How to build a communicative Social Media Newsroom? #sbosm

There is a misconception that is widespread about what a social media newsroom really is all about. Essentially most discussions are about making news publication techniques more similar to blogging. Now, I dislike this idea (allthough I fully respect the initiatives), as I believe that a corporation will never be able to maintain the personal touch that a blogger will be able to. No one should fool anyone that a social media newsroom – if only a blog tool/publishing tool – will solve ANY of your communication problems in social media.

Social media newsroom – the lack of socializing
Without a monitoring add on to the newsroom, it is worthless. A social media newsroom should be about dialogue. Without knowing what people are saying about you, you have nothing to publish. Period! If you are just going to publish your news releases with some rich media add ons, you can do what you’ve allways done. By doing what GM or Electrolux are doing, you are NOT socializing. You are posting.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE these companies as they actually try. Posting is excellent for distribution purposes but posting is not in itself social. However, if you are posting you should really think of the following:

  • Search Engine Optimization is crucial
  • Domainstructure is essential – steal as many hits in the SERP as possible
  • Cross-linking and semantic keyword-linking such as co-citation is a must
  • Use a strong platform to post news – PRWeb, PRNewswire etc.
  • ..or use another strong domain that you own – to cover several SERP hits you need to publish unique content on different places
  • Read the following post for more detail: Releasing News through Social Media
  • Investigate what keywords people use – USE these keywords – NO company slogans in titles

Social media newsroom – the monitoring solution
Now I don’t opinionize in this blog. (who am I fooling…) I give advice and write “how-to” posts. Hence, here we go! I am about to reveal one of my big secrets that everyone should allready know about as it is TOO obvious not to notice.

Think of yourself as the best spamblogger in the world. You steal content from other blogs and websites that are badly built – hence not indexed or badly rated – and you republish it on search engine optimized websites alongside some nice looking banner ads, links and adsense modules.

Now think of yourself as a superspammer superduper bumble rumble spammer. You steal ALL content from ALL websites and blogs about a certain topic and you autogenerate posts with this content in your own wordpress installation. WOW… hold on… you’ve just created yourself a neat little monitoring service. As all content related to a topic will be sorted into post by day, time and author, you will have a neat little collection of well sorted information available at your disposal.

All of a sudden I can spend all time analyzing and no time on collecting stuff.

Well, you need sources and tools to do this. I will still keep my secret formula on how to do this to perfection, but you will get sorted if you just try. Basically my formula won’t work for you as it is built for me and so it is actually better if you create one for yourself.

Social Media Monitoring – Ingredients

  • 1 account on Yahoo pipes
  • 1 WordPress 2.7 + installation
  • 1 Nicely hacked, mashed and installed auto post plugin (I know you spammers out there love them – I hate you, but without you this proabably wouldn’t be open source material and good stuff has come out of evil people before… so I guess I am doing some good with some evil..)
  • Google Reader account – only for crappy translation if needed
  • 1 list of sources
  • 1 account at Tarpipe.com – addition by Johan Ronnestam – Innovative Communication

Social Media Monitoring – Sources

  • Google News
  • All newspapers full RSS-feed (differs from market to market)
  • Search feed from Twitter on your brand or follow interests
  • Yahoo News
  • Any friggin RSS-feed out there that you might want to monitor – takes a life time to collect, but a minute to master
  • (Now I know some of you will be crying about me not including methods to monitor other stuff than what’s on RSS.. but listen… this is a super cool topic and so I want to write other posts about that later.. [and by writing that I hopefully have your full attention then also ;)])

Social media newsroom – Making the Newsroom Social
Now in front of you, you have everything you need. You have your monitoring which gives you an insight into what people are saying about you. You have it time stamped, scraped and linked in a way that makes it easy for you to reference it and create the necessary links in order to get the attention of the original publisher.

The information is right in front of you. Use this information when you create your own posts in the social media newsroom. If someone has said something good about you – reference this post in your product release. If someone has said something bad about you – apologize, explain or tell this person off [this needs super skills – so don’t start out telling people off in all directions I am sure people are saying nice stuff about you somewhere] in your own publication as though it was The Times itself that wrote what you are commenting.

On the web ALL sources are of equal concern when it comes to visibility. By socializing, by using references and linking – you actually take some heat off your shoulders. You are co-writing the story. Thus increasing its authority. And that is what it is all about.

This will induce communication between you and the people talking about you as you are infact talking about them. Through links and comments you will take charge of what is said about your brand. Make it a discussion. If you are talking to the people talking about you. They will know you care.

This way you are also making your Social Media Newsroom a tool for communication and not only a place where people can find your news. REMEMBER: People can allready find news about you elsewhere, so in order to build interest – you really need to communicate.

I know at least two of my readers will hate me for writing this, but please remember that everything I do, I do with a smile on my face and with all the love in my heart.

//Jesper

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7 Comments

  • Splendid post that outlines more or less exactly what I think.

    If you wanna step it up even more. Then integrate Tarpipe.com into the process and you’ll have your PR all over the web in no time.

  • You have some good points there. Companys should definitly look into listening to the conversations out there and try to address the questions and comments on their own social media newsroom. And I do agree that you should think more about keywords and SEO when writing texts and headlines for news.

    However, I do think that Electrolux and GM have nice examples of social media newsrooms, GM even have a comment field for their news. The name “social media newsroom” refers to the fact that they have integrated or linked to so called social media applications such as Flickr, YouTube and Twitter. Even if conversations aren’t going on at the newsroom itself, they can be going on at the company’s YouTube or Twitter channels.

  • @Johan Ronnestam – indeed. I will revise the post later today.

    @Sara – yes I agree that discussions are taking place outside the social media newsroom. But this happens allready today. If the corporations are not aware of what is said, and do not interact with the users, their problem will only grow if they are spread out all over the place.

    I am in part wrong when I say that the newsrooms are not social as they indeed spread rich media on social websites. But the media room itself is not, and the work method of the company is neither.

    In order to set a sustainable working method for the corps, they have to be able to work at one place and communicate where ever things are being said about them. At least if they are just starting out. 🙂

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