USA TODAY: More Than Just News. A Social Media Case Study


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YNPNdc 2nd Annual Social Media Summit
- Brian Dresher (@bdresher), Manger of Social Media & Digital Partnerships, USA TODAY (@USATODAY)
Examples that I would feature:
- Ways in which USA TODAY has become social by opening up conversation on our web site
- Changing the focus of the brand by building up individual journalist brand value
- Use of Twitter by journalists and other staff
- Cross-promoting content on Twitter and to drive traffic to both platforms
- Approach to Facebook
- Content distribution partnerships with social media news aggregators
- Geo-location and USA TODAY's partnership with Gowalla to distribute travel content
- How we measure results of social media
- How we see the future of journalists leveraging social media tools

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USA TODAY: More Than Just News. A Social Media Case Study

  1. USA TODAY: More Than Just News. A Social Media Case Study Brian Dresher: Twitter: @bdresher Blog: August 6, 2010
  2. Where is the community? Brands  need  to  adapt  to  the  rules  of  the  playgrounds  in  which  they’re  playing.  
  3. Opening the conversation
  4. Macro to Micro: Transformation of News Brands Before social networks Journalists Audience Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of After social networks Journalists Audience Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of /3003245982/ /613445810/
  5. Macro to Micro: Breaking News Macro news Photo courtesy of Janis Krums, Micro news
  6. Managing Twitter • Engagement - @USATODYtravel - More than 80 readers joined the debate on walking barefoot in hotel rooms. What's the verdict? #hotel #travel • Story Leads - @barbdelollis - Are you #snowbound/stranded in a #hotel ? If so, I'm interested in hearing abt yr experience for a story. Email me @ • Meet Ups - @CruiseLog - Anyone else going on Carnival's Bloggers Cruise this weekend? I'll be on board (and blogging) starting Saturday and would love to meet up! • Opportunity - @USATMediaLounge - Have you got your tickets to the @Mashable Summer Tour hitting DC, hosted @USATODAY /amrUTJ • Awareness - @HiltonAnaheim - We are looking forward to donating Blankets/Cribs to @GCHope tomorrow morning! • Customer Service - @USATODAYservice - @LinsayPattan Our apologies for the issue with the paper machine. Contact USA TODAY Customer Service @ 800-USA-0001 for a refund of the $1
  7. Monitoring Your Brand
  8. Monitoring Trends (Snow + Hotel + Can’t Fly) X Twitter = Source: “Hotel Hotsheet,” by Kitty Bean Yancey,
  9. Steps USA TODAY Took to Sell Internal Staff on Twitter • Started small. One person buying-in leads to another and another. • Shared success stories. • Defined roles for members of our organization. • Created internal education plan. • Prepare monthly report showcasing metrics. These  steps  have  helped  to  turn  doubters  into  believers!  
  10. Tips for Brands to Reach Users on Twitter •  Understand value of Twitter etiquette: re-tweets, replies, and thank yous. •  Use sites such as WeFollow to find and follow Twitterers who cover similar topics. •  Follow other internal Twitter feeds, industry experts, major brands, clients, competitors, etc. •  Identify best hashtags to have tweets discovered as well as search for other Twitterers tweeting on same subject. •  Optimize tweets so that they’re easily re-tweetable. All  of  the  above  <ps  lend  themselves  to  increasing  Followers  and  Engagement!  
  11. Educate and Inform our Audience about Twitter Tweets  posted  to  the  comments  sec.on.   Source: “Hotel guests: What's the 1st thing you do after check in?” by Barbara DeLollis,
  12. Enhance On-Site Twitter Presence Source: “Gene mutations tied to children’s stuttering,” by Rita Rubin,
  13. Twitter Hashtag Charity Campaign •  Free, full-page color ad in USA TODAY valued at $190,000. •  Over 60,000 tweets. •  Reached over 67M Twitter followers. •  More than 500 organizations were tweeted about. •  Tweeted by dozens of celebrities including Pink, Tony Hawk, Willie Nelson, Eva Longoria, and the founder of Twitter, @Jack.
  14. Facebook Features
  15. Characteristics of Facebook Fan Pages Engaging • Regularly updated, fun, and user-friendly. Content Unique to FB • Photos or recurring features unique to FB. Interactive Features for Users • Discussion boards or daily questions of the day. • User uploaded photos. Informative • Info about new products (e.g., iPhone app, Kindle). • Promotion of events (e.g., journalist meet-up at ComicCon). Transparent • Public responses to public questions, comments, and complaints.
  16. Social Media Partnerships
  17. What the Fark? + Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Brian Dresher Photo courtesy of Charles Apple,
  18. Social Media Blog •  Share our internal case studies. •  Inform our audience on what we’re reading related to social media. •  Announce new products and site features. •  Interact with consumers, advertisers, analysts and anyone who wants to chat!
  19. Location-Based Services Source: Geek and Poke,