In looking at how other media outlets use social media, one of the obvious places to look in terms of Twitter is the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which has a main feed @AJC that is both personable and often humorous. It has almost 65,000 followers at this point, and was actually a Shorty Award finalist last year.
Interesting, @AJC’s Twitter bio notes: “We do have a personality, so if you prefer straight-up news with no chaser, try @AJCheadlines.” As you’d expect, that account is just a feed of headlines. Most people are cool with personality, apparently, because that feed has just 8,600 followers.
Naturally, the fact that there are two accounts made me want to look at how they differed when sharing the same story. Here are a few examples from last week.
Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar arrested bit.ly/K5oimp— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 8, 2012
Creflo Dollar’s non-beaten daughter tell police she saw pastor not sparing much rod. bit.ly/NmFWDe— AJC(@ajc) June 8, 2012
The pastor was arrested for assault of his daughter. @AJC says that in a far more interesting way (and the degree to which its humor is biblically-informed is impressive as well). The latter got 50+ retweets while the headline got one.
3 home fires on one street considered arson bit.ly/K5EZhs— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 8, 2012
Lady that walks up and down the street smoking crack while naked may be behind arsons, says neighbor. bit.ly/Kh2LIS— AJC(@ajc) June 8, 2012
Sometimes there’s something fascinating (and humorous) in a story that doesn’t make sense putting in a headline. So put it in the tweet instead.
Gonorrhea growing resistant to drugs, WHO warns bit.ly/JX4Zvw— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 6, 2012
Oh clap! Scientists warn of drug-resistant gonorrhea: bit.ly/Kh5pYr— AJC(@ajc) June 7, 2012
Those first two examples showcase radically different tweets between the two accounts. Often, however, the tweets are fairly similar. (Side note: who retweets stories about gonorrhea? Because some people did).
Mail lady finds naked man on front porch bit.ly/LrjFSw— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 6, 2012
Mail lady wanted nothing to do with this package. bit.ly/MkxK0G— AJC(@ajc) June 6, 2012
That one obviously wrote itself.
Gwinnett rejects commercial flights at Briscoe bit.ly/LocYfN— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 5, 2012
You will not be catching a Delta flight in Gwinnett anytime soon. bit.ly/MzZRPK— AJC(@ajc) June 5, 2012
I like @AJC hear because it directly relays how the story is going to impact the reader’s life. It puts the focus on them.
Mom who lied for son gets prison time bit.ly/LjayPL— AJC Headlines (@ajcheadlines) June 5, 2012
Mama lied, and now she’s facing hard time. bit.ly/MwU25R— AJC(@ajc) June 5, 2012
For more on AJC’s Twitter strategy, here’s a good Poynter write-up from February 2011.