Valentine’s is Loveland’s month. Loveland chooses a Miss Loveland Valentines. The Reporter-Herald covers the official Loveland valentine unveiling, the remailing program, the children’s stamp camp, the hanging of heart messages around Loveland, and lots of other great events in Loveland. The advertising department also sponsors a “hunt for the heart.” We decided it was an ideal time to offer a $50 gift card to Loveland’s greatest love story.We started out by crowdsourcing through all the mediums available to us. I put together a timeline of the stories submitted, we chose the top five, and put those five to a vote.
The two top contendors vied all week for the winning spot, which went to Amy and Ryan Green.
What hasn’t worked:Before a Loveland Trivia Bowl in December, I invited the Trivia Bowl organizer in and had him ask eight trivia questions on video camera. I posted this video with a story about the Trivia and invited the community to call in with the answers to those questions for the chance to win a free entry into the Trivia Bowl. I didn’t get one call.
Richard Chin: “I would never have predicted that Peeps dioramas would be such a big hit… Readers have said we should give a separate kids award for our diorama contest… I've resisted that. Then you end up having to give awards to some really lame kids' efforts. Our goal wasn't to be fair, it was to get the best/funniest/wow image in the paper.”
Introductions• Name• Newsroom• What you do• Recent engagement success/challenge• What would make today a success foryou?
Plan for the day• Engagement overview• ScribbleLive• Post planning meeting• Daily engagement• Engaging w/ bloggers• Thunderdomeengagement• Interactive graphics• Social conversation• Contests• Photo engagement• Time management• iPad• Hangout• Pinterest• Brainstorming
Throughout the day• Choose 1 or 2 things to try this week• Choose 1 or 2 things to try next week• Choose 1 or 2 things to dig in deeperwith us in follow-up• Write down follow-up questions• Slides and links on my blog
In the Post meeting• Crowdsourcing opportunity?• Curation opportunity?• Seek videos, photos from community?• Look for existing videos• How would you tweet?• How would you start Facebookconversation?
Finding new bloggers• Google (blog search w/ communitynames)• Check local blogs’ blogrolls• Ask the bloggers about others• Check links of local tweeps• Help set up people with blogs
Host some group blogs• Community clubs• Community religious organizations• Youth sports teams• Neighborhood groups• Music (marching bands, church choirs,garage bands, youth recitals)• What else?
Social media• Community orgs w/ FB pages• Community FB groups (if they’re open)• Community orgs, voices on Twitter• Community orgs w/ YouTube channels• Community orgs on Instagram, Flickr• Community Pinboards
Engagement within DFMCreating and building communitiesacross the network
Sooo… What’s the point?• Engagement is not onlyimportant to our audienceoutside the newsroom, butalso within our newsrooms.• If we build relationships andcommunicate more, we willget a better understandingof who our audience isacross the network – whichmakes sharing content andpackaging a lot more easy,streamlined.
The first steps• I created Facebook groups, closed to DFM staffersonly, as a place to share ideas, talk with colleagues,spotlight great content available for use and sharemetrics.
Facebook communities• We want producers,reporters, editors(everyone!) to takeadvantage of DFM andpartner content. Our hope isthat creating these networksand communities aroundniche topics will encouragethat. Created, so far:– Health– Entertainment– Tech– Travel
What we hope to achieve…Sharing cool content, starting aconversationPromoting Thunderdome or localcontentThese are just examples but we have lots of ideas … The Facebook groups aren’tmeant to replace Mission Control as a sharing vehicle, but to encourage conversationand cross-network collaboration, promote content and act as a water cooler (of sorts).
We’re also hanging out• We also recently launched what will be monthly, super casualGoogle Hangouts to chat about news and features.– Karen Workman (news-side representative) and I meet casuallywith a group of staffers filling a variety of newsrooms roles(generally not high-level editors).– We want it to be like running into one another in the breakroom.
What do we talk about?• Prior to the hangout we send a tentative agenda that iscompletely allowed to change.• The chat lasts 30 minutes with Karen and I each taking 5minutes:– Spotlight a story that was shared to Thunderdome from a localproperty– Spotlight original Thunderdome content– What’s coming up?• Then, we ask the folks on the call to share their successesand talk about upcoming projects – opening the door forpossible collaboration and increased sharing across DFM.• Following the chat, we send notes with lots and lots of linksto stories discussed.
