February 21, 2011; Source: Poynter.org | As this blogger on Poynter.org notes, for many news organizations the conversation has moved from whether or not to use social media to how it can be used to best effect. To get the answer to this question you have to start measuring things.

What are people who use social media a lot – like journalists – measuring? This post combines a discussion about what journalists are measuring regarding their tweets and what hits big among the Twitterati.

Among the sources he cites is NYU journalism professor, Jay Rosen, who says that, “How To’s, charts, graphics, maps, fights between high-profile personalities and journalism business model tweets,” all do well on Twitter.

Mandy Jenkins, the social media producer for TBD, a TV station and website that delivers local news and community information from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. region, says she has found that the timing of her tweets makes a big difference. Tweets before 7 a.m. or between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. do not do as well.

David Beard, digital editor of the National Journal, is now tracking by seasons and months to try to determine what works best at various times of the year. Since their audience is interested in things political, he is working to figure out what works well during a congressional recess or when a new congress comes in.

Would that we all had the capabilities to track our social media efforts so thoroughly. But it is reassuring that Jenkins of TBD says that much of what she does is still guided by “feel,” but the article is interesting for the bits and pieces of information included.—Ruth McCambridge