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Promoting Live Events on Social Media

We’ve noticed that many of you have been busy fostering engagement and increasing your profile with community events. We like what we see and we hope to see more of it. To that end,  we thought it could be helpful to corral some ideas–from stations, reporters and elsewhere–to help you get the most out of your events with smart use of online promotion.

Please add any of your own ideas or experiences below. The more the merrier.

Before the Event:

  • Create Facebook-friendly messaging and imagery for your event.   

    This photo used by StateImpact Texas to promote a recent event on that state's fracking boom pretty much said it all.

From Shannon McDonald, Social Media Editor at WHYY: “Try to find a message for your event that works well on social media instead of trying to manipulate something for several platforms… From the beginning, find a message that can work on all fronts. And to that point, make sure anything you design for the event also has images designed specifically for Facebook. That means that whatever images you’re putting out there should also be made to fit the 403×403 pixel size for Facebook posts and the 840×310 pixel size for Facebook cover photos.” 

  •  Create an Event on Facebook.

Invite all of the people who ‘like’ your page, as well as people who you think might be interested. You’ll also want to post additional information, as you get closer to the event to keep it fresh in people’s feeds. Continue reading

Using ScribbleLive For Live Blogging

We’ve decided to start using ScribbleLive for live blogging. It offers many of the same features as our former platform. You can collaborate, pull in outside Tweets or Facebook posts, embed images, video, and other multimedia content.. And you can have a virtually unlimited number of viewers. And, as if all of that weren’t enough, the interface is very intuitive.

One minor problem is that our account will only allow a limited number of events to take place at any given time. So, if you are planning to use it for an upcoming event, please claim your turf by giving us a heads up.

Then, dig in. Here’s how to set it up: Continue reading

Social Media: Beyond Self-Promotion

In this webinar, we share ways to use social media (including Twitter, Facebook and Reddit) to engage with your core communities. We break down simple ways you can tweak the work you are already doing to maximize your social media presence. And we’ll share how other reporters—including your StateImpact brethren—are using social media to inform stories and promote their work.

StateImpact Webinar: Social Media For Reporters from StateImpact on Vimeo.

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StateImpact Policy on On-Site Comments

Comments can be a great tool for generating healthy discussions, but only if they are used correctly. To  create an environment that encourages participation, StateImpact’s team will follow these general community policies:

  1. All comments on the substance of the material or news presented, including critical observations, are welcome. It is best to allow the readers–and the author–to respond to comments where they are posted, in a spirit of openness and transparency.
  2. Comments will be moderated by the site managers and reporters. As the strongest communities have engaged moderators, reporters are encouraged to jump in and participate in comment threads, directing the conversation, mitigating hostile flare ups, and keeping the discussion moving forward.
  3. Continue reading

What We Talk About When We Talk About Online Communities

NPR’s Social Media Team member and Two-Way Blogger Eyder Peralta was kind enough to give us some practical examples of NPR’s work in community engagement. Of course, you had to sit through me talking about how to frame online communities, first. Here’s a look back at our webinar from last week:

Characteristics of online community

  • Authenticity: as long as you are authentic to your community, you can pretty much tell them anything and they’ll believe it.
  • Purpose: what do your community members have in common?
  • Safety: if your community doesn’t feel safe, it won’t participate.
  • Empowerment: if you gives tools to your users, they can do work for you.
  • Trust: if your community doesn’t trust you, it won’t participate.

Eyder Peralta’s tips:

  • Comments are content.
  • After cultivated a community, ask your community questions. Simple questions yield complex answers.
  • Edit your community, e.g. Audience diary project and NPR baby project.

A Guide To Audience Building and Engagement

Those of you who have been paying attention to our webinar themes probably guessed it: This month’s challenge is focused on promotion for your site and engaging your users. Our overall goals for this challenge are:

  • Generating buzz around the StateImpact brand; getting people talking about it
  • Building up followers on Twitter, Facebook, and your site
  • Building a more loyal audience
  • Increasing the reach of your content

(This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop caring about topics pages. In fact, you should have gotten a “report card” in your email with how to improve, based on the monthly challenge assessment.)

For some of you, promoting your stuff comes naturally. For others, it seems a little skeezy to be constantly pushing your content. By the end of the September challenge, I hope it feels more like second nature. Words from our wise sherpa Matt Thompson:

Bloggers design their posts to move. They craft strong headlines, they spread the word through their social networks, they dip in to comment threads, they pay attention to metrics. They work to develop a genuine sense of their community and its predilections, and they adjust accordingly.

But here’s the rub: truly great bloggers lead just as much as they follow. They use their mastery of their crowd to guide its attention, to find ways to hook you into engaging with things you might not otherwise try. This is how Ezra Klein gets his community to indulge him in a discussion of actuarial values.

Continue reading