We all love being first with the news and there is nothing better during a conversation than someone saying: "have you heard about..." and silence engulfs the gathering.
Well this bit of news was new yesterday (Thurs 30th Jan) and if you haven’t already heard… Facebook is launching a new app called ‘Paper’ on Monday 3rd February.
‘Paper’ is a curated news aggregator that will combine the comments and posts from your friends along with a variety of news items from a selection of topics such as ‘Headline’ ‘Family’ ‘Creators’ ‘lol’ and ‘Planet’.
In the advert above it looks great but sadly only available to iPhone and iPad users: understandable due to Apple’s strong grip on the smartphone market but as an Android user I’m feeling decidedly unloved and looking to LinkedIn’s Pulse news aggregator for consolation.
Brushing a tear aside we still see this as a great opportunity to prepare your business and approach this new development with the right mental attitude.
How should journalists and businesses react?
For business owners with company pages inside Facebook, the squeeze was felt last year when Facebook reduced the amount of free viewings their company posts received, causing them to pay to promote their posts to a wider audience.
There isn’t anything wrong with these promoted posts, as it replicates traditional advertising, and the major benefit is that you stop relying on your followers to spread the word and pursue new customers by aiming your posts at a specific audience or people with a particular interest.
Facebook say that promoted posts will not initially be a part of ‘Paper’ but this doesn't mean you should relax and wait. A strategy of weekly promoted postings will not only see you hit the right groove and as long as you keep them sharp and concise you’ll find the right target.
Just as businesses are going to take on journalistic skills, journalists and news organisations will have to learn how to analysis and devise strategy on the data received from people visiting their website, and not just rely on a ‘great story’.
As Mashable reports the San Francisco Chronicle will "...Put All Reporters Through Social Media Boot Camp". In fact they will be learning and eventually using the tools and strategies practiced at Splice Marketing.
News teams will have to learn how to grab people once they have landed on their page and keep them coming back for more. Both business and media will need to have one essential factor in place: a website that looks good on a smartphone or tablet.
Journalists are also going to have to grow even tougher skins due to online commenting systems becoming more commonplace and shareable, giving people the ability to comment on the journalist’s stories.
They are also going to have to handle the engagement that it will bring; I think counting to ten before replying will be a skill worth learning.
Paper or Magazine?
The choice of ‘Paper’ as the name is so non-digital it causes a wry smile.
It harks back to fond memories of folding large sheets of newsprint, getting inky hands and be evidence of nostalgia emanating from the person in charge of the project.
Due to the glossy colour and articles ‘Magazine’ might have been a better choice as it would fit well with their other spin-off ‘Messenger’.
However if Facebook’s new app works well, the mixture of solid news, gossip, personal items from your friends and eventually advertising elements makes this a mouthwatering prospect for Facebook’s investors as the returns could be very high.
All you have to do is fit your news between the sheets of paper.
If you would like a face-to-face meeting understanding website analytics or developing your business’ news strategy then please give us a call for a free consultation on 0845 652 2412
By Xan Philips
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