Publishers Using Twitter

Traditional publishers are distributing their content and brand via Twitter with both a hands-off RSS approach and a hands-on personal approach

As part of their social media strategy, news and magazine publishers are already using the wildly popular site Twitter to distribute their content online. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, check out our What is Twitter? blog post from yesterday that explains why and how publishers are using Twitter to distribute their content. also has a fairly in-depth review.

Bloggers are doing incredibly well on Twitter, but we thought we’d focus this article more on traditional print publishers. Twitter is a no-brainer for any publisher who is trying to step up their game on the Internet. If you have an RSS feed, you can instantly be connected to anyone on Twitter that chooses to follow you. Here are some traditional print publishers who are using Twitter to increase their online presence:

The New York Times: (3,390 followers) Updates every half an hour automatically with the latest story title and link back to the article on their website.

Craft: Magazine: (642 followers) Automatically feeds their HOW TO and blog articles with titles and a link back to the article on their website.

Washingtonian Magazine: (68 followers) Has a “voice”; of Washingtonian that talks about current events within the magazine, upcoming interviews and articles, and links back to specially selected articles and guides.

CityWeekend (49 followers) Has a “voice”; of City Weekend that “tweets” new job listings and magazine updates.

PCMagazine (760 followers) – Feeds news from it’s website to Twitter and also engages by “Re-Tweeting” other newsworthy posts by its followers.

New Media Age Magazine – (34 followers) Automatically feeds the latest media news that includes the article title and a link back to the article on their website.

Yankee Magazine – (29 followers) Automatically feeds the latest new england news that includes the article title and a link back to the article on their website.

OK! Magazine: (24 followers) Automatically feeds the latest celebrity gossip that includes the article title and a link back to the article on their website.

Other magazines such as InStyle have a good amount of followers, but they don’t update their feed. With something as simple as TwitterFeed available, they could be banking on that audience. A “follower”, by the way, is a person who is subscribed to your Twitter account and gets your updates amongst the rest of their other friend updates.

Personalizing your Twitter feed increases followers

There are also other approaches being taken by the industry including personal Twitter accounts by the publishers themselves. Bill Palmer from iProng Magazine has racked up 2,098 followers, and even Carlos Gutiérrez who is an editor at PC Magazine has 228 followers.

Personalization is obviously key here and if you have someone you trust to be the “voice”; of your publication, you should be nudging him or her towards

What online publishers are saying about Twitter

We recently started talking to the co-author of the upcoming Twitter Handbook, Warren Whitlock (who Mequoda’s own Editor & Publisher Amanda MacArthur happened to have met on Twitter). After a few exchanged emails, Amanda asked him how he thought traditional publishers should be using Twitter.

“I’m currently co-authoring a book on Twitter ( with a colleague I met on MySpace and introduced to Twitter. The open collaboration has now involved hundreds of people and we have had offers other publishing deals based on the buzz we are creating. Twitter is a fantastic tool for connecting with the media people that are using it. I’ve done several interviews based on connections made on Twitter. In on promotional experiment, I offered a few copies of a new book. In minutes, we had people talking about the subject of the book, and telling their followers about the promotion.”;

Whitlock feels, however that it’s important to engage your community. He told us “The best use of Twitter is when I listen. I open the feed of people I’m following and get news fast, a feel for what is important in other parts of the nation and world and see new opportunities. I read with an eye towards helping my friends. When I see a question, I answer. When there is an interesting blog link, I go read and comment, adding as much value as I can in a couple of minutes to build relationships with others. When I engage in the community, listen to them and respond, I find that a simple link to my blog entry, or question about a project gets immediate response from real friends. In the past few months, I’ve gained hundreds of friends. Met up with some at live events, talked to many by phone, and done business with a few.”;

David Berlind from ZDNet, in an article he wrote on the “Twitterization of mainstream media“; said, “Publishing one-liners takes only as long as it takes to type the one-liner. Subscribing to a source of one-liners the way an investor might subscribe to Bloomberg‘s information services takes only seconds as well. Whereas Bloomberg puts a sophisticated system in the hands of an exclusive group of people on a private network, Twitter and Pownce make such a system available to everyone on the Web.

Twitter tools that make it easy:

Twhirl: A Twitter client that looks like an instant messenger and makes it incredibly easy to update from your desktop, post links and respond to other Twitterers.

Twitter Updater WordPress Plugin– A plugin that sends a “tweet” to your followers every time you post a blog using tinyurl technology.

TwitterFeed – Automatically streams your RSS feed into Twitter and posts with your article name followed by a tinyurl link to your article.

And dont forget to follow the Mequoda Twitter!


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