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  • clarehiler 11:54 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , engagement, key phrases,   

    4 Ways to Develop Stories Via Social Media 

    Check out this article by Lynn Walsh on the RTDNA’s website on ways the develop your stories via social media:

    Getting sick of covering a story featured on a press release? It is time to develop your own unique story then and social media can help.

    The best way to break away from the every-day story is to develop your own and pitch it to your news manager. With Facebook and Twitter around it is easy. Here are some tips to use social media to develop enterprise stories for your news room.

    1. Connect with people. Whether it is on Facebook or Twitter, search for the people, groups, etc. that are influences in your community or your beat and follow them or friend them. I would even ask to join their groups and be notified of when meetings/events are. Consider creating lists on Twitter for different categories of people, that way their posts don’t get lost in the online shuffle of updates. Creating a list can also make it easier to just look at those people all at once when it is time to think of story ideas.

    2. Search for key phrases. This is best for Twitter. If you covet education search and create saved search boxes on your mobile phone for key words related to the district you cover. You would be amazed at how many high school students and parents use Twitter (and without much of a filter). People involved with a story know more about what is going on and find out about news before the larger organization does most of the time.

    3. Pay attention to comments/replies. This is crucial. Whether it is on Facebook, your website or Twitter, read comments and reach out to those who post them. New story angles can come from comments from people as well as different perspectives on the issue that could lead to a great follow-up story.

    4. Continue the conversation. If you see interesting comments or want to know more ASK! Reach out to the individual who posted the comments personally or ask your community at large about it. Do not be afraid to ask people to contact you or to generate story ideas on social media.

    5. Report/clarify social media rumors. People say a lot of things online. Some of it is true and some is not. If you see a lot of people speculating about the same thing and you have clarified that it is not true tell them that. Readers and viewers want the truth so give it to them even if it isn’t what they originally thought. Also, think of it as a great way to create content that is specific for your social media and online platforms.

    It seems to me that sometimes journalists are afraid to post story questions or reach out to people on social networks because of the possibility that their competition may find out. I would not worry about that too much but if you ate concerned reach out to people privately on social media sites by sending messages, DM’s, etc.

     
  • clarehiler 1:01 am on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , engagement, , ,   

    Facebook for Journalists: More Work Than Twitter, but With a Bigger Payout 

    Here is an article from InsiderFacebook.com.

    Check out the full article here.

    Last week, Facebook launched a Page called Journalists on Facebook in an effort to encourage the news community to use the site’s Page feature as a distribution and research tool. Historically, Twitter has been more popular with journalists. thanks to its focus on link sharing, the additional distribution they can get thanks to the ease of retweeting, and the fact that it launched before Facebook Pages. But withFacebook sporting as many as 10 times more active users, journalists should still be focused on mastering the social network, even if takes more work than just tweeting copy and pasted URLs.

    Twitter is Quick and Simple

    Twitter and Facebook offer different advantages to journalists. Twitter’s short-form nature means journalists aren’t expected to do much more than tweet the headlines and links to their articles, unless they also want to engage in discussion. Twitter’s public nature discourages low quality replies, so journalists don’t have to slog through thousands of comments the way they might on Facebook. It’s also easy to measure impact and success, even if inaccurately, by counting retweets.

    Facebook on the other hand, requires journalists to craft compelling updates that stand out against the social content produced by their audience’s friends. Images, captions, and context have to be selected. Though comments to Page stories are also public, they’re not as visible as @ replies to a user’s own friends, leading large publications to receive hundreds of comments per post. While journalists want this engagement, many are too busy to actually wade through the comments and respond.

    On Twitter, the line between personal and professional is easy to blur. A fledgling journalist can begin by tweeting out their articles amongst their more friendly updates, and slowly focus more on news coverage as they gain news-seeking followers outside their social circle. This transition is more difficult on Facebook. At some point, journalists have to start a Facebook Page from scratch with zero fans, or sacrifice their personal profile by turning it into a Page and converting their friends into fans using Facebook’s new profile to Page migration tool.

    There’s an air of mystery to the news feed that might be discouraging journalists. With Twitter, if you tweet it, it will appear in a follower’s stream. But on Facebook, a journalist’s updates might not make it into the Top News feed, requiring users to actively sift through their Most Recent feed to find a journalist’s updates.

