I met with Richard Abbott the deputy editor of Marketing last week for a lunch briefing with one of my clients. During the course of the conversation I brought up Twitter and in particular how the publication was using it.
To set the scene, the Marketing identity currently has over 5,500 followers and the individual journalists also manage their own individual profiles.
Richard explained that they have experimented to see how to get the best out of this medium and found that the greatest successes have come from simply asking questions. Rather than just putting links to headlines to drive traffic to the site, the magazine is using it as a journalistic tool.
According to Richard, for every question they post, the magazine currently gets over 100 responses. It get so much information from each question that the journalists have almost all the leads that they require to pull a story together. Not bad a bad return from just 140 characters.
Twitter is obviously a great source of traffic for sites, as Alan Burkitt-Gray said when I interviewed him, but it is also interesting to see a publication using it as a journalistic tool with such success.