I’ve always viewed work as an opportunity for hands-on learning. Most of the jobs I’ve had during my career have been new positions with loosely defined roles that challenged me to learn and grow. My job with Global Press Journal certainly fit that description when I first started.
At GPJ, we’re tackling some of journalism’s most challenging questions about audience, engagement and impact. And as GPJ’s first official Engagement Editor, I’m responsible for directing our social media content strategy and audience-engagement initiatives. This includes managing all of our social accounts, creating unique and engaging social content, measuring and monitoring key performance indicators and designing innovative on-and-offline engagement initiatives to drive audience growth and increase global awareness.
So where do I begin? With our audience, of course!
Not everyone is going to want to read every single one of GPJ’s stories. However, by taking a more strategic and targeted approach to sharing our content on social media, we’ve been able to connect the “right” audience to each story.
So who is the right audience? Well, it depends.
We have trained reporters in 26 countries and they cover everything from politics and education to maternal health and entrepreneurship. Part of our strategy for social media is to connect with relevant audiences, and that often means doing research around specific topics for individual stories. What I’ve discovered is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits all social media post, and otherwise-accepted best practices differ from audience to audience and company to company. But that’s what makes this work exciting.
For example, in our recent series, “Focus On: Trafficking and Smuggling,” the right audience included Twitter users who were following the hashtags #endit and #makeitzero. It also included about 40 individual Twitter users with whom we directly shared our stories. That individual outreach paid off. In fact, it provided 23 percent of the Twitter click-throughs to our stories, and they provided 30 percent of our new Twitter followers during the two weeks in which we shared the series.
As social platforms continue to morph, content strategists and media companies must constantly evaluate their audiences to ensure maximum reach and impact. Understanding who your audience is and what it needs is the only way to build lasting relationships and real engagement. It isn’t always about big numbers. Sometimes, you can make a bigger impact by connecting with just a few of the right people.
The post was originally published at http://globalpressjournal.com/between-the-lines/social-media-key-for-reaching-readers/.
Copyright 2016, Staci Baird