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Monday Memo: Twitter Tips

| May 13, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.

With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us.  And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.

Tip: Instead of asking listeners to Follow YOU on Twitter, tell ‘em you’ll Follow THEM.  I’ve grown my own following by making that offer on my TV show: “If you follow me, I’ll follow you.”

“Twitter is like a live, free focus group.”

At a conference, Dateline NBC correspondent Josh Mankiewicz shared this advice:

  • Authenticity is imperative. Followers can tell when personalities have Tweets ghosted.
  • “You cannot do Twitter and NOT have a thick skin. Twitter rewards speed, humor, snark.”
  • Don’t feel as though you’re over-reacting if you heed a dozen Tweets. Example: He told us that Dateline NBC is now more careful about covering unresolved cold cases, because Tweets suggested that “viewers felt cheated” by stories without closure.
  • Tweets which say please-watch/listen are “just another ad.”
  • “People talk about you whether or not you’re on Twitter.  Twitter is your chance to talk back.”

Use Twitter to deep-link to archived audio.

Tweeting the link that takes users directly to specific, succinct audio can accomplish five things:

  • It puts our work back where radio used to be, in the pocket, via smartphones.
  • Each item of interest will remind users that we’re not just real-time on AM/FM transmitters. We’re in-step-with the on-demand culture that manifests itself in binge-watching and DVR timeshifting.
  • Presenting “snack-size” audio — single-topic aircheck clips, or made-for-streaming podcasts – will identify the station as being at-the-speed-of-life. Because so much TSL is in-car, that’s how we want to be thought-of.
  • Appearing on Twitter — where Followers can re-Tweet, and hash tags can inveigle us into conversations with non-listeners – invites sampling.Audio clips are to radio what trailers are to movies.
  • Create digital revenue, by title-sponsoring the station’s podcasts.Your succinct Tweet can mention and hashtag your sponsor.

Research: Tweets about yourself get re-Tweeted less than Tweets that link to third party Internet content.  

Wharton professor Jonah Berger: “People like to pass along practical useful information.  News others can use.”

Those Facebook pictures of what-the-waiter-just-delivered?  Who cares?

Want re-Tweets?  Include 2 or 3 hashtags.

  • Including one or more hashtagsin a Tweet increased Tweets’ likelihood of being re-Tweeted by over 55%, per “16 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Increase Retweets” from, based on an analysis of 12+ million Tweets.
  • Use 3 or fewer hashtags in a Tweet, “since it’s good Twitter practice. Otherwise, it’s difficult to read.”

You won’t lose Followers by NOT-Tweeting.

Tip: Pretend that each Tweet costs you a dollar.  Why:

  • Watch your Followers numbers. Notice how you often lose one or two right after you’ve Tweeted something, which, apparently, Followers didn’t find relevant.
  • Don’t take it personally! Whoever just left might’ve Followed you in the first place because an earlier Tweet was as-enticing-as the-one-the-turned-‘em-off wasn’t.
  • Note how you yourself will un-Follow someone after several – or perhaps even a single – Tweet didn’t grab you. Spam is spam, whatever the platform.

Be careful automating Tweets.

I’ve heard it described as “sending a mannequin to a networking event.”

Because people use Twitter as a news feed, automating risks a context gaffe.  If, for instance, a tragic news story suddenly dominates Twitter, you don’t want your witty quip to seem ill-timed.

Tweeting a selfie? 

Look at the lens, not the screen.

Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Holland Cooke: Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books.  Click the ad banner in the right-hand column on this page.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice