This is the fourth instalment in my 5-part series about Social Media Newsrooms – to read more about the series read my introductory article here.
Parts 3, 4 and 5 of this series look at some specific suggestions for things you can do to make your Newsroom social, with some good and bad examples of where other companies have done so. Today I’m having a look at how to use your newsroom to support your social channels and in part 5 I will look at how to make your content more personal.
How to use your Newsroom to encourage conversations elsewhere
Conversations don’t necessarily need to happen on your newsroom as you probably will need to moderate these comments and might not have the resource to do so. You may want, for various reasons, to actually have conversations with people elsewhere. In which case, use your newsroom as a way of directing visitors to the places where they can have a conversation with your business or individuals within it.
Example: SEB, Erica Blomgren, Twitter
SEB have a nice newsroom (I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “social media newsroom” though) and one thing I do like about their site is that they are open enough to show contact details for their experts across a range of subjects in the newsroom site. They give direct dials and email addresses opening the way for offline conversations to happen. They are risking more spam and unwanted sales calls by doing this but they clearly think this is a price worth paying in the name of openness and accessibility. Credit to them for that.
When one of the experts listed is active on twitter they also show a link to their twitter profile. One expert that is using twitter on a daily basis to communicate news and opinion on her area of expertise is Erica Blomgren. What I like about the way she uses twitter is that it’s very focused, so people following her know what to expect, she posts regularly, and she is willing to respond to questions and give people answers online. Overall a great example of how to use twitter in a financial services context. Now SEB just need to encourage some of the other 50 experts to do likewise!
Now check this out for an impressive example of making the effort to respond to people!
BASF, a leading global chemical company based in Germany, has a Facebook page and they use to share stories about concrete in English. You read that right. Concrete on Facebook.
So they share the story and what happens? For a start 32 people ‘like’ the story but three people also post a comment in response. One comment is in English, one in German and one in Malay. What do BASF do? They respond to each post in the language of poster! Bravo.
The interesting thing here is the interaction between Facebook and the company’s newsroom. The conversation on Facebook has taken place because they posted an interesting story on their newsroom and people have responded to that. There is the possibility to comment on the article page itself but no-one has chosen to do that, preferring instead to post on Facebook.
What BASF should try and do next is bring some of these channels together more – for a start allowing people to like an article, tweet or share it is a simple win (I’m surprised this feature is missing given how well they’ve done other things) but perhaps they should also use the Facebook social plugin or a tool like Disqus to make it easier for people to respond to their articles? Maybe then they’ll truly deserve the moniker of ‘Social Media Newsroom’ that they’ve given themselves?
Now if a company as “boring” as a chemical company can post interesting content on a regular basis on their Facebook page and engage with people there, your company can probably do so too! Where there’s a will there’s a way.
In the fifth and final part of my series I will be talking about how to make your content more personal and to bring out some of the expertise of your own staff as individuals into your news content.