Last week I had the pleasure to be part of Cision’s Social Journalism 2012 Webinar. Following the presentation we received a number of questions and comments about the UK Social Journalism Study 2012. Below I have discussed two, if you disagree or have anything to add feel free to let us know at the bottom.
How do you build up an audience on Twitter and Facebook, without adverts?
In a real-world analogy: Facebook and Twitter are like huge empty rooms where lots of people gather to chat, listen or, as is mostly the case, be ignored. Adverts are like posters on the walls of this room and will mostly go unnoticed. To build an audience you need to be interesting: posting original content and intelligent comments on other people’s posts. Engage people with links, pictures, and by inviting feedback.
Using hashtags on Twitter is a particularly powerful method of interacting and joining conversations that may be relevant to you and engage people you want to meet. Also if you retweet a journalist’s posts you are supporting their work while subtly massaging their ego. It’s important not to go too far and be annoying though; you want to be the person in the room everyone wants to chat to, not the one who is avoided.
Whether the material ends up online or in a paper, it is the same purpose, just a different channel that may need a different approach.
I think the purpose of online and print journalism is slightly different. Due to an online audience’s immediate, ‘on demand’ attitude towards digital media, a writer cannot help but to acknowledge this in their style and level of content. Printed journalism should be more considered, carefully sourced and reputable (whether it is or not is up for debate).
Online journalism is fluid and published quickly with details, corrections or further information often coming at a later date. Online content is driven by a need to be first and at the top of Google search rankings, which is achieved through SEO and headlines often described as ‘link bait’. Because advertising revenues are much smaller online, the need to attract a large volume of people is more pressing; this economic pressure has unfortunately put most modern media outlets in their current position.