The following is a social media style guide that I developed with the digital editors of The University Daily Kansan. The goal of this style guide is to promote a consistent voice on our Twitter account, as well as outline our best practices for driving reader engagement.
Arguably the most insightful thing that we learned from our digital consumption focus groups was the importance of photos with tweets. We try to have a visual with every tweet, as it has been shown to be more successful than tweets without.
We try to tweet out our top Free For Alls (anonymous opinion forum) everyday. We’ve found that our social media following likes when we provide any aspect of humor.
Fall 2014 digital editor Hannah Barling first developed this style of tweet in which we push out recaps from the day before. We tested this in various focus groups, and the response was very positive.
HYPING THE PRINT PRODUCT
We learned in our focus groups that our readers may not always be on campus to pick up the print edition. Therefore, we tweet out special covers that we produce. This has proven to be a successful promotion method.
When breaking news occurs, we try to package our Twitter content with graphics. Not all breaking news is visually compelling; therefore, we try to create relevant graphics to feature with our breaking news tweets.
Live-tweeting is a practice we have always followed, however we’ve developed it this semester by including quotes from the events we cover.
We work closely with the marketing department of the The University Daily Kansan to promote our special content on Twitter. We’ve found that pushing out our special content on Twitter drives web traffic and reader engagement through the roof. This particular example generated 1,100 page views on Kansan.com within the first day.
As stated above, this particular example generated a good amount of reader engagement. We try to interact with our readers as much as possible online. We often retweet and favorite tweets from our readers that directly pertain to our print and digital products.
Here is another example of our promotional tweets. Day in the Life was named the Best Section in the Nation (College Media Business & Advertising Managers 2014 awards). We attribute the success of this product to its online promotions through Twitter, Facebook, and Kansan.com.
We create relevant hashtags for our promotions using strategic communication strategies.
We try to push out content that is most relevant to our audience: college students, staff, faculty, etc.