Newspapers and Social Media are siblings of content; they both run 24/7, they reach people across all geo- and psycho-graphics and their objective are to inform, educate and inspire. People have been gathering information through the written word for hundreds of years, but what has changed today is how quickly that content spreads. If there is breaking news, Social Media spreads that information faster than any other medium. According to a 2014 study by Pew Research, 30% of the general population gets its news from Facebook. If your newspaper is looking to break the mold from black and white print into today’s digital age, Social Media has the momentum to move content far and fast.
- Post Original Content
If “Content is King,” then newspapers and Social Media rule the kingdom in tandem. In order to engage your audience and grab their attention, your newspaper must post original content that
enhances the narrative of your pulse on what’s hot, what’s not and what’s trending. If you have an entertainment section, start an entertainment blog. Topics can range from Jurassic World vs. Jurassic Park to the Top Summer Streaming Netflix Picks. Is your paper focused on world news? Generate content about World Travel or Travel Safety Tips. Original content keeps your audience engaged because it’s relevant, relatable and real-time.
- Keep Your Posts Short!
Since 2000, the average person’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds down to eight, which is less than a goldfish! That’s why “less is more” in Social Media. Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive on average 66% higher engagement. Your newspaper should view its Social Media channels as an invitation for readers to further explore your content. Keep Social Media posts short and succinct. Intrigue and invite people with teasers – your audience doesn’t need the full story up front.
- Use Your Archives for Nostalgic Posts
The great thing about news is that even old news can be relevant when used appropriately. Your audience wants to make a personal connection with your newspaper. It’s important to stay connected, not just to what’s happening now, but on historical moments as well. When you use your archives for nostalgic posts, it allows your viewership to feel you are one of them; you are able to make a connection with them and not just to them about something impactful.
- Make It A Conversation
Posts asking questions generate comment rates double that of non-question posts. Because a newspaper is a one-sided conversation, Social Media can be the tool to engage with your audience and let them be heard. You’re not just a brand, you’re one of them. You’ll have a natural leg up because people love to talk about news, so provide them the freedom to dialogue with you and fellow readers – create a community of conversation.
- Try Something New & Innovative!
Your newspaper is an ever-evolving medium. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Find innovative and interesting ways to share stories, connect with your audience and educate the masses. Whether it’s lo-fi or hi-fi, copy or imagery, think outside the box. Be bold (and not just in your typeface).
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