Anatomy of a Weather Tweet

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As we head into spring severe weather season, a review of best social media practices is warranted. With a great many “experts” and “consultants” offering best-practices it seems a good time to analyze what makes an effective tweet.

Let’s take a look piece by piece:

. (dot) – You’ll want to start every important tweet with a (dot) because everyone on Twitter needs to see your information.

@spann – Because everyone on Twitter needs to see your information.

Photo – Tweets with photos show 27% higher engagement. You have some flexibility here. A photo that shows you are “working for the user” is best. Try and frame the image showing radar and include your feet up on the desk to show that you are in fact working, but still casual enough to include some personality and give a sense of calm (wearing sneakers is another light touch). It is important to note here that the radar image includes well drawn arrows indicating the motion of the storms since a still radar image is next to useless. Also remember you can include up to four photos in a tweet so consider a shot of the green screen and a selfie with your anchor team holding station coffee mugs.

#tracking – Tracking is a consultant driven term that is sweeping the nation. Users are flocking to tweets using “tracking” because it is an “action” word that tells the user you are “working for them” and has a better chance of getting your tweet on the trending list. If you can squeeze in “track” in the same tweet you are obviously getting double the “track” traction without being repetitive.

ALERT – Will help get attention, particularly with those users following large numbers of accounts because not only do the large letters stand out, it is a sign that you are yelling at the user and need them to pay attention.

BREAKING – Again, all caps. CNN has clearly proven that BREAKING, or DEVELOPING on EVERY story has no EFFECT of DESENSITIZING the user, and, should keep a healthy ANXIETY level that will keep users TUNED IN.

#txwx #okwx #txweather – Location, location, location. If you happen to be in a market that covers more than one state you’ll need to give up precious characters for each state. Be careful, as we are in my market, to not give Oklahoma users the impression that the weather in Oklahoma is “Okay” if it is not. The use of the full word “weather” is also necessary (as was decided in a news meeting at the CBS affiliate in Dallas one day) because most users will not be able to understand the use of “wx”.

Looking Out For You – Obviously you need to use your own station positioning statement and remind the user you are “working for them”.

#pinpoint – Is rapidly gaining popularity with the consultant crowd and suggests accuracy. It is tracking closely behind “tracking”.

#thedress – Obviously this is gender specific, but if you have room for another picture use it. Men can substitute #necktieImwearing, with a picture.

#weather – Should be self-explanatory…because, you know, weather.

http://www.newsch – A link to the station website…..wait…damn it, too many characters. Hmmmm….. OH! I know! Facebook link!! Ooooh, I can feel the “likes” coming in now.

#winning

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About Kevin Selle

Chief Meteorologist, KFDX-TV. Co-host, WeatherBrains.
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