    Twitter also had a head start, launching in July 2006 about a year before Facebook Pages, with top news outlets creating Twitter accounts in February and March of 2008. Facebook’s personal profiles have been able to publish status updates since around the time that Twitter launched  in 2006, but journalists could only accumulate up to 5,000 friends. This allowed Twitter to set the tone of shortform news distribution, while Pages have instead been framed as something that businesses and journalists have had to adapt to.

    The Power of Facebook’s Rich Content Posts and Applications

    Facebook Pages holds great potential for journalists, though. Pages can post rich content such as photos or videos content with previews appearing in-line. The images and captions that appear beside posted links give users just enough information that they know they want to click through. Highly interactive posts, such as those using the new Questions product, can engage users while simultaneously securing additional distribution for a journalist’s posts.

    Journalists can start their own Pages, as Facebook’s new initiative encourages, but even greater power is available from using a single Page to represent an entire news organization, as Facebook has been promoting with its Facebook + Media Page since last July. Pages are designed to facilitate multiple admins, unlike Twitter accounts, and aggregating fans to a single Page helps cross-promote the work of all of a news outlet’s reporters and build a fan community.

    The use of applications by journalists, something widely unexplored, could help them forge deeper bonds with users. They can collect email addresses to expand the breadth of channels through which they can content them. Many apps, designed especially for Pages, can also pull demographic and interest data, helping journalists gain insights about who their audience is. Liking a journalist’s Page creates a link back to that Page in a user’s news feed and profile, driving Likes from a fan’s network much more effectively than Twitter’s follower lists.

    Larger publications willing to spend to increase their reach can use highly targeted Facebook ads to gain Likes, while Twitter’s”Promoted Tweets” doesn’t have self-serve tool, and doesn’t provide the same level of granular targeting.

    While Twitter is a natural distribution channel for news, it’s not necessarily the most effective, nor does it have the widest reach. Most major publications still have more Twitter followers than Facebook fans, but that could change with time. While Facebook might require journalists to learn a new skill set and apply some effort, there is great long term value to be gained from an investment in building an audience on Facebook.

     

     
  • clarehiler 7:17 pm on April 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: engagement, friday,   

    Why Users Are More Engaged With Social Media on Fridays

    /via Todd Wasserman http://mashable.com/2011/04/08/social-media-engagement-friday/

    Rebecca Black‘s not the only one who thinks there’s something special about Friday. Two separate pieces of research out this week show that the end of the work week is the best time to get traction on status updates and tweets.

    Analyzing more than 200 of its clients’ Facebook pages over a 14-day period, Buddy Media found that engagement on Thursdays and Fridays was 18% higher than the rest of the week, and that engagement was actually even better on Thursday than on Friday. Meanwhile, Twitter Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain — speaking at the Ad Age Digital conference earlier this week — said that Twitter users are more engaged with tweets on Fridays.

    The reason is fairly obvious, says Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at the Altimeter Group: “People are heading into the weekend so they’re thinking about things besides work. They’re mentally checking out and transitioning to the weekend.”

    Rick Liebling, director of digital strategy at Coyne PR, concurs: “It’s a matter of people finally pushing past the work week and coasting toward the weekend, picking their head up a bit to see what’s going on and what their friends are up to.”

    However, Liebling adds that there might be another factor at work: There may be fewer posts overall on Fridays, which means a greater number of average click-throughs.

    Dan Zarrella, a social media scientist at HubSpot, agrees with that assessment. “I call it ‘contra-competitive timing,’” Zarrella says. “As the overall activity seems to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the week, readers can give each tweet more attention because there are fewer other tweets fighting for it.”

    Whatever the case, the fact that Thursdays and Fridays are the best days of the week for engagement isn’t yet common knowledge among marketers. As Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow also noted at the Ad Age Digital conference, most brands are similarly unaware that their status updates will get more pickup if they’re posted after work hours.

    But Owyang says that what’s generally true may not be applicable to many marketers, anyway. For instance, “Friday may not be the best time for the B2B audience because they’re checking out mentally.” Similarly, Lazerow said that for movie companies, the weekend is the sweet spot, but for other media companies, Monday is the worst day of the week. “It’s the noisiest time to post,” Lazerow said.

