Media companies are quickly learning that effective Facebook posting takes more than just throwing a link into a status update.
On Friday, I wrote about how some media companies are starting to use a fill-in-the-blank approach on Facebook. And others, for a while, have been using questions and polls, as another way of engaging folks on Facebook.
The New York Times uses quotations quite effectively on Facebook. See the example above where they have pulled out a must-read quote from a story on a Mormon ad campaign.
Clearly, the quote has to grab you, just like if you were to put a pullout quote in your print product. It's important to consider the length of the quote. The one from the Times above is impactful, for sure, but it's too long. Just ask yourself how often you click on the "more" button in a status update on Facebook. I have to be really interested to do it, so if you consider this Facebook quote idea, make sure that the quote is one sentence.
One of the things I like about the Times' quote feature is that it's a daily feature. While the Times likely doesn't have issue managing their Facebook account, the idea that every day you know that one of your posts is going to be a quote to a link, creates some consistency and expectations around what to post for those in the newsroom.
Also, once readers start realizing that you're doing a quote every day, they'll look forward to it and start to expect it. Of course, readers will only be engaged if the quote is really good. So that's why it's important to really mix the topics of the daily quote. Some days, it's OK to make it the mayor at the council meeting, but other days maybe it's a sports story or something out of your entertainment coverage. Great quotes don't always come from your top news story, they can come from all over your site. Variety will help engage a wider range of your Facebook friends.
Give the quote feature a shot and see if it's something that helps generate traffic and if it's something you can manage on a consistent basis.
David Arkin is the executive director of the News & Interactive Division for GateHouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com
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