Publishers look to Facebook to increase audience engagement

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.45.34 PM.pngBy Friday morning last week 30,389 people had been talking about Dabira, a magazine that has been in existence only a short time. How is it possible that so many people were talking about a Nigerian Christian magazine? Dabira Editor Lara Odebiyi discovered long ago how a Facebook page for her magazine could impact and influence current and potential readers of her magazine. With nearly 6,000 likes, Dabira’s Facebook page has the potential to engage tens of thousands of people.

Publishers have come to recognize the value of Facebook engagement in reaching and responding to their current and potential readers. Facebook defines the engagement rate as the percentage of people who saw a post and reacted to it, sharing, clicking, or commenting on it. Page administrators can view the engagement rate for each post and to see certain limited demographic statistics on those who “like” the page.

In order to reach more people and to increase engagement, Facebook suggests using Page Insights to learn how the audience is engaging with the posts. The Post Types section will allow you to see the kinds of posts that have the highest average reach and engagement.. You can use this information to create more of the types of posts that your audience wants to see

You can also increase engagement by:

* Offering useful content, rather than simply filling up the columns with your own advertising and promotions.

* Asking questions your readers would want to answer. Get a conversation going to increase response.

* Host contests. Use Facebook’s Events Page feature for an attractive and efficient way to organize your contest and receive feedback.

* Offering conference registration. If your magazine is planning a conference, make it possible for people to link to your registration form from Facebook.

* Posting on the days and at the times when your users are on Facebook looking for content. This information is available in your Page Insights.

* Using Facebook apps to add extra features to your page, including RSS feeds,; quizzes, and contact forms.

* Posting videos. Videos get more attention than any other type of post. They can be quite short and don’t have to be professional quality. Interview authors, record readers’ comments about the magazine or topics covered by the magazine. Share appropriate videos from other Facebook users.

* Using pictures with your written posts to grab readers’ attention.

When you’re busy producing a magazine, keeping up a Facebook page can seem like simply another burdensome job. Yet a magazine, with its rich content and articulate authors, has more resources to work with than most other businesses and is ideal for generating Facebook engagement.

Dabira and many other magazines have already discovered the value of Facebook and are using it to their advantage. If your magazine hasn’t yet set goals for your Facebook page and generated a plan for increasing your engagement, it may be time to take a new look at this potentially important tool in your tool box.

Fresh out of ideas for Facebook posts? Check out this  blog post on MagazineTraining.com for a list of suggestions.

Use Facebook to interact with subscribers

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are valuable tools for magazines which have discovered the value of interacting with subscribers. But how do you use these platforms effectively? And how do you keep them from draining valuable staff time? The Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) has offered some tips developed by Brad Best, RJI’s advertising editor, and a team of Missouri School of Journalism students after weeks of analysis of a major Midwest metro daily newspaper. Here are five tips regarding Facebook.

1. Ask questions as a way of beginning discussion about events or issues. Make sure to link back to an article about the event, in order to drive traffic to your Web site.

2. Use visuals to add interest to the layout of your Facebook page.

3. Integrate new technology and media into your page in order to keep it lively and interesting. Consider posting videos of events, authors, or themes related to an article you want to feature.

4. Find a balance between daily posts and conversations. Too many posts will clog users’ feeds, and readers will begin to unsubscribe.

5. Prompt the visitor to read the Web site article related to the discussion question on Facebook.

Download the full article at http://rjionline.org/news/how-use-email-tool-your-news-site

 

China’s changing face of journalism

Social media is transforming Chinese journalism, according to the International Center for Journalism, whose representative attended a recent conference on international journalism sponsored by Tsinghua University. At the conference, Qu Yingpu, deputy editor-in-chief of the state-controlled China Daily, said that social media was spreading news so rapidly that it was no longer possible to control the flow of information.

Shi Anbin of Tsinghua University urged journalists to learn from the example of Andy Calvin’s one-man newsroom which covered the Middle East during the Arab Spring in 2011 for National Public Radio by relying on numerous local activists, bloggers, and reporters using social media like Twitter.

Li Liangrong, professor of journalism at Fudan University, said the standard for news presented on the Web should be open, fair, equitable, extensive, and intensive.

In fact, many Chinese count on the Internet for fast and possibly more accurate news reporting than they can get in the daily papers. The proliferation of cell phones, now well over 1 billion, make it possible for ordinary citizens to become instant “journalists” with far-reaching impact.  Just ask the Russian cellist who was fired after someone used his cell phone to film an altercation and posted it on the Internet.

Cell phones are a key element driving the instant news phenomenon.  The nation’s on-line mobile phone users total 370 million, about 70 percent of the total Internet users. Access to the Internet for them is instant and available just about anywhere.

China still tries to control and “cleanse” information disseminated on the Web. However, the fast access offered by mobile phones and the proliferation of social media make the job increasingly difficult.