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  • clarehiler 9:34 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvert Collins, Casey nolen, Ed Forbes, Elise hu, Facebook, flickr, foursquare, gowalla, , , Kevin Lewis, Kris ketz, prezi, , , , , , upstream, Whitney Mathews, wordpress   

    anewguide: Final Guidelines 

    After months of research, and dozens of interviews with journalists and non journalists, we have created our new guide to social media. The following is our 10 guidelines for how newsrooms around the country, on all platforms, should, and should not, use social media. 

    For our full presentation click here

    GUIDELINES

     #1 PROFESSIONAL VS. PERSONAL

    • Understand that your professional obligations as a journalist extend online.
    • However, at the end of the day, people do appreciate a person that can relate to in person as well as on the web.
    • Here’s what two journalists has to say about this topic:

    “I don’t say anything on Twitter or Facebook that I wouldn’t say on the air.”

    “At the end of the day I’m a normal human being and if there is a picture of me at a bar what’s the big deal. Normal people drink. That said, you are not going to find pictures of me doing keg stands. In my opinion, it’s about finding that happy medium and making sure you stay there.”

    #2 KNOW YOUR TOOLS

    • Each story can we enhanced through social media tools.
    • However, since each story is different, different tools should be used.
    • For example, in breaking news situations tweeting pictures and videos is the fastest way to get information out. However, for longer term stories, interaction through Facebook polls, Flickr and storify can better enhance a story.
    • Here are some tools we like:

    #3 BEST CONSISTENT AND RELIABLE

    • Just as a journalist would on any platform, they need to follow through with what they promise through social media (ex. updates).

    “Just like your audience members can rely on you when on the air, they should be able to rely on your tweets for information”

    #4 CONVERSATION IS KEY

    • When you use social media, make sure that it encourages people to respond. You can do this by using inciting questions.
    • When people do respond, make sure you answer. This is true whether the response is negative or positive.

    “I would remember the most important rule in social networking, you get what you give… News organizations need to communicate authentically, as human beings, which means replying to questions and complains, retreating and linking out to other content producer’s stories…”

    “Reaching out to our viewers can open the communication from one way to ways.”

    #5 EXPLORE NEW TOOLS

    • Social media is always changing and as journalists, we need to adapt.
    • Be willing to try new sites and projects, because you don’t want to be left behind.”

    “I do location based SM with Gowalla (it’s an Austin  based company so I prefer it to FourSquare). I also have a Tumblr page for my Instagram photos, and YouTube and Vimeo channels.”

    #6 ETHICS

    • The same standards journalists have in a newsroom, apply online too.
    • Newsrooms should have policies in place regarding:
      • Retracting tweets
      • Deleting tweets
      • Only tweeting what you know
      • Remember it’s better to be third than wrong.

    #7 BE TRANSPARENT

    • You audience likes to know how you got your information, and what you did to get it.
    • Give them a behind the scenes view of your story, in the end this will give them a closer relationship to you.
    • In breaking news situations this is especially true.

    “As soon as I get assigned a story, I tweet where I am going. As the story develops, I will tweet and post updates to the 8 News Now Fan Page. I try to post any pictures and videos as possible.”

    #8 LISTEN TO YOUR VIEWERS

    • If you viewers have a problem with how you are using social media, or if they have newsworthy information, it’s important to listen.
    • Social media is a 2 way conversation.

    “As soon as I get to work to let people know I am active online if they need to tell me anything.”

    #9 DON’T WASTE YOUR AUDIENCE’S TIME

    • People don’t appreciate when organizations over flood their feeds. Social media is a tool that allows people to filter what they want to consume, so if you waste their time, it is easy to unfollow your organization.
    • When asked what makes you “follow” or “like” something, this non journalist answered…

    “I’m not. I’m a fan of maybe two things on Facebook because the updates and announcements are annoying. I like to decide when I read my news, not be bombarded with it.”

    “For me, Twitter is a no-nonsense medium. I want to make each tweet something of value, news value usually, for my followers. Facebook is more of me trying to shape my online identity. It’s the homepage I was always going to create and never did.”

    #10 TIMING IS EVERYTHING

    • Understand that people are active on different platforms during different times of the day.
      • Blogging is most active in the morning.
      • Facebook is most active during off work hours.
      • Twitter is unique, but you can use the tool Tweroid to determine when your followers are on.

    TIPS FOR LAUNCHING SOCIAL MEDIA

                “Were I to do it again, I’d push both mediums simultaneously [Facebook and Twitter]. We were late to the Facebook game. I’d recommend that newsrooms start hammering on both mediums at once. Cross promotion helps, we’ve found.”

