January 31, 2018
At the end of last year, Bloomberg Media Group and Twitter debuted TicToc by Bloomberg, the first-ever 24/7 global news network built for a social media platform. The social news network is for the next generation of on-the-go, mobile-first consumers looking for a fast, accurate, and interactive news experience.
You can take in all the action @TicToc, which has the latest video news coverage and for shareable clips of top news, or you can watch live at live.twitter.com/tictoc.
We caught up with Catherine Taibi, head of social for TicToc, to find out what makes the platform — and the team — tick.
Q: What is your role with TicToc?
A: At TicToc I lead social engagement and audience development. TicToc is the first and only global news network that streams live on Twitter 24/7. We cover breaking news, live events, top global stories, and trending stories. My job is to create a social strategy for TicToc and to promote our videos on Twitter in the best way possible to boost engagement, increase video views, and grow our following.
Q: Okay, but what do you actually DO on a day-to-day basis?
A: Every day I lead a team of social curators who are kind of a mix of social media editors and news curators. We’re in charge of driving the editorial strategy of TicToc and picking stories that we think will perform best on Twitter with our audience.
A lot of the decisions we make are data driven. We’ll look at what’s performed really well in the past for our audience and think about what stories we think we should cover going forward based on that. We look at everything that’s happening in the news – on Twitter, on Bloomberg.com, and on the terminal and beyond using a handful of social tools. Then we’ll say, these are the stories we should cover, this is what we shouldn’t cover, and here’s how we should cover it.
Q: How did you end up in this role?
A: Before TicToc my role was social media editor of Bloomberg.com. I was in charge of the flagship Bloomberg accounts, specifically on Facebook and Twitter, and promoting all of the content you see on Bloomberg.com. Before that I was the deputy editor of Huffington Post Media.
Q: Since being with TicToc, what have you learned about yourself?
A: TicToc has really changed my career. I’ve learned how to be a better leader. I’ve learned how to be a better co-worker and a better mentor leading this team of social curators.
Launching a network from scratch and creating the social strategy of a new product has been an amazing feeling. Coming into work every day and working on something that’s actually changing the way that we report news and changing the way that people consume news is really incredible and really motivating.
Q: What best practices has TicToc created for your team?
A: TicToc is very unique in that our main product is video, whereas most publishers’ angle is driving traffic to articles on a website. We’re really focused on creating engagement to get people to come to TicToc, watch our videos, engage with our videos, and then become repeated viewers.
Q: How do you manage speed versus accuracy?
A: We have a strong process in place where we work with a number of teams, from Bloomberg.com to Bloomberg News to Social Velocity to make sure the information that we’re getting is accurate. As soon as we hear about a story we’re in contact with the reporters and the editors and the photo team to start creating the tweets around that story and making sure that when we hit publish, that what’s going out is 100% accurate.
Q: How has TicToc surprised you?
A: I am so in awe by the response we’ve gotten. I always knew TicToc would be a success, but the amount of the response from the people on Twitter–especially people who use Twitter all day long, 24/7, really active Twitter users–they LOVE the product.
It seems like before us there was a gap or a void where people needed this thing where they could just come and check in and get all their news for that hour or day and then leave and go on with the rest of their day. They weren’t getting that and we provided that for them with TicToc. I’m constantly inspired and motivated by the comments we’ve been getting on Twitter and the response from active Twitter users.
It’s especially cool that we do all that we do without an anchor. Traditional breaking news and live TV always uses an anchor, but we do not. So it’s really cool that we’re literally changing the way that people report the news and how people consume news.
Q: Is there a Twitter tip or trick we should all know about?
A: My biggest tip for using Twitter is that, if you really want to grow your presence and have people engage with you, you have to engage with other people. Your Twitter profile is a reflection of you as a whole. It should reflect your interests and your passions.
My biggest piece of advice for reporters especially is don’t just make your Twitter feed a stream of tweets to articles to your stories. It’s not a promotional platform. You shouldn’t just be promoting your stories. You should be promoting other things that interest you, other stories other reporters have written at other news outlets, and it should really be a reflection of your passions.
Q: Finally, what keeps you up at night?
A: Tweeting a typo.