     
  • clarehiler 5:47 pm on April 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , engagement, , , Posts, URL Shortener   

    New Facebook Research 

    Buddy Media came out with some interesting Facebook research today.

    They looked at three primary success metrics in relation to Wall Posts:

    • Comment Rate: number of comments as a percentage of fan base’Like’ Rate
    • Number of ‘likes’ as a percentage of fan base Engagement Rate
    • A combination of the above factoring in fan base size

    They came up with 5 primary take aways from their research.

    (1) Post Timing (Hour): Brands that posted outside of normal business hours had 20% higher engagement rates on their posts.


    (2) “Promotional” Keywords: Which keywords are most engaging when running a contest, sweepstakes or other offer?

    (3) Post Length: Posts between one and 80 characters had, on average, a 27% higher engagement rate than posts with over 80 characters, yet accounted for only 19% of all posts.

    (4) URL Shorteners: Engagement rates are three times higher for posts that used a full-length URL, as opposed to a URL shortener.

    (5) Keywords: Keep it simple. The left hand column shows the keywords that generated the most ‘likes,’ while the right hand column shows keywords that generated the most comments.

    You can check out the full report here: http://bddy.me/heQitn

     
  • clarehiler 6:03 pm on March 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: engagement, ,   

    7 tips to engage authentically on Twitter 

    Take a look at 7 ways to engage authentically on Twitter.
    Check out the full article here: http://bit.ly/1d4J6A

    Social Media is about being social: Brands build awareness and affinity by transparently conversing with their current and prospective customers. They should share information, not push commercial messaging.
    Set user expectations: When a company is setting up a profile, they should let the users know what to expect. If the profile will be dedicated to sharing news releases, promotions and company-related news, let the users know that the updates will be PR-oriented.

    Personal vs. Private: In a conversation with Nicole Simon, we discussed the importance of humanizing a brand’s Twitter profile, without sharing intimate details of the profile manager’s life. Drinking a cup of coffee is meaningless and considered noisy to the audience. They are more interested in valuable information that is customized to their needs and is provided in a personable voice.

    Quality, not Quantity: 20,000 followers that are mainly bots and inactive users provide little value to a brand’s profile. 2,000 active users who share content and connect with the brand have a lot more value. It isn’t about numbers; it is about the multi-directional conversation!

    Direct Marketing tool, not Branding tool: Wendy Piersall and I were discussing how Twitter is being abused by certain brands. Some brands use it as a “push” mechanism, when that gains little traction in the space. The audience is looking to “pull” content that interests them and is relevant to their needs. We are in the business of developing, optimizing and leveraging the right content, to the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

    Holistic Outreach: To avoid the brand’s message drowning in the noisy world of Twitter, it is important to have a holistic process that is supported across all of the brand’s social media outposts and search campaigns. That is the only effective way to connect a current or prospective customer to the branded information.

    Monitor: The focus needs to be shifted from quantitative data, like number of followers, to qualitative data, like conversation, community, sentiment and topics discussed. Essentially, the importance is in the feedback the brand is receiving from its audience.

     
  • clarehiler 6:33 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: active fans, engagement, , , , ,   

    A new Mashable article looks at the top… 

    A new Mashable article looks at the top engaged Facebook pages. Justin Bieber, Texas Hold’em Poker, Manchester United… just to name a few.

    Not mentioned on the list? A single news organization.

    What aren’t news organizations competitive on this list? Shouldn’t we as news organizations and journalists attempt interaction regularly, and take social media more seriously? Or, do journalists feel as if social media isn’t as important as gathering the news?

    Let us know!

     
  • clarehiler 4:30 am on March 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: engagement, , Washington Post,   

    The Washington Post’s website has been redesigned. Check it out here: http://wapo.st/hpNEXu

    Here is the announcement:
    The Washington Post is now even more essential and more in tune with the way you interact with the news.
    Get to the content you want faster. Follow stories as they develop and share your ideas as they evolve. Watch events unfold with expanded video content. Know what’s getting the most buzz and what’s really happening in the D.C. area. Take the tour of our bold, enhanced reader experience—where every change has enriched usability, imagery and engagement.

    What stood out to me were some key words: essential, interact, faster, share, buzz, experience, and engagement.

    Could this be yet another major news operation moving toward better interaction and engagement?

     
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