeo Video School with lessons and tutorials.
With so many themes to choose from, WordPress has become a popular way for teachers to set up a web of communication and lessons with their students. Chalkboard is an educational theme that prepares students for learning and helps teachers outline goals and objectives while still providing great visuals. Teachers can also use it to inspire students to write more by having them create their own blogs and meet the WordPress Challenges.
Like WordPress, Blogger connects teachers to students using unique themes as well as diary-style writing. With access to teachers’ posted links, lessons, and thoughts students become more successful and comfortable with the teacher when learning online.
Using Skype means connecting with anyone, anywhere, at any time. This means students not only connect with teachers but teachers encourage students to broaden their view of the world. Set up virtual connections by contacting other teachers then connect the students to each other. Also, Skype has a whole portal dedicated to educators who can use it to teach various lessons already set up by the Skype team.
The celebrated platform for pinning favorite pix can be a great teaching and learning tool. It also encourages quick collaboration between teachers on all sorts of subjects and interests. Teachers can set up a Pinterest page for one particular class or a series of classes with Pins that focus on themes or subtopics important to the lesson at hand.
Educators of any level can click on the education category within YouTube and find several subcategories such as university, science, business, and engineering. YouTube even has a special section dedicated to teachers and how to teach with it. But, even if teachers never visited that section, they could teach using all the great videos available according to subjects or searches.
If YouTube doesn’t make the cut, try TeacherTube. It’s dedicated to all sorts of education, from the basics to more complicated work. Interestingly, the tabs for docs and audio are some of the more useful resources within it. However, it’s the idea of TeacherTube and it’s tools that make it so useful because teachers can use it to communicate with students and there’s no question that this is within an educational format.
For academics whose main goal is to share research papers, Academia.edu draws a crowd of over five million visitors. Academics can monitor the effect of their research and keep tabs on the research of the other academics that they follow. It’s a great tool for anyone needing data and information on various subjects and interests.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.