    – Ed Forbes, The Journal News (@edforbes)

    “New stations, I would recomend any one in my industry to get online as soon as possible. Sit back and follow people to see what they like or don’t like if you’re not comfortable on the platform. Don’t watch too long, you’ll want to start interacting as soon as you can. Also, ask for help or advice from viewers followers. People in the Twitter world love teaching you how to be great.”

    FINAL TIPS

    • Create lists of your followers and sources.
    • Follow everyone that follows you.
    • Do not overwhelm your followers.
    • Incorporate it into your broadcasts
      • Mention you Facebook on your morning show.
    Advertisements
     
    • billbennettnz 4:32 am on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is great stuff. The one tip I’d highlight (you cover it in tip #4) is NOT to use Twitter or any other social media as a broadcast only medium.

  • clarehiler 4:49 pm on April 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, NBC, Nightly News   

    Check out what NBC News is doing with Facebook.

    NBC’s Jim Maceda Takes Comments on Facebook

    An interesting use of Facebook by NBC Nightly News on Friday night.
    After a great story by NBC’s Jim Maceda aired on the broadcast, Maceda was live on Facebook responding to comments and taking questions from viewers.

    Below is a snapshot of the conversation that formed online:

    A challenge for broadcasters using social media is how to talk to audiences that are in different time zones. The Nightly team created a different thread for the West Coast:

    You can see more of the experiment on Nightly’s Facebook page.

    Check out the whole article here: http://nbcnews.posterous.com/nbcs-jim-maceda-taking-comments-on-facebook

     
  • clarehiler 4:07 pm on April 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, ,   

    We have surveying some non-journalists as a part of our original research. And as I’ve been reviewing it I’ve come across some interesting comments. I’ll post them on the blog from time to time.

    When asked what would prompt you to “like” something on Facebook this person answered:

    “Im not. Im a fan of maybe 2 things on facebook because the updates and announcements are annoying. I like to decided when I read my news, not be bombarded with it”

     
  • clarehiler 10:38 pm on April 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook   

    Here is a Facebook presentation on journalism. Check it out.

     
  • clarehiler 8:10 pm on April 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, ,   

    Here is a part of an article discussing the differences in Social Media users from Social Media Today.
    Check out the full article here: http://bit.ly/gsSj1l

    FACEBOOK – Don’t Hate Them Because They’re Beautiful

    Facebook has remained at an estimated unique visitor count of 590 million for in the last two quarters. This has caused some Social Media naysayers to proclaim that Social Media is dead. It’s amusing and sad at the same time. It’s like a used car salesman saying that new car sales are dead because they’ve leveled off for two quarters.

    Facebook is and will continue to be the way that individuals communicate, inform, and influence others for the foreseeable future. A more reasonable growth during 2011 should be anticipated with Facebook ending 2011, around 610 to 625 million.

    The return of female users on Facebook continues. I say ‘return’ because female users were at 60% at the end of the 1st quarter of 2010 and dipped in the middle of the year. The percentage of women users stood at 57% the end of the 3rd quarter 2010, 59% at the end of the 4th quarter, and is now at 61%.

    There has been no significant change in the age groups using Facebook during the last three quarters. This would indicate that Facebook users are becoming more defined. Seventy-two percent of users are between 25 and 54, and dividing those into ten-year spans (25-34, 35-44, and 45-55) results in near equal distribution among the three age groups.

    CONCLUSION: Facebook is used primarily by adults of both sexes, but significantly female, in the prime of their active professional careers for social interaction.

    TWITTER – The Scoop on Real-Time Events and Discussion

    Media ‘Experts’ continue to try to figure out how to ‘monetize’ Twitter and come away with programs that annoy people and are rejected by Tweeters. When they offer dismal ROI (return on investment) figures to their client they shrug their shoulders and declare Twitter is a fad and useless. Then a major world event happens and Twitter becomes the most important information tool on the planet.

    Twitter is an acid test on whether a person ‘gets’ Social Media or not, because it is one of the most powerful Social Media tools on the web, but it is not a space for advertising or marketing. This makes Twitter one of the most envied and hated Social Media tools by traditional marketing and media people, but one of the most loved by those who are believers.

    Twitter has been hanging just under 100 million unique users per month since the 2nd quarter of 2010, but did dip down to 89 million at the end of 2010. Since then Twitter has jumped back up to finish the 1st quarter of 2011 at 97 million. The jump in the 1st quarter of this year is likely due to the world political events in north Africa and the earthquake and tsunami in Nippon.

