The development of social media platforms has led news organizations to search for new audiences. However, social media users consume news differently than traditional media audiences. People want quick access to social media and they want to get the news straight from their feed.
“Social users are lazy by nature,” says Hannah Whitten, social media specialist at ESPN.
Whitten says that, in her experience, Facebook users versus Twitter or Instagram users do not respond to news content in the same way, and each platform attracts audience of different ages. For example, Facebook users are much older than Twitter users.
“Facebook is a place where we can share long-form stories,” explains Whitten, as the reader tends to stay longer on a news post.
Content can also be adapted within the same platform to follow a particular editorial line and to appeal to different interests. The purpose of some accounts could be to inform, while others aim to create interaction. Whitten says ESPN has 27 different social media accounts focusing on different topics.
“We do have accounts like the Sports Nation account that we call our ‘meme’ account, […] that audience is even younger,” says Whitten.
Whitten says that ESPN has also been experimenting with TikTok. However, TikTok videos have audio that news media companies cannot use because of copyright issues.
“We’re still figuring out what works there and what doesn’t,” explains Whitten about developing the ESPN Tik Tok account.
Whitten also shared some tools that she uses when working on social media platforms – CrownTangle and Sprinklr.
CrowdTangle is a tool that allows you to monitor social interaction. It analyzes how many times a post is viewed how the audience engages with it. It can also help identify what content or format works best on a particular platform.
Sprinklr makes social media experience easier in allowing you to schedule posts, but also gives media organization a more secure social media access. Accounts are harder to hack since they are protected by a third party. It is also more manageable when working with a team because it allows you to log in on official accounts without having to share the password with the entire newsroom.
What are some of your favorite social media tools? We welcome your suggestions in the comments section.