I was reading the excellent article on the Poynter website — Why The New York Times replaced its Twitter ‘cyborg’ with people this week — and I was thinking how difficult it must be for the few NY Times people responsible for social media to keep their heads above water. Worse, adding more people to their social media team without the right tool will only make the process more difficult and chaotic.
Here’s why: They have more than 3 million followers. It is very easy to have an automated bot send out the news and simply not engage with readers. But how do you actually monitor what people are saying to you (and about you) so that you can pick the interesting and important Tweets and respond to them, as a team? The article mentions that two social media editors, who are taking turns running the @nytimes Twitter account during weekday business hours, are now writing Tweets and engaging with readers by hand. It must be very difficult for them to engage with readers one at a time, tracking who said what.
It looks to me that every hour at least 100 people mention @nytimes — perhaps many more if you consider searches on terms like “NY Times” and such. If the NY Times people are constantly running multiple twitter searches and checking mentions by hand, if they answer the phone or step out of the room, oops, a lot of Tweets have been missed and the list needs to be reviewed again. Which Tweets were already reviewed? Who should reply to which Tweet? Which reply was from who? And wouldn’t it be much better if they didn’t have to take turns using @nytimes and could follow through with their separate, unique conversations simultaneously at the same time – even if it was not their turn?
TweetRoost offers a great solution to this problem: TweetRoost brings all @mentions and manually-saved Twitter searches into its permanent database, and they can be assigned or round-robin auto-assigned as a way of automatically dividing up the responsibility of reviewing and replying to the relevant Tweets. Once they are saved, TweetRoost lets you filter out the Retweets, cutting down drastically on the number of items that you need to review in order to see which Tweets need a response. And you can review them whenever you’d like, since you do not risk losing the important Tweets as new ones go flying by on your screen, or Twitter stops saving the data. In TweetRoost, multiple people from a company can share the same Twitter account, as different TweetRoost users, and TweetRoost will track which one of its users did what in its own activity stream. Want to review a conversation from a year ago? No problem, it’ll be permanently saved in TweetRoost with a record of which team member was engaged in the conversation. TweetRoost users can optionally have CoTags, which are usually initials like ^MK or ^MSK, automatically appended to all of their outgoing Tweets so that readers know which person from the company is writing to them. In the case of @nytimes, TweetRoost would work well for the current team of two social media editors, and could also scale to allowing many, many more NY Times editors to Tweet together, as a team, under the @nytimes umbrella.
NY Times, if you are listening, we think that you should sign up for TweetRoost. We would love to help you engage with your readers more efficiently.