Social media can benefit your hyperlocal newspaper

Many have said that social media may be the final dead end to a traditional online newspaper. While social media has certainly changed the news media significantly, it can also greatly benefit your publication.

Three effective ways to use social media to benefit your hyperlocal newspaper

In the years that we have been observing the rise of social media and the decline of newspapers, we have also seen frustration grow among the public. Identifying trusted news sources is ever more difficult. If you publish a hyperlocal newspaper focused on local news it is very likely that your audience trusts the news you publish. Social media can help you capitalize on that audience and grow your site traffic.

Use social media to grow your audience

The most effective way to use social media is to generate and grow your audience. Large platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have diverse and large audiences and offer great advertising targeting options. If you need to grow your local audience, social media is likely the most effective way for you to do that.

Use paid targeted advertising to boost big stories

When you have big breaking news happen in your local community, use social media advertising to boost the reach of your story. Always remember that you want the traffic to leave the social platform and visit your website.

Convert new visitors to subscribers

It is great to have a large social media audience, but your paper will earn its largest income channels from on-site traffic. Remember that your newspaper needs to grow the traffic on your site, duration on your site, and your direct mailing lists to grow your income. Make it your standard procedure to post links on social media which link back to stories and pages effectively designed to convert new visitors to subscribers.

Offer levels of subscription

Offer levels of subscription with tiered benefits – starting with free. Asking for a paid membership requires a relationship. But, growing your subscribers and mailing list also grows your ability to sell advertising. Choose a local newspaper publishing platform with page layouts designed to convert visitors into subscribers naturally and without offending the visitors. A forced login strategy that makes clear your privacy policy, but doesn’t annoy the users is a great way to build a trust relationship with your readers.

Breaking News

Stay in front of your social audience by faithfully posting breaking news stories on top of any regular headline run downs that you publish. Our team have found that the most effective schedule is to publish a headline rundown daily at the highest peak traffic on each platform, and to also post individual stories as they break on the site.

Keep in mind that not everything you post on social will make it into the timeline feeds of each of your followers. Choosing a local newspaper publishing platform which offers in-app native notifications can boost your visitors visibility to breaking news.

A new advertising channel

As you grow your social audience, do not neglect to add advertising opportunities into your media kit. Sponsored social posting is a valuable income channel and can help support the paper.

Inclusion into a private social media group can be a paid subscription offering that your subscribers appreciate. Subscribers appreciate the opportunity to engage in conversation with the authors and editors of their local newspaper. Learn the language to promote a benefit like this and use that private group to build loyal brand ambassadors from within your paid subscribers.

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