Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Facebook for Journalists: Engaging Readers.

by Mary Rochelle

Vadim Lavrusik, the journalism program manager for Facebook, presented a panel encouraging journalists to take advantage of tools available on Facebook.

Contact sources

You can contact potential sources by messaging them on Facebook. Lavrusik refers to it as a "Rolodex of 750+ million"

"I realized that people are more likely going to be on Facebook then listed in the white pages," said Lavrusik.

Lavrusik said he once gained access to a source because she looked at his Facebook profile, which made her comfortable talking to him.

Create community

It can be beneficial for a news organization to open up their Facebook wall, allowing anyone to post on it, i. People will use it as their community hub: posting information about burglaries or upcoming garage sales.

This open wall can also be a place for reporters to hear tips and meet sources.

Facebook is also a chance to gain unique content, which your reporters might not have access to. Invite readers to submit content. Oftentimes this can result in photos and stories that tell an important piece of a story, otherwise missed.

Tell stories

Keep your readers hooked on stories with Facebook. Post developments as they happen, especially when it is an ongoing story. According to Lavrusik, views on Facebook spike at 7 and 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 4 and 5 p.m., 12 and 2 a.m. Try to post updates at these times to receive maximum coverage.

Updates about behind-the-scenes processes are intriguing to readers also. Tell them the whole story. Facebook is a venue where you can share tidbits from the story that might not otherwise belong in a traditional print story.

Include pictures in posts. Photos resonate with people and receive, on average, 50 percent more "likes" than non-photo posts.

For additional resources and information about how to use Facebook as a journalist, Lavrusik recommends

1 comment:

  1. As an active news consumer, how appropriate is it for me to send friend requests to journalists I've never met? Is there a general consensus one way or the other?