Community building When we talk about building your topical community we mean: Reporting stories differently Using all the available tools Using community members’ voices to add to the conversation Getting even better content to our products and audiences Current hot networks are Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare but tips apply to any and even to reader comments on your posts.
Community building VIDEO: How P.F. Chang's Uses Twitter to Be Awesome www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpweflyo_54
Community building Use social media to communicate with community members “informally.” It can be easier to talk to people on a Facebook chat than face to face, at times, for example. Use networking to expand your resources.
Community building Respond to people’s status updates/tweets. Gently ask them to get involved. Search Twitter for keywords. Use Tweetdeck, for example. If you want to see every live tweet mentioning Joe Biden, set it to search for Joe Biden. If you want to keep track of “Cedar Rapids” --- have automated “Cedar Rapids” search set up. Twitter search (see next slide) is another good way of live scanning your community.
Community building You can use iGoogle, Google Reader or feed the feeds into your Outlook inbox or RSS feed box. To do that in Outlook: TOOLS-ACCOUNT SETTINGS-RSS feed-NEW… then add the RSS feed URL. Respond to reader comments at the bottom of your posts. (Don’t e-mail them only.)
Community building Post content on topical sites. Link to it. Don’t report content gathered on the company’s behalf only on a social network. But do engage with communities. Remember: Be professional.
Community building How to push these out? Twitterfeed.com Link Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. How to monitor them? E-mail alerts of people commenting Tweeting you? OR don’t do as many networks! Just do one and do that really well.
Community building Assume everything you say online is public! Social networks (for example Facebook) change their rules all the time. Exercise caution with regards to: exaggeration Language guesswork obscenity copyrighted materials legal conclusions derogatory remarks or characterizations.
Community building If you wouldn’t say something to somebody’s face, don’t say it in a tweet or Facebook status.
Why do all this stuff? Get ideas for content Keep informed Produce better content Get elements of content (atoms) Connect with your audience Know what’s going on.
Social media ideas Be out there Identify yourself Tweet, say interesting things But remember to be professional. Everything is public Be a person. Interact. Don’t just tweet/update Facebook when you need something from a source Don’t just do this exclusively: “Looking for people to be interviewed.” But at times this is OK.
Location-based services (like Foursquare) Use account with own name or a branded one, perhaps (SourceMedia_Crime) (Get permission from supervisor) Use them to let followers (=sources/community members) know where you are. For example: If you cover the school beat and are at a school one morning, check in at the school on Foursquare. Check-in note: “Here to talk to a P.E. class” (or something like that.) Technique might help you connect with people in the field.
Social media ideas Be transparent Facebook is traditionally personal, but offers tremendous value for topical content gatherer experts. Be aware of who you are friends with. Can you explain why you are friends with the mayor? The person who ran against the mayor? Etc. Can you explain that “relationships” are centered around building your own topical community? (Consider a disclaimer?)
Real success examples An athlete suffered a concussion during a game. Sat out the next game. Was interviewed during that game on Facebook by the content gatherer. What are you doing right now? “My head hurts and I’m watching the game on the Internet.” A law enforcement official verified the accuracy of a missing person story for us through a Facebook chat. A source sent a direct message via Twitter to pass on an exclusive story.
In a nutshell Use social media as your modern-day police scanner to hear what’s going on. Networks are constantly changing. Keep informed of where you should listen and which ones might not be worth your time. Use the tools available, including social networks, to your advantage! It should make your job easier!