What did we talk about?• We got feedback to Thunderdome Boston explosionscoverage and heard from the network:– Mainline Media (PA) has the US Open coming up in May. Andy Stettler says histeam will be live tweeting. Sounds like awesome golf coverage is expected.– The Morning Sun (MI) had a huge win with their March Madness pet contest —Lisa Yanick Jonaitis said one of their posts was viewed about 68,000 times, which isjust amazing. Next up at the Morning Sun is a "Can you spell this?" for adultsplaying off the upcoming spelling bee.– In York (PA), Scott Blanchard is spreading the word about coverage of Gettysburganniversary. Some stories and columns are available and Blanchard says itll look atthe “stuff that could make someones visit there be great or make it suck.”– The Bay Area News Group(CA) had a rocking reaction in the Rock and Roll Hall ofFame bracket. The bracket had had a grand total of 282,057 page views. It pickedup retweets and Facebook posts from Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and others. Italso had 42,124 Facebook recommends. Ann Tatko-Peterson said “This is the primeexample of how we can use social media to drive traffic back to our websites.”
After the first hangout, what’s next?• The first group included folks from:– The Register Citizen (CT)– Bay Area News Group (CA)– Mainline Media, York Daily Record (PA)– The Morning Sun, The Oakland Press (MI)– The Denver Post (CO)– Thunderdome• We hope we will have two hangouts a month,one with a core group and another with arotating group to get more voices.
Why converse w/ no link?• Question invites conversation• Engagement w/ question boostsviews/engagement on subsequent links• Builds brand, gain followers• Do you enjoy conversation w/ peoplealways calling attention to themselves?
Engagement tips:• Engage with comments• Post and/or share from personal pages(selectively; don’t be a spammer)• Crowdsource on community pages (notjust yours)• No AP photos
CT Twitter study:• Newsroom accounts mostly heads & links• @5thDistrictCT conversational (links tocompetition, RTs, replies, great info)• @5thDistrictCT = 2x to 10x more referralsper Twitter follower
Tips for being conversational:• Monitor @ mentions & reply (answerquestions, thank for links, address critics)• Make link posts conversational• RT competition, community bloggers• Ask questions
Monitor community conversation:• Save searches for key names, hashtags• Save location searches for breaking-newsterms (fire, emergency, siren)• Make lists (HootSuite, TweetDeckcolumns) of key community users• Reply & RT
Encourage staff to be conversational:• Be personable (can do that w/o statingopinions)• More than just links• Listen to community; reply & RT• Livetweeting events
What’s your social-media voice• All about me?• Join other conversations?• Appropriate to content (light, serious)?• Who would your social-media voice be(think of a character)?
Crowdsourcing tips• Say what you know, what you need toknow• Don’t ask for help; invite people to telltheir stories, share their photos• Reach broader audience (hashtags, ask onFB pages of groups w/ interests)
Why do contests? Contests are fun. The audience loves to seesomething they did in print. Contests drive traffic. They encourage the readers to interact withthe newspaper, showing readers that we arehere and a part of this community. They drive new readers and build ouraudience.Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
What kind of contest? Contests associated with holidays (Christmas,Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Halloween). Events (festivals, parades, trivia bowl). Weather (snow, first day of summer). Biggest fan or school spirit. Best community stories (Ghost stories,Veteran’s stories).Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
What types of platforms/socialmedia? Videos Photos Written stories Google forms Print newspaper Facebook Twitter Blogs Pinterest Instagram Storify TimelinesJessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
How do we handle prizes? Arrange prizes with a participating event orvenue (free tickets or passes to an event). Use the tantalizing idea of the best photomaking it into print. Post the photos in a Facebook album, onPinterest and in a slide show on yourwebsite as the prize. Occasionally dip into the budget for agift card (but that depends on the newspaperand budget).Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Valentine’s Day Project Call-out for “Loveland’sgreatest love stories”online and in print,Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest. 13 submissions received. Timeline of submissionsdesigned. Top five chosen byReporter-Herald staff.Reporter-Herald projects:Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Valentine’s Day cont’d:Reporter-Herald projects:Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013 Top five put to a vote by the community for one week. First place entry interviewed for a Valentine’s Day feature story.