    Women use Twitter more than men, but like Facebook, there was a dip in the middle of 2010, when female users dropped from 60% at the end of the 1st quarter. By the end of the 4th quarter female users were at 55% and that has grown to 57% at the end of 2011’s 1st quarter.

    Age demographics for Twitter also haven’t changed significantly during the last three quarters. Twitter users skew towards the young professional age group with 54% of the users falling in the 25-44 age group. At the end of the 1st quarter of 2011, only 18% of the users fell in the 45-54 age range compared to 26% of Facebook users.

    CONCLUSION: Twitter is used primarily by young professionals of both sexes, but significantly female, to discuss current, real-time issues including world events and business-related topics

     
  • clarehiler 3:03 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , Statistics,   

    How BIG is social media and why? 

    What are your thoughts?

     
  • clarehiler 2:41 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , , , ,   

    Why Social Media Reinvigorates the Market for Quality Journalism
    Read the full article here: http://mashable.com/2011/04/12/social-journalism-quality/

    Social media has created a human filter for quality content. The social web, like the old water cooler, favors conversations around news and even in-depth journalism that may not otherwise receive the exposure it deserves. Recent analysis of the most-tweeted stories from The Daily iPad app revealed that users shared more hard news stories over gossip and opinion pieces.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean these are the stories most people are reading. The gossip articles (or “fluff” pieces) often out-perform news items in pageviews, often because that is what people are searching for. But the tide may be changing.

    The incentive to share quality content is simple: A person may be more likely to read gossip, but they may share a news piece to shape their followers’ perception of them. They may even view it as a public service. I tend to believe it’s usually the former rather than the more altruistic latter. As a result, news organizations producing quality journalism are being rewarded with accelerated growth in social referral traffic — in some cases, growing at a much faster pace than search referrals. More notably, social media is enabling the citizenry to be active participants in producing journalism by giving them platforms to publish to the social audience. This has made journalism more efficient and, in many ways, enhanced the quality of storytelling.

    Searching for Quality

    The social filter for content has been around for a long time on the web, but prior to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it was conducted more privately via email messages or impersonal recommendations from a search algorithm.

    The public perception was a non-factor, and users were more likely to share softer stories or those based on utility. There was a trust factor between the sharer and the recipient. Before, you were just sharing that funny cat video with your trusted circle. With social media, that circle has now become more of an open field.

    So what about search? Search engines like Google fueled an explosion of “so-so” content, but it has also fueled an explosion of quality content, said Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land. The idea was that quality content would get linked to most. But when media organizations and writers began to better understand how the search algorithms ranked content, they started to create content “optimized” for search results by inter-linking content on their sites or monitoring search trends and filling the coverage with sub-par content to capitalize on search traffic, Sullivan said. And so we saw the explosion of content farms and a race for unique visitors to appease the advertising gods.

    The Human Quality Vote

    For true quality, sometimes it takes a human touch. Social media acts as a human filter and signal for the best content across the web. A “Like,” a tweet or a LinkedIn share often serves as a human vote of approval. “We have depended far too long on looking at links as an idea of what people are voting on,” Sullivan said.

    But links have been devalued over time because they have been sold, he added. For search algorithms, a link is a key component of where the piece of content ranks in search results. But because people began to sell links, they became less valuable over time, Sullivan said.

    He said social links and shares are more trusted because the structure of social networks provides an easy way to recommend content to a network. That network consists of people you trust and are more likely to click on a link shared by a friend than a stranger. However, because these recommendations are more public than before, there’s an incentive to recommend quality content.

    A More Valuable Reader?

    It’s not easy to compare social to search because the behaviors and demands from a user are completely different. A user goes to search with an immediate need to find a specific piece of information and discovery is secondary. With social sites, users are consuming content in a leisurely and social state. Discovery takes the front seat.

    This may explain the difference between referral traffic from search vs. social. In a recent analysis of Mashable‘s social and traffic data, I found that Facebook and Twitter visitors spent 29% more time on Mashable.com and viewed 20% more pages than visitors arriving via search engines. This may suggest a more engaged or exploratory reader, at least in terms of how much time they spend reading the content.

    At The Washington Post and other media organizations (including Mashable), referral traffic from social sites — particularly Facebook and Twitter — are outpacing the growth of referrals from search, said Raju Narisetti, managing editor at the Post. Though Narisetti wouldn’t quantify the growth, he noted that on a given day, 5% to 8% of referral traffic to the Post comes from social media.

    So what kind of content is bringing them to the Post? Breaking news, quality analysis, offbeat features and quality photo galleries and videos. Similar to search, social presents challenges in attracting an audience. Factors such as the time of day and frequency of distribution on a social channel can affect how successful the Post is in engaging readers, Narisetti said. But the Post hasn’t had to change its content strategy to attract more social referrals.

