Social Media Promotion

Recent posts

Summer Camp: John O’Connor’s Social Media Secrets

We recently persuaded John O’Connor, StateImpact Florida education reporter and social media extraordinaire, to share some of his tips and tricks with us. He put together a list of key take-aways, below, for those of you who weren’t able to join us.

  • Not all social media is equal. Take advantage of the strengths of different sites. Twitter is what’s happening now. It’s great for publishing and promotion, but also a good way to find sources, activists and trends. Use Facebook to share things that might spark a conversation. LinkedIn is great for finding people who worked or work for specific companies or organizations.
  • Twitter is the most useful social media service, but it needs to be tamed. Use TweetDeck, HootSuite or a similar tool to bend it to your will.
  • Remember that social media is a conversation. You have to engage with others to get the most out of it.
  • Use social media to tell stories. People love to live-tweet events. Compile those tweets with Storify, but be a journalist and organize and add context to tell a story.

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

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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Matt Thompson’s Dark Secrets of the Online Overlords: A Recap

Matt and I pretending we were at prom, May 2011

For as long as I’ve known Matt Thompson (we first met a concert in Austin, natch), he’s shocked and awed me with his large brain. Over the past half decade, everything I was trying or figuring out or finding success with in digital and multi-platform journalism, Matt had already thought through, unpacked and articulated. He’s not just a close friend who rescues my $20 bills when they go flying into downtown streets, he is my journalism sherpa.

Few people can describe what’s happening across the media landscape and what audiences need from journalists better than Matt. His world-famous (or at least it should be) ‘Dark Secrets of the Online Overlords‘ presentation explains how we can take the webby sensibility that pervades the most-popular sites on the web and use it to do great, public interest journalism. Yesterday he shared the secrets with our StateImpact reporters and it got a fantastic response, so we will post the video of our webinar soon. But for now, a recap:

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Promotion and Audience Building Ideas You Can Use

We’ve just wrapped up our September Monthly Reporter Challenge, which focused on promotion techniques reporters could take on to build a wider audience for their sites and broadcast coverage. But stations can help in the effort, and since we had a question from StateImpact Oklahoma on what the entire statewide collaborative could do to better spread the word, let’s cap our monthly challenge with a look at some ideas you can use.

First, the initial goals:

  • 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
Beyond the tips outlined in an earlier post, we’ve also observed what our sister project, Project Argo, has done to build audience. I’ve picked out a few traditional and non-traditional promotion they’ve done to get you thinking.

Twitter Promotion: Not What You Say But How You Say It

Smart, successful twitter promotion requires more than just tweeting out your headline, even if your headline is awesome. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow had an instructive experience on Friday.

This morning, I tweeted a straightforward explanation of the regs story: “My look at PA’s #fracking disclosure regs, and how they compare to other states:”
Straighforward, but not  too interesting. I got one, maybe two retweets.

A few hours later, I tried again with this:

“When it comes to public availability of info, PA is at back of the #fracking disclosure pack”

More information in that tweet, and more of a reason for someone to click on the link. I’ve been getting steady RTS throughout the day on the second tweet, and therefore more people are ending up on the site.

So – it’s worth taking the time go into Twitter and write something out – maybe the most interesting fact or angle in the post – rather than just clicking the “tweet” button on the story or copying and pasting the headline in.

Potential Approaches:

1. Frame your tweet with the most interesting nugget in the piece.

2. Choose the most compelling quote from the post, and include it as the hook to your link.

3. The web loves a numbered list, so even if your headline doesn’t have “Top 3” or “15 Ways,” you can still promote your post that way.

4. Go with something counter-intuitive. For example, take Slate’s recent tweet: A rare piece of good news for the markets, via @Slatest: