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How newspapers can use Facebook more effectively

The New York Times, which is conducting an experiment and no longer sends automated tweets, has admitted it has not yet “cracked the code” of using Facebook, according to Liz Heron, social media editor of the newspaper, speaking at the BBC Social Media Summit.

Our journalists have not figured out how to interact with it just yet. We’re working to bring Facebook journalism onto the main page.

The NY Times has started experimenting with “gamification”.

Facebook will give you a lot of info, so we were able to show what kind of person was going in for the Kings Speech, for example, so got some interesting visualisations. In a way we therefore used a form of gamification to engage users. We want to do more to build platforms around our journalism in this way and allow our content to not only get distributed further but get some interesting information back on our key readers from it.

So what else can the newspaper – and all brands – learn from Facebook success stories?

Mashable has published an article on “eight brands that have found success on Facebook and what we can learn”. Here are its eight lessons.

1. Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first.

2. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll get valuable feedback, plus you’ll be more likely to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds.

Here’s another article from 10,000 Words to tell you how to use Facebook’s new questions feature to do just that.

3. Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform.

4. Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries.

5. If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors.

6. Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem.

7. Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes.

8. Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits.

Mashable’s full post with examples is at this link.

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