    “While we have aggressive goals for our social team, the goals are based off [the] Post‘s unique content rather than trying to rethink our content to get more social referrals,” Narisetti said. Instead, the Post is focusing on making it easy for social media users to interact with content via Network News and other integrations.

    Social Media Optimization

    From linking standards to meta tags, news organizations have been working for years to improve their content’s search engine optimization (SEO). Now we’re seeing the rise of social media optimization. Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, said news organizations will need to get into the “SMO game.” But that doesn’t mean gaming the system. “They should look for ways to make their content more social to take advantage of the new ways in which readers, viewers, [and] consumers think,” Sreenivasan said.

    This means, among other things, providing easy ways to engage content using social media and having reporters take part in conversations on the social web. It means having the entire organization think in “social terms” — not just broadcasting materials out, but participating in the social ecosystem.

    In many ways, social media makes it harder to “game” for the purpose of simply driving lots of traffic to a story that may not be of high quality. Social media’s effect on quality isn’t quite as systematic as search has been. Mathilde Piard, social media manager at Cox Media digital, said social media is having a positive effect on content.

    “I’d rather editorial decisions be driven by what editors and reporters think people will read and be moved to share, rather than by keywords,” Piard said. With the latter, she said, you end up with content such as, “What Time Does the Superbowl Start At?”

    Social Search

    The tide may turn with developments like Google’s recent updates to its algorithm, which favors original reporting, and its recent launch of +1. The +1 product adds a social recommendation layer across Google Search results.

    When you’re searching for a specific piece of content, you can see the results that your friends have recommended. The integration brings the social filter into search, while staying true to Google’s core product: search. It also creates a social identity for users. After all, what you recommend using +1 can be seen on your Google Profile.

    Though +1 isn’t a social network, it is certainly a big step toward building one. But perhaps most important is its implications for quality. The number of +1s on a story link affects its placement in search results.

    This essentially applies the social incentive to share or recommend quality content to search results and gives Google a good potential footing in remaining the dominant referrer to content sites.

    Social Content

    Content creation is one of the missing links and perhaps the cosmic difference between search and social. Search points to content that has been made, while social enables users to create content on the platform itself. How the two affect the quality of journalism are fundamentally different. Sure, social does a big amount of pointing itself, which enables news sites to grab referred traffic. But the people formerly known as the audience are also creating videos, status updates, tweets, photos and more.

    “Curation helps cut through that noise to find the most relevant voice, amplifying the media that helps inform and enlighten.”

    • Burt Herman, Storify

    Burt Herman knows this all too well. It’s the reason why he launched Storify, a site that enables you to easily curate social content into one contextualized story. Herman said that social media improves the quality of content because it is content.

    Social media has revolutionized content creation, which is now a collaborative process with readers who contribute and verify it. Though social media makes content publishing easy for everyone, it can also be overwhelming, Herman said.

    “Curation helps cut through that noise to find the most relevant voice, amplifying the media that helps inform and enlighten,” he said.

    Journalists have always “curated” content by grabbing pieces of information and contextualizing it into a story. The difference is that social media now provides efficiency in getting that information, often through first-hand sources who are micropublishing to their social profiles. This social journalism has spawned other content curation companies like Storyful, Curated.by and ScribbleLive.

    “We now have many more voices who can be included in stories,” Herman said. “This means that what we read is richer and gives more information to the reader.”

     
  • clarehiler 4:00 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, Free Content, The New Yoker   

    The New Yorker Offers Facebook Fans-Only Articles 

    All Facebook posted a new article by Kate Evans explaining a new technique from The New Yorker. The magazine is offering its first article for its Facebook friends only. Think it will work? I think it’s a pretty innovative idea.

    The New YorkerThe New Yorker is best known for witty cartoons, scathing book reviews and ground-breaking fiction, but rarely for tech-savvy. That’s changing as the magazine offers its first article for Facebook fans only.

    To see the article, Facebook users must like The New Yorker. The magazine is using a tactic called a reveal tab, which is a small application designed to reveal content only after the like button on a Facebook page is clicked.

    This practice is used widely among retailers looking to rack up like counts, usually offering coupons or product discounts as the revealed content. The practice earns these companies a strong fan base and plenty of free, or nearly free, advertisement.

    Media outlets have largely avoided the reveal tab tactic  until now. The New Yorker is likely the first of many magazines and newspapers to offer exclusive, fan-only content. While some critics claim the reveal tab tactic forces Facebook users to promote a product, others simply see it as a way to offer something special to loyal customers, with extra publicity simply a bonus for the brand.

