A social media strategy for news websites
A social media strategy for news websites
News websites have a huge advantage over other internet platforms and companies. They cherish the constant flow of up-to-date content, which is a great starting point for your social media strategy. Many people are eager to stay up to date with the market and the world, so you have the potential for thousands and even millions of subscribers and followers. Let’s see how you can create a working social media strategy for your company.
Thriving on social media is not an easy task. People are looking for engaging and updated content, especially when it’s difficult to find it elsewhere. If you run a news website, you should create a strategy that makes the most of your biggest asset – the constant flow of news. The good news is your potential target group is really big. According to Statista, the share of individuals in the European Union reading news online revolves around 65%:
Image source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1237728/european-union-internet-users-reading-online-news/
Let’s get down to the details.
Concentrate on platforms that are used to read the news
Not every social media platform is a good place to be for a news website. You ought to concentrate on platforms that are used by your target audience to get the latest news. According to Pew Research Center (data from August 2021), there are three the best platforms for a news website, and these are:
Focus on these three platforms, as this is where you have the biggest chance of attracting people interested in online news.
Be a valuable source of information
We live in times of fake news and low-quality content. Media websites that offer high-quality news and articles get higher engagement and attract more readers (gossip websites are the only exception). Take a look at this list of the top 10 news websites by the number of visits in July 2022:
Typically, these are highly regarded platforms that have been in the news market for years. Reputation is crucial in this market sector. Decide to create high-quality and fresh content, and your target audience will appreciate that, including social media users.
What you can also do is publish news from other countries. Many news websites are focused solely on domestic news. That’s where you can stand out from your competition. Many readers are interested in news from other countries, too. Offer that to them and create an international section on your website. Gather and publish the most interesting news from abroad and promote them on your social media profiles.
Here, New York Times is a good example. They offer several versions of their website:
Maybe you can do something similar?
Create video content
If possible, you should create or at least share video content. YouTube is the second most popular “news social media platform” for a reason. People like watching video content because it’s quick, easy, and engaging. Usually, it’s easier to watch a YouTube video than to read an article. Of course, we’re not saying here that articles aren’t popular anymore, but adding video to the mix would be extremely helpful.
Again, that’s what New York Times does. They occasionally publish video posts among “standard” posts related to their articles. The last one is from the funeral of queen Elisabeth II:
Promote the most popular/urgent news
As always, it is of paramount importance to reach out regularly to new users and new target audiences. You can do that by promoting the most popular or urgent news you publish. This way, you can target new people and encourage them to follow your website on a given platform.
Every social media platform offers an extensive offer concerning sponsored posts and advertisements. Use these services and optimize your ads so that you can reach the right audience at the right time. It’s the quickest and most effective way to get more readers and more engagement.
Concentrate on mobile devices
In Q2 2022, almost 60% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices. When it comes to reading news, mobile phones are undisputed number one. According to the aforementioned Pew Research Center, almost 85% of Americans read news on their mobile devices. It’s the same story in the UK, where mobile devices are most commonly used for online news consumption:
People are reading news on their smartphones primarily because it’s the most convenient and quickest solution. This means that you should concentrate on that part of your market. Make sure your website is 100% mobile-friendly. If possible, develop a mobile app. Here, a PWA (progressive web app, a type of mobile app that doesn’t require downloading – it can be accessed through the web browser) seems like a good idea. More and more online publications are available this way, including:
- Forbes (US)
- Financial Times
- Billings Gazette
- The Weather Channel and many more
Utilize trending hashtags
Although hashtags are most popular on Instagram, people also use them on other social media platforms to find the content they’re after. It’s an effective and free way of getting to people who are looking for something you’ve already published. Right now, probably the most popular hashtag is #queenelizabeth. According to Mashable, it now holds over 5.2 billion views on the TikTok app. If you want to stay up to speed with hashtags, you can follow the TopHashtags Twitter account, where you can find the most used hashtags by location (in Australia, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom).
Never stop working on your strategy and use analytics
Social media strategy is a living thing. The market evolves, and your users’ expectations and interests evolve with it. That’s why it’s so important never to stop developing and optimizing your social media strategy. To enhance your efforts, use analytics software like Google Analytics and social listening tools like Brand24. They will help you understand your target audience's needs and what you should concentrate on. That’s the best way to work on your social media strategy!
Don’t forget about push notifications
The last thing you should consider are push notifications. While they are not exactly a social media tool, you can use them to reach your readers and users more effectively. Your target audience will always appreciate quick notifications related to the latest events and the most important news. Do you want to know more? Take a look at this article on our blog: How publishers can create a better ad experience for their readers. Inside, you will find tons of practical advice that you can use to improve your online presence, not just on social media!
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