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How Journalists Can Make the Most of Facebook

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… by Andrea Vahl

I had a wonderful time at BlogWorld NY. It was a bit of a whirlwind with meeting people I had known on Twitter for years as well as making new friends, attending great talks, and trying to see a few NY sites while learning the art of walking with nine blisters on my feet.

I also was honored to speak at BlogWorld on How Journalists Can Make the Most of Facebook.

Twitter has been a little more of the social media darling for journalists because of its open and very searchable format. But according to a recent Pew Research Center study, Facebook is becoming increasingly important for journalists. Many of the large news sites are getting a significant amount of their traffic from Facebook.

But how else can it be leveraged? In my session I covered the four C’s that journalists needed to give to their Facebook audience to make the most of it:

  1. Content. It needs to be relevant to the audience to encourage sharing and interaction.
  2. Conversation. You need to be there. People want to talk to people, not a news site. Let people know who is doing the posting. Have a signature with the post or tag the journalist’s page when they are presenting the information.
  3. Consistency. Make sure you show up regularly. Have a schedule of the types of posts or stories that will go up at certain times. Have a question of the day that appears regularly if you decide to incorporate that into your posting mix.
  4. Community. Make your Facebook Page a safe place to be. Moderate the posts so that people aren’t attacking each other within the threads. It’s ok for people to disagree, just have some rules of engagement. If people are attacked, they won’t participate again.

Those are the things your audience wants from you. But what do you get? If you use Facebook well, you also get four C’s:

  1. Connection. Facebook gives you the opportunity to appear in people’s News Feeds over and over. You get the opportunity to reach people where they are hanging out and remind them of your site. You also build a loyal following that will turn to you for the news rather than one of the many other places they can get it.
  2. Check your sources. You can search Facebook through www.Facebook.com/search or use http://www.fbinstant.net/. People will also share tips on your Page.
  3. Clicks. Yes, if you do Facebook right you will get traffic. But it’s not only a broadcast platform. You have to talk to people and get a conversation started to reap the rewards.
  4. Credibility. When you participate regularly and let people get to know you, you will receive the trust of your audience.

When you give your audience what they want, you will get what you want. But you have to give to receive. Facebook is a powerful force when it’s used right.

Andrea Vahl is a Social Media Coach, Speaker and Strategist. She is a co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. She uses her improv comedy skills to blog as an entertaining character named Grandma Mary – Social Media Edutainer. She is also the Facebook Community Manager for Social Media Examiner, an online magazine with more than 45,000 Facebook Fans. You can find more information at http://www.AndreaVahl.com


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  • Ken Pierce

    Even though I have had a personal profile on Facebook for a few years, it was only about a year ago that I pumped up the initiative for my website with an official Fan Page for PiercingMetal.com – It grows in number incrementally, and since we are based in NYC I get to meet a lot of the folks from this region at the shows I am covering.  It has worked at broadcasting the articles I do to a larger geography thanks to these same folks sharing the posts around the world.  The smartest thing to do with a Fan Page in Facebook in my humble opinion is to connect it with the same brand names official Twitter feed.  This way the information flows directly to your fans who might not all be on Twitter.  It’s an extra step in terms of things to do as a writer, but these are important in order to remain relevant and a site that keeps in the publics eye.

  • Prasant Naidu

    ‘But it’s not only a broadcast platform. You have to talk to people and get a conversation started to reap the rewards.’- this is so true for any network. one needs to appreciate the social space of ur fans and earn their trust. great post @andreavahl:twitter 🙂

    • Andrea Vahl

      Thanks Prasant!  Very true.  I’ve watched brands broadcast and no one ever talks to them either.  It’s a waste of their time. 

  • Mike Warren

    Andrea your the best Edutainer last year and I guess until now. I’ll keep in touch to your blogs

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