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How the Media is Socializing Content Online

Lauren Eichmann

Like most companies -- from large corporations to non-profits -- reporters and editors are still trying to understand how to best use social media in a way that makes sense for their particular business objective.

One freelancer I’ve worked with who writes for tech and business trades has even encouraged his sources to Tweet about his stories, Digg them, “like” them on Facebook and comment on them.

“The more traffic my stories get, the more opportunities you’ll have to pitch me stories down the road,” he wrote in an email.

I’ve also been in touch with a channel editor for Entrepreneur who essentially had the same thing to say, notably concerning the promotion of content for their regular columnists. While she included the addition of social links to columnist bio pages, included writers on a dedicated list on Twitter, actively posted columns on Twitter and Facebook, she also encouraged columnists to get involved in socializing their own content as well. Here were some of her suggestions for specifically sharing Entrepreneur content, which can also be applied to other media outlets:

• Follow the publication on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook

• Use their tag “@EntMagazine” when posting on related news via Twitter

• Use their style for tweets, which includes the headline, shortened URL and phrase “via @EntMagazine”

• Use Facebook’s “Posted Items” page and paste permalinks into the box, “Post a Link”

• Include a brief note with a link to your post when responding to social organization emails, extracurricular groups, or even just family and friends

• Respond to comments on your own column or online article where you were quoted

“To gain a dedicated readership, it’s important to create a community around your columns and stories,” she said.

As part of their social media efforts, Entrepreneur is measuring retweet rates, point of entry to their online stories, and activity around share buttons found on every article.

It boils down to the fact that reporters want you reading and socializing their content much like any other business wants people retweeting their commentary, blog posts and so forth. If a reporter’s stories are popular, it means they are driving readership and adding to the success of the outlet as a whole. They’ll likely have the opportunity to develop more articles around that topic, and similiar topics, in the future.

For more about how the media is leveraging social media, Walker Sands’ AE Jackie Lampugnano (@jackielamp) wrote a good post recently for Social Media Club.

Do you have any tips or anecdotes for how you’ve shared/distributed your content online? Or instances of a reporter contacting you directly because you helped to distribute their content online?