X (formerly Twitter) has had a long-standing reputation as a rugged platform that can be hard to conquer. Information in this space moves at lightning speed, and trending topics change just as quickly. X posts must be consistent, relevant, creative, timely, and concise to compete with the thousands of posts published every second.
Despite the high expectations, X is a fantastic platform for news publishers of all sizes. The platform exists to share information instantly with massive audiences around the world. Studies show that at least 69% of X users primarily use the platform for news, so the audiences are already there.
There’s certainly a trick to using X for news, but the benefits of succeeding on this platform far exceed the effort it takes to learn. If publishers can overcome the platform challenges, X is an excellent place to grow online. Let’s explore some proven X strategies for local news publishers to succeed in this space.
Challenges of X for publishers
Before jumping into strategies local publishers can use to succeed on X, it’s essential to understand the challenges and limitations of the platform.
- National and international competition: First, X is a tool used by all news publishers: local, national, and international. Competing with publishers on a national and international scale is tricky. These accounts have larger budgets and audiences than local publishers generally have. Creating an effective social media strategy with curated content is critical to standing out. Content is everything, and good content will help smaller publishers grow despite these massive accounts.
- Maintaining relevance and engagement: Keeping your posts at the top of the feed can be more challenging without constant maintenance on a platform that moves as rapidly as X. If you do, it’s even harder to keep them there long enough for your audience to see and engage with posts, with over 500 million posts on the platform daily. Publishers must curate compelling content—on trend— that can catch a reader’s eye and inspire engagement.
X strategies for local news publishers
Now, the challenges facing local publishers on X are big ones, but they are not insurmountable. Implementing these specific X strategies into your social media plan can help your content stand out and connect with your desired audiences.
Understanding the local audience
One of local news publishers’ most effective X strategies is understanding your audience. Most of the time, local publishers are not trying to compete directly with the extensive national and international news networks. Knowing your local audience, their stories, and how they consume them is essential to ensure your posts make it to their feeds.
Using visuals effectively
Content that gets noticed on X is sharp, high-quality, and frankly too exciting to look away from. Your visuals are the first thing a user will stop to look at. Using visuals effectively will make or break your audience’s interest. Posting a mix of GIFs, images, videos, and polls will keep your users interested, gain new readers, and continue to engage with your existing followers.
Regular updates and live-tweeting
Like all social platforms, X loves consistency in posting. Find out when your audience is most active: days and times. Arrange your posts in a weekly or monthly content schedule to ensure a steady flow or to highlight gaps where more content is needed.
A posting schedule will also help you determine the best time to host live-tweeting events for your page. Live-tweeting will boost your chances of the algorithm pushing your content in front of more accounts.
Creating engaging headlines
A good X headline has to catch the attention of a reader consuming a limitless amount of content quickly. They have to be catchy and exciting, answer a question, or meet a need the reader is searching for. The most successful X headlines promise a reward or benefit from consuming the content attached.
Engagement helps you measure how interested your audience is in your content. This metric measures likes, replies, retweets (reXs?), follows, clicks, mentions, and more. High engagement is a tell-tale sign that you are on the right track with your content and keeps you visible to more accounts. True Anthem has more tips for helping you to increase X engagement here.
Utilizing hashtags and trending topics
Hashtags remain essential to getting your content in front of the right audience. On X, you only have 280 characters to use. The brevity makes choosing the right hashtags even more critical. But which ones do you choose?
Focusing your content on trending topics can help narrow your hashtags to a few well-performing choices. Next, some hashtags should target your local audience, pulling in your existing readers or more from the same demographic. Whatever you do, ALL hashtags should be relevant to your post.
Collaboration with local influencers and organizations
Local publishers can expand their reach on X by collaborating with local influencers and organizations. Mentioning and tagging other accounts in your posts puts your content in front of different audiences that may not have found you otherwise. Collaborating is cost-effective and, in return, opens the door to even more collaboration opportunities in the future.
Analytics and performance monitoring
You can learn a lot about your performance on X by using X Business Analytics. These metrics will help you understand your followers, what they like, what they don’t, and how each post impacts your platform’s success. Analytics and performance metrics help publishers curate more of their best-performing content.
How AI can help with X strategy consistency
Sticking with these X strategies can be challenging when you have other platforms and priorities to manage. Publishers don’t have time to guess which posts will perform and what type of content their audience would rather see. Thankfully, automating your social media with True Anthem can help.
Our multi-platform social media management tool helps publishers implement these X strategies consistently without the need to post directly to the platform. Using AI technology to select your best-performing content, publishers will know what posts perform best and the optimal time to share for increased engagement. Best of all, you can schedule posts ahead, saving time for more important tasks.
Experience True Anthem’s tool first-hand by requesting a demo to see how AI can work for you.