At the conference in New Orleans, I went to a few sessions on using social media more effectively. As the opinions editor/social media manager at The Beacon, I tend to spend more time on the opinions page than with social media, and I am admittedly not the biggest social media junky out there. So it was really good to hear some concrete tips for college newspapers trying to increase web presence, which I’ll be making efforts to implement next semester. Some of the tips I found most useful were:
- Be aware of your audience: Young people are on Twitter, while Facebook appeals more to adults.
- Even news organizations should be talking with their audience rather than at their audience.
- People are far more likely to follow links if they see a photo.
- To engage better on Facebook, ask people questions they can answer in the comments.
I think the most important social media lesson I learned – and the one we struggle with the most at The Beacon – is that it’s vital to stay active and consistent on Facebook and Twitter. Next semester, I plan to be more regular about when I post. Because we publish weekly, I have a tendency to tweet a bunch of stories on Thursday, and then The Beacon’s social presence wanes throughout the week. But reversing this trend is a nice goal for The Beacon, and I think it’s totally doable.
-Philip Ellefson, Opinions Editor of The Beacon