07 April 2008

Facebook Tips From Poynter

Poynter Online offers advice to newspapers about expanding their networks through Facebook.

A post on the Poynterevolution Blog looks at two aspects of the social networking website which can be used to drive traffic to online news sites and to improve brand awareness among younger people.

First up are Facebook Pages – distinct from Facebook Groups – where newspapers can create pages with their own brand identity.

“Pages enable news organisations to identify loyal users, or fans,” according to Poynter.

“When users choose to be fans of your organisation, they invite updates about what the organisation is up to via a text story or links.”

The article also reveals how Virginia’s Roanoke Times has created its own Page, which is updated weekly with content from its news site.

Secondly, Poynterevolution asserts that Facebook applications are being used by newspapers to enhance their profiles among young audiences.

It highlights the New York TimesNews Quiz as an example of an effective Facebook application.

“The cross promotional value and competitive factor make this application effective. The quiz encourages me to use nytimes.com to be more informed about current events.”

Last word goes to John Jackson, online editor of the Roanoke Times, who says of his newspaper’s use of Facebook: “We wanted to be able to say we’re here.

“It allows us to extend our brand and keep control over the content that is put out there.”

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