For many content creators, social media offer ideal platforms to drive two-way communication — through discussion and debate around news and current events and through encouraging readers to share a wide range of viewpoints by creating and posting their own comments, op-eds, photo and videos.

Here are some ways you can motivate readers to get involved in a two-way conversation, regardless of the platform.

  • Ask a question or solicit comments from your audience related to the topic or issue in your story.
  • Be visual. Use a photo with your comment to drive your point home and encourage responses.
  • Use your position as a journalist to solicit views and opinions — as well as facts. (Think of this as giving people an opportunity to vent and share feelings around a situation.)
  • Ask for sharing and retweeting. If you’d like people to pass your post or links along, say so.
  • Comment back: Engagement is about building a conversation.

Taken from Social Media: Strategies and Tools for News, a self-directed course by Susan Mernit at Poynter NewsU.

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