Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How one newspaper used Facebook to build readership ... and make money

We've engaged in a lot of discussion this quarter about the role social media plays in news. I came across this article today and thought it was worth sharing.

In this post, the editor of the Lake Country Sun (a weekly newspaper in Gradford, Texas) talks about how his newspaper used its Facebook page to spread news about wildfires in the area.

Mark Engebretson, the managing editor of the Sun, discusses Facebook and Twitter as tools for disseminating credible news that the community needed. His essay was published by the Texas Center for Community Journalism at Texas Christian University. I particularly liked the last paragraph:
As communications become more advanced, we must also advance. Newspapers will not become relics of a bygone era, but will remain as the written history of today for tomorrow’s generations. Tweets and Facebook postings will be lost, purged for more space, but the written word will last far into the future. The trick will be in dedicating the resources necessary to integrate the past with the present and prepare for the future.
Also worth noting: As traffic to the website surged because of Facebook and Twitter traffic, advertisers took note. Web advertising almost quadrupled, and new advertisers were also looking for space in the print product.

Engebretson made this observation:
By posting instant updates on Facebook that were accurate, The Sun gained not only exposure, but also credibility and that credibility is what added to the advertising revenue and will continue over the next several weeks.
Here is a link to the whole essay:

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