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Poynter: How to get more people to share news from your site

Poynter has been looking at the results of a large survey commissioned by the New York Times and has come up with five reasons why people share news and six ways to encourage more readers to do so.

One of the key lessons is making it easy for readers to share news by email.

The survey collected the views of 2,500 sharers, not all of them tweeting, liking, recommending and emailing links from the NY Times.

Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman has analysed the results and made suggestions as to what news organisations can learn from the survey.

According to Sonderman, the five primary motivations for sharing are:

1. Altruism
2. Self-definition
3. Empathy
4. Connectedness
5. Evangelism

The research has come up with a number of terms to describe sharers:

  • Altruists, who tend to be female and share on email and Facebook;
  • Careerists, who like to share serious, useful content via email and LinkedIn;
  • Hipsters, who tend to be young and male and like to start conversations using Twitter and Facebook;
  • Boomerangs, who want to get a reaction and tend to share on many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, email and blogs;
  • Connectors, who are mostly female, and share to stay close with their friends and tend to share on email and Facebook;
  • Selectives, who are older and more traditional and tend to share on email.

Sonderman’s six implications for any news site hoping to increase sharing activity are:

1. Think of your users’ relationships. Create content that can help someone strengthen a personal or professional relationship. Think useful, fun, humorous, controversial, actionable.
2. Keep it simple. Many of your readers are sharing to get a response or to show how smart they are. Those people won’t share something they’re not sure they understand, or that their friends may not understand.
3. Reconsider your Facebook button. This research may suggest that Facebook’s ‘recommend’ button is subconsciously more appealing than its ‘like’ button, even though they do the same thing. Recommending is a social activity targeting your friends, while liking is just an individual expression.
4. Share on the right networks. When you share your own content, choose networks that make sense. If your story appeals to hipsters, use Twitter. For careerists be sure to use LinkedIn. To target connectors, use your Facebook page.
5. Remember email. It is still the number one sharing method, the survey found. Though many social networks have blossomed, none has surpassed the simplicity and universal reach of email.
6. Customise sharing options. Should different types of stories emphasise different sharing options to the reader? For example, your business template may feature LinkedIn and email share buttons, while your features template pushes Facebook sharing.

The full Poynter post is at this link

 

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News sites can now add a Facebook ‘send’ button

Facebook has launched a new plugin with great appeal to news sites.

“Send” is similar to the “like” function but allows Facebook users (and there are half a billion of them) to send a news story as a private message to an individual, a few friends or a group.

The “send” button can be added to a site’s sharing options, as the Washington Post has done here:

Send button

 

 

 

Or users can click the Facebook icon or ‘share’ button and they will then have the option to send the story as a private message.

Send as a message

 

 

A Facebook user may come across a gallery of marathon pictures on a news site and decide to “send” the link to everyone who sponsored them. Or a charity may want to “send” a news feature about a campaign to a particular group, which the members can then discuss privately.

Facebook message

According to this Facebook blog post, the ‘send’ button keeps people on your site.

The send button drives traffic by letting users send a link and a short message to the people that would be most interested. They don’t need to leave the web page they’re on or fill out a long, annoying form.

Compared to the alternatives, the send button has fewer required steps, and it removes the need to look up email addresses by auto-suggesting friends and groups.

A small group of news sites and brands launched their ‘send’ buttons yesterday.

Details of how to add the ‘send’ button to your site are at this link.

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@SOE: (Audio) ‘It may be heresy, but it’s just possible that the advertising prize of the internet may not be as big as people want you to believe’ Gavin O’Reilly

November 5th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The WAN president and COO of Independent News and Media crunches the numbers of internet advertising while talking about how a fragmented mix of media may be the key to capturing the necessary market for newspapers prosper.

Global online advertising market worth 21 billion (pounds or dollars?) he says. 65 per cent in the hands of three companies, all the rest are scrabbling over a much smaller (admittedly) growing online share.

Full Extract:

[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/internetads.mp3] Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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