SA Newspapers and their no sense approach to Twitter
MarkLives published a mini-survey on the popularity of SA news services on micro-blogging service Twitter in December last year. We thought it was time for an update.
A look at subscriber numbers shows a decline across the board with the exception of the M&G Online which grew from a rather miserly 64 subscribers to 93. Grocott’s Mail seems to have thrown in the towel with no updates since Nov 11. Followers of The Times declined from 290 to 282, News24 declined from 214 to 162 and IOL fell from 417 followers to 308. Ouch.
So what went wrong? A key mistake these papers make is dumping every single story they put out onto Twitter. That’s a lot of content I’m not interested in. Between Dec 4 and Jan 9 News24 dumped an incredible 1935 headlines onto their poor Twitter followers. Services like CNN and Newsweek know better than to kill by volume. Instead they have a human being posting major breaking news stories only. If a local news organisation took that niche I would certainly sign up to compliment breaking global news stories with major local news items.
Secondly none of the news organisations have bothered to promote their Twitter accounts to their readers. No following their followers – the best viral for signing up subscribers. No URLs on their websites or at the end of articles. They don’t care and it shows. What a wasted opportunity.
On the upside though we welcome the Sowetan and the Daily Dispatch to our Twitter list.
Date of survey – January 8, 2009 (Ranked by popularity) [TABLE=4]
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If you find other news organisations online let me know so I can add them to the list.