The State-Journal Register in Springfield, Ill., has a nice touch on Facebook. They ask a lot of questions and describe stories in ways that make me want to click on the link. Check out a couple of examples.
WHAT THEY DID: Springfield asks Facebook fans if they want to see more horse racing and slot machines at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This is a great "talker" that's bound to get some feedback. So, it's a good choice for Facebook. The other story you can see in the screen grab is a Dave Bakke column about parents caring for their son who has been in a coma for 25 years (12 years old for 25 years). "This is a story about love, dedication and sacrifice," Springfield says.
Dave is a masterful storyteller, and Facebook fans encourage others to read this one:
"A great read. ... A true story of how much love parents have for their children, and what you can go through and SURVIVE !!"
"A fantastic story. Amazing people."
"Makes me appreciate life and that maybe my problems aren't really that bad."
Don't you want to read Dave's story, too? That's how Facebook benefits us as news organizations. It gives us a chance to be at the water cooler at work and say: "Wow, I read this remarkable story ... You've got to read it." Only we're at work with every one of our Facebook fans. Isn't it a powerful tool? And it's so much more powerful when you add that personal touch.
TAKEAWAY: Be sure to take a little time to build a relationship with your Facebook fans. Tell them what's good about the story. Ask them questions about controversial topics (such as gambling). And watch your Web traffic grow as people learn about your best work.
For more information on Facebook, read my blog post on Facebook for Journalists or David Arkin's blog post on a Facebook report that shows opportunity for late-night Facebook posts.