    Farther Away

    The New Yorker’s article is an enticing one, featuring the work of Pulitzer prize winning author Jonathan Franzen. According to the abstract on magazine’s website, the article, titled “Farther Away,” considers the place of Robinson Crusoe in the development of the novel, and recounts the authors’ feelings about his friend David Wallace’s suicide.

    Fans Only

    To see the article in its entirety, nearly a week before its print publication, search for The New Yorker on Facebook, then click the “fans only” tab at the bottom of the tabs list on the left. The article will be available on Facebook for one week.

    Is it worth clicking the like button to reach exclusive content? Do you feel manipulated by reveal tabs?

     
  • clarehiler 3:15 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BET, CNN, E! Online, Facebook, , , KIRO, MTV, Rachel Maddow, , , WJW   

    Check Out The Social TV Leaderboard from http… 

    Check Out The Social TV Leaderboard from http://www.lostremote.com/top-tv-social-media/

    Do you agree with this list? Anything striking about it? I noticed how list is geographically diverse and represents a variety of stations. What do you think?

    Top network/cable TV journalists on Twitter

    #1
    Rachel Maddow
    msnbc
    Followers Name Network
    @maddow 1809555* Rachel Maddow msnbc
    @gstephanopoulos 1693919* George Stephanopoulos ABC News
    @davidgregory 1495571* David Gregory NBC News
    @jdickerson 1395979* John Dickerson CBS News
    @terrymoran 1315032* Terry Moran ABC News

    Top local TV journalists on Twitter

    #1
    Jenni Hogan
    KIRO
    Followers Name Station Market
    @jennihogan 25912 Jenni Hogan KIRO Seattle
    @dorothylucey 19812 Dorothy Lucey KTTV Los Angeles
    @spann 18895 James Spann WCFT Birmingham, AL
    @tvamy 17415 Amy Wood WSPA Greenville, SC
    @lilyjang 14738 Lily Jang KCPQ Seattle

    Top local TV stations on Twitter

    #1
    KABC
    Los Angeles
    Followers Station Market
    @abc7 51986 KABC Los Angeles
    @nbcchicago 22635 WMAQ Chicago
    @king5seattle 20614 KING Seattle
    @abc7newsbayarea 18744 KGO San Francisco
    @myfoxla 17634 KTTV Los Angeles

    Top local TV stations on Facebook

    #1
    WJW
    Cleveland
    Fans Market
    WJW Fox 8 166,343 Cleveland
    KUTV 2 News 131,827 Salt Lake
    WXIN Fox 59 73,791 Indianapolis
    KSTU Fox 13 59,823 Salt Lake
    KTVI Fox 2 42,587 St. Louis

    Top network/cable Twitter accounts (excludes news accounts)

    #1
    E! Online
    Followers Network
    @eonline 2836444* E!
    @mtv 1268554* MTV
    @espn 1135995 ESPN
    @current 722387* Current TV
    @natgeosociety 617337* National Geographic

    Top network/cable Facebook accounts

    (excludes news accounts)

    #1
    MTV
    Likes Network
    /mtv 18,695,217 MTV
    /espn 3,711,546 Fox News
    /mtvla 3,265,964 MTV Latin America
    /discoverychannel 2,869,026 Discovery Channel
    /hbo 2,807,548 HBO

    Top network/cable news Facebook accounts

    #1
    CNN
    Likes Network
    /cnn 1,914,215 CNN
    /foxnews 1,833,587 Fox News
    /todayshow 402,409 TODAY Show (NBC)
    /60minutes 244,475 60 Minutes (CBS)
    /abcnews 176,243 ABC News

    Top network/cable news Twitter accounts

    #1
    CNN Breaking News
    Followers Network
    @cnnbrk 4157903* CNN
    @breakingnews 2388927* msnbc.com
    @cnn 1893040 CNN
    @gma 1722996* Good Morning America (ABC)
    @cbsnews 1676978* CBS News

    Top TV shows on Twitter (excludes personality accounts)

    #1
    106 & Park
    Followers Network
    @106andpark 2221812 BET
    @bbcclick 1787625* BBC
    @gma 1722996* ABC
    @nightline 1480001* ABC
    @sportsnation 850423 ESPN

    If you disagree with the list, DM @lostremote, who wants input!

    @lostremote writes, “Our leaderboard is a work in progress, and you’ll probably notice a few changes to make. Please help us by sending @lostremote a message on Twitter with any changes or additions.”

    (* designates accounts that were on Twitter’s suggested user list, which gave them a big early boost).

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

    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.

     

     
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