24 August 2009

News Media & Facebook Strategy

News sites must consider their Facebook strategy as the social networking site goes from strength to strength.

That’s the view of Dorian Benkoil, who has written on Poynter Online about the necessities of having a Facebook strategy.

According to Benkoil, the popular website has made a number of advances recently that make it a must-use social media tool for online newspapers.

He writes: “As Facebook ramps up its offerings and takes on both Twitter and Google, you may need a hefty presence there to capture an audience you might not easily reach other ways.”

These changes are Facebook’s acquisition of FriendFeed, the trial of Facebook Lite and the launch of a real-time search facility.

Benkoil notes: “The basic idea is that once you’re in Facebook, you’ll stay there - to communicate with people, get information, post photos and videos, play games, maybe even consume music and videos, or shop.

“So, if you, as an editor or publisher, want to reach the audience that’s in Facebook you may have to make sure your content is there, as well.”

The Strategy

But what is the best way for news sites to get their content in front of Facebook users – and is there any way to make money from it?

Benkoil suggests creating a fan page – see New York Times fan page – and a profile page via which a newspaper can push its stories as news feeds.

As for making money, Benkoil spoke to a viral marketing spokesperson who pointed out that news sites can put ads on their fan page and will soon be able to sell merchandise to Facebook users without them having to leave the site.

See Poynter Online for the full story.

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