I was recently promoted to be the deputy managing editor of social at The Hill.
What does that mean?
I help manage our team of social media curators and work directing the flow of breaking news stories and social stories for our website. Sometimes I’m simply helping find the best way to package content on Twitter, Facebook and our other social platforms. Other times I’m training our curators how to do the same.
In between, I’m paying close attention to what our readers are interested in and finding the news that delivers traffic and engagement to our website.
Aren’t you glad I was able to describe my job without using social media buzzwords like “growth hacking” and “thinkfluencer?”
Here are three things I do in my job every day to stay on top of the news. Who knows, these might help you if you’re in a similar industry or simply a curious person.
Curated Twitter lists for the areas I cover
Because I focus on politics, knowing who breaks political news is key. My TweetDeck is separated with columns for CSPAN’s list of Representatives and Senators — to stay on top of what lawmakers say — a list of political reporters (especially White House correspondents) from our competitors, and a “newsmakers” list of people who tweet news right as it happens or people whose voices are popular among our readers (think former Obama advisers, celebrities who weigh in on politics etc.)
Staying on top of what language works
I have a running Google Doc w/ engaging verbs, nouns and topics that we see perform well. I also am constantly looking up how our competitors are sharing the same stories and what language works for them. For example, during the White House Correspondents Dinner outlets referred to the event differently, spelled it out, some called it the WHCD, and others did WH correspondents dinner. By looking at competitor’s language and comparing different posts of our own, we could see which of those readers gravitated toward most.
Not being afraid to try and fail
To understand what language works, sometimes you have to fail and pick the wrong language. Being curious and willing to try something new, stick with what works and even push for something better means being willing to bomb a tweet or a Facebook post. Sorry boss!