Facebook tip for student publications

How best to use social networking sites for journalism? That still perplexes me, but I’m finding some ideas as I learn Facebook.

First, all college publications should create publication accounts and then get the word. Start building an audience of “friends.” But that is not enough. You have to give your friends/readers news.

You COULD spend your time writing status updates, but that’s a fool’s errand when it comes to journalism….unless you treat it like Twitter-lite. I think journalism teachers could use the status updates to teach concise story-telling in 150 characters or less, and there is great value there.

A more common use of a site like Facebook is to repost stories from your print edition. That’s probably a fool’s errand, too…if all you are doing is posting stories. Convert the story to a brief and include a link to your publication’s web site.

  • To post a story, go to your profile page and then “write a note.”
  • Consider just doing this once a day or twice a day rather than trying to post a bunch of stories all at once once a week.

Another tip is to use the EVENTS link on your wall page to post information about an event on your campus that readers might be interested in. Creating events also creates something like a poll where your Facebook friends/readers can indicate that they are going to attend the event or not. Providing information about campus or other events definitely is a part of journalism.

  • It is probably a good idea to be selective in which events you create until you see what works. 

More ideas to come as I learn more about Facebook.


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