The anatomy of a successful NYT tweet: A striking photo can stand without a link

To “amplify the voices of reporters and photographers in the field,” New York Times social media editor Cynthia Collins says the social media team monitors what staff members are tweeting through a list in Tweetdeck. On Wednesday night, Collins spotted an interesting photo by an NYT staff photographer of Confederate flags as President Obama arrived in Oklahoma City, which she then shared on the main NYT Twitter feed. Collins says tweeting photo-only posts such as Wednesday night’s is something they’ve been experimenting with over the past few months and a successful one can drive editorial decisions across the rest of NYT’s digital realm: In addition to receiving 5,000+ retweets, the photograph appeared in a First Draft blog post, NYT Now app and the homepage’s “Watching” feature.