Easter We asked for egg decorating “egg-sperts” to be partof a feature. We used how-to videos of those submissions to askthe community to submit their best-decorated eggs fora Facebook album, slide show, and to run in our News:By You section.Reporter-Herald projects:Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Photo curation Quick hitters like curating for photos seems to often perform betterthan longer contest projects. We usually ask for photos and place them in a Facebook album andslide show on our website. We have a vote for the best shots andprint the top couple in our News: By You section of the paper. Halloween Snow photos Easter eggsReporter-Herald projects:Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Our thoughts on what has worked: Our community likes to participate when they don’t have to putin a lot of work. Submitting photos. Participating in polls. Big prizes are noticed, as are the promises of a child’s photogetting in the paper. Contests around big events/topics of the day like snow storms orsummer festivals.Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013And what hasn’t: Trivia Bowl: Asked reader to call in with answers to eight triviaquestions for the chance to win a free entry to participate in the TriviaBowl. – No calls. Might have been too small of an audience. Too much work, not a big enough topic. Lifetree Film Fest: Asked to submit 3-minute films for a mini filmfestival in conjunction with Group Publishing Lifetree Film Fest. Wereceived three entries. Perhaps not enough time (we gave them 2.5 weeks). Not a big enough topic.
Tips from other newspapers: Peeps dioramas are a big hit. Reader’s Choice: Unlimited voting or not? You might end up puttingsomething in the paper that isn’t great but had a lot of friends. Sex sells. We didnt get a tons of entries in our tax season SexyAccountant contest, but tens of thousands clicked to see what sexyaccountants look like. During National Poetry Month a few years ago, we sponsored alimerick contest; we got lots of entries, but most were badly rhymedcouplets that werent even limericks.-- Richard Chin, St. Paul Pioneer Press.Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Tips from other newspapers: Better response when we offer less of readers and offer biggerprizes. Giveaways do well like commenting on a post with a favorite beeror wine to win passes to related events. Built up buzz about “Restaurant week,” where people could “like”the event on Facebook to enter to win. A $400 prize was announcedduring a “happy hour event” to kick off the week (advertise-driven).-- April Trotter, York Daily Record, Pennsylvania.Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013
Brainstorm What has worked for you? What are your ideas?Jessica Benes, Reporter-Herald 2013Jessica Benes Reporter-Herald, 970-669-5050 ext. 530. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @JessicaBenes Facebook, Pinterest: Jessica Benes Blog: jessicabenes.com
Engagement saves time• Find sources quickly using social search• Find sources quickly by crowdsourcing• Posts are short (but still require thought)• Posts can be timed (but be careful)• Suggest what you should stop doing
Quick video• Surveillance video• Seek submissions from community• Vine, Tout• Search YouTube, Vimeo• Hangout (live on YouTube)
• It’s a place to collect and organize images by topic.• Pay attention to popular topics when building boards.• Generate new interest in content you already have.• Showcase user-generated images.• Create an archive. Pins are sticky!• Build a new audience.How & why to use Pinterest
Pinterest by the numbers• 25% of U.S. women who usesocial media are onPinterest.• Among U.S. women on socialmedia, Pinterest is secondonly to Facebook.• More women use Pinterestthan instagram (16%),Twitter (15%) or Tumblr(6%).• Women are five times aslikely as men to usePinterest.• 48% of Pinterest users are18-49 years old and 36%have attended or graduatedfrom college.Graphic: AdWeek | Demographics: Pew Research Center
Salt Lake Tribune demographicsPre-Pinterest Post-Pinterest
Get verifiedShowcase the diversity of your content
Build an archiveShowcase original contentEditorial CartoonsArchival Photos
Local news & eventsGeneral roundup boards or dedicatedones for larger, more impactful events.
It’s all about awareness• You are putting your content out where your readers spend time,giving them another view of the brand.• Showcase content that gets short-shrift elsewhere - particularlycontent that is attractive to female readers.• ROI for direct referrals isn’t much yet, so focus on easily updatedtopics and those that can be farmed out to desks.• Build community engagement by following, repinning, liking andcommenting on other boards.
• Kim McDaniel• Digital Director, Social Media EditorThe Salt Lake Tribune• firstname.lastname@example.org@sltrib or @tivogirlpinterest.com/sltribContact
Next steps• What will you try this week?• What will you try next week?• What do you need to dig deeper on?• Who will you follow up with?• Slides and links on my blog (probablytonight or tomorrow)