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Tactical Facebook

I sat in on a Social Fresh session yesterday about Tactical Facebook, and there were a couple things that were said that I think could be of interest to newsrooms at large.

The presenter was Ellie Mirman from HubSpot. Here’s just a list of facts and points she made.

The most valuable piece of real estate on Facebook is the news feed. The news feed for each individual is different and is made up from information from your network. However, the default view for your news feed is the top content. We want our content to make it into our followers’ news feeds to gain the most exposure. So how do we do it?

  • Affinity. Judged by interactions between your page and that particular fan.
  • Interactions. This is the number of interactions (likes or comments) that a particular piece of content gets from other people.
  • Timing. Almost everything in the top news feed items are from the last 24 hours.


1. Post a variety of content. Obviously, this draws in a variety of audience members and increases the affinity score you get from each one. If I’m a person that likes video, attract me with video. Pictures, different types of news content, etc. Reach out to each one of your readers.

2. Respond to comments. Take advantage of any mojo that a particular post already has and increase the interaction. This increases both affinity for people who have already commented on the piece (meaning that they’re more likely to see postings from you in the future) and increases total number of interactions on the content (meaning more of yours fans/followers are likely to see that particular piece of content).

3. Target posts to locality. This produces a higher feedback score (which is number of interactions divided by number of impressions). This is probably more important for newspapers that have a wider audience reach.

3. Post content regularly and on a consistant basis. For companies, the optimal numbers of times to post new content for the highest number of interactions was determined to be once every other day. However, I could see that easily doubled for news organizations, meaning we should probably be publishing once or twice a day.

4. Post when Facebook users are on – which means outside normal working hours. Before work, after work and on weekends are the most popular times for Facebook so our social media strategy has to extend to that.

5. Don’t just promote promotions or special offers, but start a conversation about them. This is done especially well by big brands like Southwest and Starbucks. We should be encouraging likes and shares.

6. Post video links directly into Facebook instead of linking to a story that has a video. Brightcove can do this – just click on the “Share this video” link and copy the link there.

7. Photos directly on Facebook have more interactions than those posting on our sites and linked. This does open up issues of copyright, though, so we should probably discuss the pros and cons of this.

8. Measure what works. See what kind of different cotnent gets the highest percentage of impressions and interactions. Facebook interactions reports have recently been upgraded to give us more information.

9. Encourage users to submit their own content to our Facebook pages. This spreads our content and our brand to that person’s network.

Categories: future of journalism
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