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How has Twitter and/or Facebook worked for your sections?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Den1983, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I'm curious to know how effective they are.

    For us, we do have a Twitter site but no Facebook. So far, it's been eh on Twitter. We get some sort of response, but not enough, IMO.

    I'm interested in trying FB because I've seen it work with other sections, better than Twitter actually.

    But I really want to hear what you all have to say about the social media craze.
  2. BigJim5190

    BigJim5190 Member

    Haven't really tried the Twitter yet. Our news side has and I'm not sure if it's really been THAT big of a boost. We have Facebook and it's been the cat's pajamas. Great interaction, we post stories and shepherd people to the web site. Also works great with checking names for the roundups. Can't say enough how great Facebook has been for our paper - and in getting those young eyes to actually read something.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    That is the key. Does it help the section, the paper? Or is it just a few hundred more clicks on the Web site, which doesn't come close to paying the freight? I agree more is better, but will it make a real difference?
  4. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    That's what I wonder as well, Johnny. I'm curious to see how much significant impact social media has had, and whether it's sincerely helping or if it's just another short-term gimmick.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    It helps bring people to the site. It helps deliver the news. It helps get the news out quicker. It helps generate revenue. It is not a gimmick. Those who think in that mindset are surely in trouble.

    It isn't just a newspaper/web site world out there. There are many ways to get the news out.
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    No one argues that last sentence. I'm just asking if it will make enough money to keep a staff together.
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    By "it" I mean all the new ways to deliver the news.
  8. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Who the hell knows? They're making us to do it anyway.
  9. Speedbump

    Speedbump New Member

    If the issue is time and the fact that there is not enough of it, consider using an application like TweetDeck to streamline your processes. It allows you to keep tabs on both Facebook and Twitter, and I love having the ability to post simultaneously. And hey, if Ashton and Demi dig it, then what's there to lose?!?
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If there is one shred of evidence that the revenue assertion is true, I'd love to see it. I'm not talking about the it-must-be-free jackoff pieces that the Jeff Jarvises of the world write, I'm talking about actual application of the theory, or at least a reasoned analysis by someone like Alan Mutter, showing that newspapers aren't just chasing after fake dollars by building their "presence," that unquantifiable and non-cash-redeemable load of crap that newspapers have been fooled into for the past decade.
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Exactly my point for starting the thread. I would assume that, eventually, a stronger social media presence would generate more revenue. But I have nothing to support that assumption.
  12. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    Asking if using Twitter generates significant revenue is kind of like asking if RSS feeds or covering city council meetings generate significant revenue. The way I look at Twitter, or any social media, is this: Twitter alone, or even social media alone, may not generate significant amounts of direct revenue for a news org. However, they are valuable tools for serving your audience. And you use these tools not necessarily because they generate revenue, but because they serve the readers, just as council meetings may not be the thing that make papers fly off the rack, but you still cover them because it serves your readers to do so.

    As for what social media gives back to the news org, I don't know how much direct revenue it produces, but I think there are a couple more important things a news org gets, which might indirectly lead to more revenue:

    -- Expanded reach/influence/reputation: If you use social media tools well, it'll enhance your reputation as a reliable and useful source of information, a place that's among the first to pop into your audience's mind when they're thinking about where to go to find info on X. I think that's important in an age when news orgs are competing with millions upon millions of information sources for attention.

    -- Additional resource for reporters: If you build a big enough social media community (and one that actually interacts with you), whether in the form of Facebook fans or Twitter followers or whatever new app that hasn't been cooked up yet, you get to a point where you can start using that community to help you do your work better. Need to find some sports fans with unique pregame rituals? If you have a few thousand or even just a few hundred followers, chances are a couple of them would know someone who fits the bill. Didn't make it to the site of breaking news in time for pics? See if any of your followers did. Need to compile a report of roads blocked by toppled trees after a storm? Ask your Facebook fans to post what they've seen around the city.
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